Homemade Chicken Stock is not something I make all the time.  My freezer does not look like Martha Stewert’s! But, if I have time I will make a batch and freeze to use later.  The one thing I have learned about frozen chicken stock is that is never thawed when you need it (I think about dinner about 5pm and I need my ingredients ready!), but you can freeze the stock in a way that you can use it quickly.  Pour cooled stock into ice cube trays and once they are frozen cubes just pop them out of the tray and place in a zip top bag so you can grab one or two when needed.  They thaw much quicker than a huge tub.   I like to use those big cocktail ice cube trays, its about 1/4 cup in each cube-perfect to add to a sauce. However, this time I did freeze in large tubs because I knew I was going to use it for Thanksgiving and I will be prepared for that dinner-hopefully!

I am a HUGE believer in using the grocery store as your tool and using as many pre-made things as possible, such as mashed potatoes, freeze dried herbs, fresh baked bread from the bakery…. but there is something about homemade stock. It is so much richer and such a better flavor. And it is SO easy there really is no excuse not to make it.  However, I too fall into the convenience trap and buy those boxes.  But, when I think about it I will make a big batch of beautiful stock and put it in my freezer until I need it for soups, stews, sauces, rice…. the list is long that you will use stock.
There are many recipes for chicken stock, but here is mine. You can use a whole chicken, chicken pieces or chicken bones.  If I don’t have a whole chicken then I will use the left over carcass from a roasted chicken I made or store bought rotisserie chicken I used for dinner.  It is a great way to not let the bones go to waste.
If you don’t have time to make stock on the day you ate the chicken you can freeze the chicken carcass for when you do have time.  No need to thaw the bones before making stock.
The recipe below is for traditional stock made in a large pot or Dutch oven.  But here is the Instant Pot recipe:
Place all ingredients into Instant Pot
Be sure and do not fill past the MAX line
Turn on the Manual Pressure for 120 minutes or 2 hours
Allow to pressure release naturally for about 10-15 minutes or as long as you have time
Once the pressure valve has dropped open the top and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer
Refrigerate(3-4 days) or freeze (up to 6 months)


Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock is such an easy way to make all your recipes taste better. It adds a richness that boxed stock just can't give.  You can use a whole chicken or use bones left over from a rotisserie or left over Thanksgiving turkey bones and it will be delicious. Make this in a pot on the stove or in an Instant Pot. Stock your freezer with Stock!


  • 1 (4-5) lb chicken-giblets removed or you can use just bones
  • 3 large carrots, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in half
  • 2 parsnips, cut in half
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 6 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In your largest stock pot (I use my le creuset 7.25 qt) add all ingredients. Fill pot with enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  

  2. Allow to simmer for about 3 hours. Skim off any foam that comes to the top.

  3. Allow to cool slightly then strain entire pot through a large mesh strainer or colander. Discard all vegetables and shred chicken (if using a whole chicken) and use for chicken salad or in other recipes. 

  4. Once cooled pour into freezer safe containers and label with contents and date.

  5. For INSTANT POT- Place all ingredients into pot. DO NOT fill past the MAX LINE. Close lid and turn valve to sealing. Use Manual Pressure for 120 minutes or 2 hours. Allow to naturally release for 10-15 minutes or for as long as you have.  To allow it to release naturally will take about an hour. After 10-15 minutes turn the valve to release and let the rest of the pressure out. Strain though a fine mesh strainer. 

Recipe Notes

* A large stock pot will make about 8 cups.  A large Instant Pot will make about 6 cups. 
*The longer you let it simmer the richer the stock will be.  If you are short on time you can simmer stock for about 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through then strain.  
* If you have a very large stock pot then double this recipe and make twice as much.
*If you can't find parsnips then just omit-the stock will taste fabulous anyway. 
* Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Needed Items