Yesterday I shared one of my favorite strategies for making weeknight meals a little bit easier by keeping shredded cooked chicken on hand in the freezer.  When the chicken meat has been shredded and stored, we use the remaining bones and scraps for making chicken stock.  This requires so little time but has a big payoff.  I usually get about four quarts of stock each time I make it, and considering the price of a single quart of broth from the store, this is definitely a money saver.  Added perks are being able to control the amount of sodium in the broth, and less waste since you can reuse your containers.  Oh, and it tastes better too.  Win!  If you don’t have time to make the stock right after you roast the chicken, no big deal.  Just toss the bones and scraps into a bag and freeze them until you are ready.  As with the shredded chicken, I freeze the stock and then thaw it out as we need it.  Try making your own veggie stock too.  It’s just as easy and delicious.

*The storage containers seen here are from Garnish.  I always store my stock in these!


1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, halved
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 chicken carcass plus any extra chicken scraps
3-4 quarts of water
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary


  • 01

    Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot (about 5-6 quarts) over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown slightly, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the chicken carcass to the pot.  Add enough water to nearly fill the pot.  Stir in the peppercorns, salt and herbs.  Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and let simmer 4-5 hours.  Let cool slightly.

  • 02

    Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher or bowl to remove the solids.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator.  A layer of fat will form on the surface, which can be skimmed off and discarded.  Transfer to storage containers and freeze until ready to use.

  • Kristin

    I’ve been making stock for years but have never browned the veggies first…I look forward to trying that!

  • Sarah

    So great to see a chicken stock recipe using just the carcass. I get so frustrated by those that use an entire chicken and then just discard. It seems so wasteful! Thanks for the recipe and for the link to the containers, I’ve been searching for some.

  • annieseats

    Exactly! That’s why I prefer this method. Those recipes frustrate me as well.

  • Christine

    Do you use chicken stock in lieu of chicken broth?

  • Rebekah

    I have recently started making my own chicken stock, too. You are right, it is delicious! I do mine in the slow cooker and it works really well.

  • Ludivine

    I see you have a red onion in the picture. What kind of onion would you recommend for the stock? Does it matter? Can’t wait to give this a try!

  • Sylvia

    The link to Garnish looks great – their stuff seems so reasonable. The last time I tried this, I was going with a recipe from someone that seemed to like weak stock. LOVE the rich color in yours and can’t wait to try!

  • Liz N.

    Thanks for including the link to the containers! Whenever I see Ina Garten use them, I always wondered where she got them. I’ve been meaning to make my own chicken stock for years and this method seems so easy so it’s inexcusable for me not to make my own now! I love the bonus of having shredded chicken ‘at the ready’ too.

  • Stephanie Doyle

    I’ve never browned my veggies first, I’m going to try it that way this weekend. Thanks for the link to the containers too, it was time for me to get some new ones. I just placed an order and left your blog in the “how did you find us” box.


  • AT

    Love making fresh stock! Its a very soothing process. I like to add a whole, cubed lemon to mine. It brightens the flavor of the whole pot!

  • Robyn

    This is pretty much the exact method I have always used except one time I had some leek scraps in my fridge and I threw them in. It elevated the flavour to a whole new level!

  • annieseats

    It doesn’t really matter, it’s pretty flexible. Enjoy!

  • annieseats

    Yep :)

  • I’ve never made my own stock, but I really want to. It seems easy enough, too.

  • Caroline L.

    I really love how you use every part of something… cuts down the waste and makes homemade food so much more special!

  • Jennifer Crowley

    I’m actually making stock tonight – and I make it the same way you do. The only thing I change is I roast my chicken in a crockpot – veggies on the bottom, then spices rubbed all over the chicken. Put it in the crockpot on low for about 6-8 hrs (depending on size of chicken), and it is perfect. Longer if it’s frozen. We eat the chicken, then during our kitchen cleanup routine strip the bones and seperate out the leftover chicken.

    I’m afraid yesterday I did the chicken for a little too long – the meat is falling off the bones in places, and some of the smaller bones have become a little soft. *shrugs* I’ll make stock from the bones anyway, it just might be a little weak.

    We also save the drippings from the chicken. The solid fats we scrape off and save in the freezer for a special occasion (the rare times when we make biscuts and use animal fat instead of butter, or when we need to re-season our cast-iron) the stuff that turns to jelly we use other times for cooking purposes.

    You might want to mention that freezing in those containers is all well and good, but my fiance and I freeze our stock in muffin tins. Then we pop them out when they are solid. That way if we need the stock for something in smaller servings, we can just pull out a one cup frozen ice cube. This is great when you just need a little to boost flavor, or when I want to make just enough soup for myself, no leftovers. We freeze lots of things in muffin tins, and then on a day when I want soup instead of something else, I can take one out and throw it in a jar and take it to lunch for work.

  • annieseats

    Sure, you can freeze it in anything you like of course. I just prefer these because they take up less space.

  • Stephanie

    I make my own stock using basically the same ingredients, but I put it all in the crockpot before bed and then it’s ready in the morning. So easy and delicious!

  • Shawndra

    Your last two posts are sort of life-changing! Okay, exaggerating, but still, I am pretty excited to get so much use out of a chicken. Much less guilt this way, too. I finally found a farm pretty close by, and we are going to start ordering our meats from them too because of the reasons you mentioned in other posts. You have inspired me in so many ways, Annie! Thank you!

  • mya

    I was wondering if I could omit the chicken and follow this recipe to make a vegetable stock, since I’m a vegetarian and this recipe sounds good!

  • KNatGU

    I add a pinch of turmeric for additional yellow coloring, too.

  • Irene

    I use this method too! It works great and is SO easy. I leave the juices from the chicken in the Crockpot and add the bones back and some water – so easy and so flavorful!

  • Jennifer Jennings

    Ditto. I love Ina Garden, but everytime I see her take THREE whole chickens to make stock – of which she says to throw out after cooking – it makes me crazy! Talk about expensive/wasteful stock. Love this method!

  • Mhewitty

    Get out of my head!!!!! This has been on my to do list for about a week, just the inspiration I needed to get over this first trimester sleepy fest!!!!

  • Lori

    Another idea on where to get those containers is at a restaurant supply store. We have a few in our town and they all sell to the public! Priced well too–I think I just bought 25 containers for about $7.

  • annieseats

    Please see the veggie stock recipe linked within the post. Thanks :)

  • annieseats

    I’m so glad you are excited about them! That’s why I do it, after all :) I love inspiring my readers to do things from scratch. Enjoy!

  • sara

    What do you use to skim off the fat? I always have a hard time getting all the fat off the top!!

  • Nice!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    You make it look so easy! I’m definitely going to try doing roasting the chicken and making the stock. I am always amazed how much it costs to buy at the store and this would take the sting of paying those prices away by making it at home.

  • annieseats

    I just use a spoon. Nothing fancy :)

  • Loretta E

    I usually do the lazy method, but I bet the extra time you spend on yours is worth it! I’ll have to try it this way next time.

  • Jan

    My grocery has cut up whole chicken on sale for $1.00 a pound. How about buying 4 pounds or so and using that just to make stock?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that but you are welcome to experiment. Keep in mind that this version uses only the bones and remnants, not the meat itself.

  • luciole

    I usually just wait until it’s cold and hard and then I pick it up with a spoon.

  • jennifer

    Oh my gosh! My husband and I were just talking about making our own stalk. Me for the no MSG and him for the cost savings. I am so glad you posted this for two reasons 1: it reminded me to do it and 2: It’s not nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. Thank you so much. Love your blog!

  • Anne

    Do you use the skin, the giblets and the drippings in the stock when you mention the carcass and scraps? Or is it strictly just the bones? Thank you! Sorry to bug you with a question that I could figure out with trial and error.

  • annieseats

    I pretty much just use whatever is still stuck to the bones so that may include little scraps of meat and some skin. I personally do not use the giblets, but others may – not sure. Hope that helps!

  • Amy

    I love making chicken stock, too! I need to actually make some more since it’s starting to cool down. Thanks for linking to these containers…I hate using up all of our Rubbermaid containers to freeze broth. :-)

  • Renae

    Love the picture with this recipe! It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity!

  • Pinning this right now. Thanks

  • EllaByNight

    I used this recipe to make stock, and it was delicious! It was nice to see a recipe that only used one carcass, but still got great flavor. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bethany Germane

    I just made this to tonight! I love that you do these posts about basic things. Whenever I have a chicken lying around, or feel the need to make yogurt, I know where to turn! By the way, I almost just dished up a bowl of this stuff and ate it as soup! It’s soooo much better than canned/boxed broth! And really so easy. Thanks for the post and the simple instructions!

  • disqus_AzaDPSh9hP

    Hi Annie! This is probably a dumb question. I’m boiling a chicken now ( this is my method of cooking to get shredded chicken ). Can I do anything with the water the chicken was boiled in? I always feel like I shouldn’t be throwing it out.

  • annieseats

    Not that I know of. You would probably be better off saving the carcass and then making chicken stock as described here. Good luck!

  • Jennifer Crowley

    *nodd*. I guess I’m willing to trade for ease of access.

  • Kristi Kay Ellsworth

    Thanks so much for all of your inspiration! You are awesome!