Roast Chicken Stock


Rich in vital minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin, bone broths are nutritional powerhouses.   They’re inexpensive to make, richly nutritive and deeply flavorful.   We try to incorporate broth into our daily diet for its many benefits.   The cider vinegar used in this recipes helps to release more minerals from the bones.

This version of bone broth makes use of the leftovers from a roast chicken.   Other broths can be made using whole, raw chicken.

roast chicken stock

By Jenny Published: February 17, 2009

  • Yield: approximately ½ gallon

Rich in vital minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin, bone broths are nutritional powerhouses.   They're inexpensive to …


  • 1 Leftover Roast Chicken Carcass (try Perfect Roast Chicken or Roast Chicken with Prosciutto & Herbs)
  • Vegetable Scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar


  1. Pick the chicken carcass clean of useable meat and reserve that for another dish (like Asian Lettuce Wraps with Garlic Scapes).
  2. Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leafs to a crockpot.
  3. Pour filtered water over the carcass to cover.
  4. Add cider vinegar.
  5. Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for 24-hrs or longer.
  6. By adding water to the cooker, you can continue to cook the broth until the chicken bones become flexible and rubbery.
  7. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into mason jars.
  8. The broth should gel, but it is not necessary.

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What people are saying

    • Jenny says

      I steer away from pressure cookers. I read that the high pressure and heat denature the proteins, so I don’t really use them. It’s too bad, really, cause two summers ago I dropped down $110 on a pressure canner and now I’m too spooked to use it this summer. Oh well. I bet it has a decent resell value.

  1. idPaula says

    We use 2-4 roaster chickens a month…. when it’s bee picked over I toss it in a zip lock in my freezer…. every couple month I use my HUGE tamale pot, 5-7 carcasses, a bag of carrots, onions and celery…. also a few old herbs that are dying in my vegie drawer. I find it’s important to bring it to a boil, then turn down to low for hours and hopurs…. the hardest part is draining and cooling this large amount of stock. I measure it into quart zip freezer bags…. lay them FLAT on a cooking sheet and put them in my large freezer. I always have fresh stock!!… HUGE money saver for me too!

  2. Jerian says

    I have been making my broths for awhile using this method and the last several times I have made it my broth has not gelled. I have been wondering if I am not cooking it long enough? I usually do it on the stove on low for at least 24 hours. Am I still getting the same benefits if it is not getting jelly like?

  3. colleen says

    I am making the broth right now, but not only with two roasted chicken carcasses. I have thrown in about 6 or so chicken feet. From what I hear THAT is what makes it jell. My chickens are pastured raised of course…as are the funky feet. My husband and oldest daughter both made an attempt at colds last week and drank up my last batch of broth. Colds stopped in their tracks! (I added coconut oil to theirs along with some garlic.) Thanks for this site!

  4. Handful says

    Ha cool! I just cooked a chicken and am making broth now. Came in to check my emails and here I am! Thanks for the tips – I never used cider vinegar before. Just went out and added some.

  5. says

    I’ve found that when I make my bone broth in the crockpot it doesn’t gell. But if I do it on the stove top for 5 or 6 hours then it does gell. I think that the crockpot cooks it too long and hot (even when on low) and that breaks down the gelatin. I roasted a chicken last night and picked it clean. Today I’ll do a stove top bone broth.

  6. Karen Kremer says

    Living in upstate New York where we heat with wood much of the year, I cook my broth over the woodstove where it can simmer away during the day and overnight. I then put it out on the porch to cool. Doing it this way I can “stock” up on stock in the freezer for the months when I don’t want to make stock on the wood stove or on my electric stove. A real energy saver!

    • Ellen says

      I have a turkey carcass that’s been in the freezer since Thanksgiving. I’d put it in my crockpot but it’s too big. I have a BIG pot and putting it on the wood stove is the perfect solution. Thanks!

  7. Jenny says

    Karen –

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with woodstove cooking.  We used to have a woodstove in our last condo, and it was a wonderful way to keep the home warm, the food hot and our energy consumption low.  I truly hope that our next home has one.

    – Jenny

  8. says

    I have never tried making stock in the crockpot before; I always make it on the stove. This was perfect this weekend because we had a busy day yesterday and I could just have my stock cooking while we were out.

  9. Jennifer says

    I’m totally new to this, so forgive my ignorance….but is the whole things supposed to gel? Or is the solidified part supposed to rise to the top, then you pull it off? If the whole thing gels, how do you use it in a recipe? I made turkey stock for thanksgiving, & i thought it tasted too oily, and nothing ever gelled, but I did have lots of floaty bits throughout the whole thing.

    • says

      The top bit is the chicken fat, an actually is very useful for sealing the broth in the jar & thus keeping the stock fresh longer. I use it to saute’ veggies or just add it with the broth to my next soup. It is nutrient dense- a great quality fat for us to be using, as our Jewish grandmothers kept saying!

  10. Michelle says

    Can I cook my chicken in the crockpot and still do the stock afterwards? Or will that not work? I get fabulous broth doing it in the crockpot, but I’m guessing all the good stuff for the stock may be gone by the time the chicken’s done. What do you think?

  11. says

    My host for Thanksgiving let me take home the turkey bones/carcass, and a lot of the scraped off turkey meat and fat that other “normal” people who aren’t real foodies don’t like to eat. I am making turkey stock in my crockpot in my dorm room as we speak. Now it’s time for me to sleep off all of that turkey and cornbread! So delicious.

    • Jenny says

      Meagan, that’s great! Now you have a beautiful, nourishing broth to take home. I need to make some broth today, too. I swear I could eat that stuff at every meal (and often do!)

  12. Nancy says

    Hi Jenny, I have been using this stock recipe for months. Thank you! It was your roast chicken recipe that got me started on real, pastured chicken roasting and stock making. Anyways, my question is this: should I use all the extras from the bag to make my stock (neck, giblets, etc)? You don’t mention it above so I am wondering. Thank you! Nancy in CA

    • says

      I use the neck for my stock, and the giblets i cook up- then remove the soft parts of the heart & gizzard which i cut into teeny bits & use in soups. The outside of the gizzard, the skin, anything at all not easily chewed, etc goes into the stock. Since liver changes the color & flavor of your stock – not good – I remove it while raw. I pack my livers (in the little paper bag) into a plastic bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of pate’.

  13. Jennifer says

    I’ve always made my stock like this, but I’ve only let it cook for 12 hours. I would have never imagined I could cook it to the point the bones were rubbery. I made your baked chicken tonight, so bones will go in the pot tomorrow morning along with my veggie scraps. 😀 Thanks!

    • janet says

      I freeze all the veggie scraps, peels, stuff almost going bad but not quite (can never seem to use every stalk of celery :) to use later. Then I never use “good” veggies for the broth but the broth still gets the nutrients. Usually a winter’s worth of scraps is enough for all stock making for the year (in the summer I add the scraps to the compost pile- can’t always get to it in winter)

      As for turning to gel- mine usually does. I do it on the stove (though I’m going to try the crock pot next time) for 12-24 hours. I boil mine way down mainly so it doesn’t take up as much space. i can dilute a bit depending on what I am making but I freeze some in ice cube trays and some in 8-14 oz batches in ziplocks. I always toss a broth cube in when I’m making pasta or rice. Pasta won’t stick together and it soaks up all the goodies.

      I’ve never added vinegar but I use it for so much else- why not? :)

  14. Holly says

    A question:

    After we get done with the crockpot and run it through the sieve…Are we supposed to put it in the fridge to cool down and the fat to rise to the top to skim? All the other recipes talk about that but not yours. I am assuming its the same thing right?



  15. Natalie says

    Homemade stock is great stuff! I have a tip I found years ago (I wish I could remember the source) that has been wildly useful for me:

    When starting the stock, keep track of how many cups of water you’ve used. After cooking the stock for hours and straining it and all that, return it to the pot and boil it down until there’s not much left and it’s pretty gel-ly. This part is kind of tricky to get exact, but you want enough left that you can fill an ice-cube tray such that each cube corresponds to the amount of water you added in the beginning. Really, if you boil it down to a bit less than that, that’s fine because the cubes will just be more flavorful. What I do is this: if I used 8 cups of water, I fill eight ice cube spaces with water from the faucet, then pour it into a container to eyeball how much liquid it is. Then I eyeball the stock and just try to get it close. It takes some practice but after doing it a few times, I get very close.

    When you’ve boiled the stock down, let it cool (doesn’t take long since there’s not much liquid left), then pour into the ice cube tray. Freeze. Unmold the cubes of reduced stock and store in a freezer bag; because of the high gelatin content, these will have kind of a mushy texture if you don’t freeze them long/low enough, and if you don’t freeze them enough, they can get stuck together in the bag. It takes a full 24 hours, even in my very good freezer, to get them solid enough.

    Now, whenever you need stock, simply take out a cube and add a cup of water. This saves a LOT of space.

    I found some ice-cube trays that are made of silicone, so they are very flexible for unmolding (also saves you the hassle of the stock cubes getting slightly mushy), and they also happen to be perfectly square, which is just cool-looking.

    You can freeze egg whites in these too, one per cube, and save in freezer bags, which is nice if you’ve been making yolk-heavy recipes and don’t want to waste the whites. I also freeze food scraps for vermicomposting after I’ve run them through the food processor. Freezing stuff in ice cube trays works for a lot of stuff.

  16. Natalie says

    Oh, one thing I wanted to add… I suspect that chicken stock in a crock pot does not appear to gel as much as chicken stock on a stovetop simply because crock pots are designed to not lose any moisture, whereas even many good stovetop pots will lose some moisture when covered. I make all my stock in the crockpot, and it isn’t obviously gel-ly until I strain it and start to boil it down. So I can attest that crockpot stock does have the gelatin in it. I used to make it on the stovetop, but it required too much fussing and checking. I remember it having a more obvious gel, though, but no more gel after I purposely strained and reduced it. So I would guess both methods produce the same amount of gelatin.

    • Malcolm says

      Absolutely. I have one in the pot at this moment. I get a cold, end-of-the-day-buy-me-now BBQ chicken (at reduced price), strip off the larger parts whole and save for other dishes. Simmer the carcass with the veggies & experiment with herbs. You do need to make sure that the BBQ flavor supplied by the market is one that you want. I admit to being a beginner at this as I did no cooking prior to retiring, while my wife was still working, and my methods may not be too refined.

      • Allison says

        Is it alright to use the juice from the pastured turkey I just roasted? After I roasted it and picked off the meat I poured the turkey juice in to a large pot and stuck it in the fridge. There’s a lot of it . It is wiggly and solid like jello and I’m guessing it’s mostly the fat. The bones took up so much room that I filled the crock pot with water and a few bones still stuck out. So I didn’t even try to put the juice from roasting the turkey in. I figured if it’s ok to use it I can pour off the broth after 24 hours, put the bones back in the crock pot and then add the fat. I am hoping this fat is good for you so we don’t have to waste it by throwing it out. I appreciate any help anyone can offer on this. Thanks.

  17. tettoffensive says

    What are the differences between stock and broth? You make this one with a carcass and on the broth recipe you have a whole chicken. Are there different nutritional benefits between the two?

  18. Kristen says

    How do you store the broth? Once in the mason jars can I put it in the pantry or do I need to put it in the freezer?

    • Matt says

      @Kristen – you can store it in your pantry if you pressure can it (home canning in glass jars). If you don’t can it (20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts) in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure (adjusted for altitude) in home canning jars with proper lids and bands, then freezing is the only safe way to store it.

      I realize you asked your question a long time ago. I decided to answer despite the long time that has passed only because of the important safety issue you raised.

  19. Lynda C says

    My mom used a hammer to break chicken bones up before browning them in a frying pan to make chicken gravy. Think she said it gave it a better flavor, would this work similarly for the broth?

  20. MAr says

    My stock gels quite well, I had no idea it was good… However I have two problems>
    When making the stock, it dries up real quick, so I have to keep adding water if its supposed to cook for hoooouuuurs… Also, after I am done and let the stock cool down in a jar, all spices go to the bottom, so if I just scoop out a portion of the gel, it is simply not to flavourful…
    Any tips, advises? What am I doing wrong? How can I improve???

  21. Mike Corbeil says

    Hello Jenny,
    I have a question and don’t think that there’s any kind of automatic reply notification with the comment service here, but I’ll pose the question anyway.

    In your recipe for “Beef Stock Recipe” you state to exclude scraps from brassicas and this isn’t stated for this roast chicken stock recipe. So, are brassica scraps okay for this recipe?

  22. Candi May says

    This is the way I’ve always made my broth, basically because I’m cheap. I always use my crock pot when possible instead of the stove top or oven to save electricity (crock pots use very little electricity)! That means I actually “roast” the chicken in it first (just put it in dry sprinkled with a small dab of salt and let it go!). Then I pull the meat off the bone and serve it in a bowl big enough to hold all of it plus all of the broth made from the ‘roasting’ – keeps it juicy while we eat. After dinner, the drained meat gets put in the fridge for chicken salad, fried rice, cold chicken sandwiches, etc. I put the ‘first’ broth back in the crock pot with all of the carcass, a tablespoon or so of ACV, seasonings, the giblets, any vegetables I’m adding, and enough water to cover. Yum, yum, yum!

  23. Diane says

    When I make broth, I use raw chicken backs. I add a slight bit of grape seed oil to a large stock pot and heat it up. Then add the chicken backs and let them roast and brown. Then I remove the backs, add veggies, stir until they start to smell , re-add the chicken, add water to cover and boil for about 30 minutes and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for another hour. I then drain out the chicken and veggies then boil the broth again for 20-30 minutes. Let cool put in my “special” containers and refrigerate until cool, then move to the freezer.

  24. Mary Anne says

    Regarding the crockpot, I read on Dr. Mercola’s website that you should gently boil the stock first and skim off the scum (impurities) I did this and transferred it to the crock pot for 24 hours. Broth turned out great.

    For Thanksgiving I was offered a smoked turkey breast. I made stock out of 4 lbs of turkey wings, from a woman’s day recipe and from that made a yummy gravy.

    Regarding gel, my broth never turns to gel until I refrigerate it.

  25. dannydan says

    Thank you for your time and energy Jen and ALL OF YOU for making this site awesome! Please elaborate on roasting the bones/carcass…

  26. dannydan says

    Thank you for your time and energy Jen and ALL OF YOU for making this site awesome! Please elaborate on roasting the bones/carcass… I found recipes… sorry for the waste of time, please delete my original post, thank you again.

  27. Anna says

    I just bought a slow cooker and I have question. I turned it on low for 24 hours as you said but it wasn’t boiling/simmering at all, it looked just sitting in hot water to me. Is it supposed to be like that or my low is too low?)

  28. Linda C says

    I just don’t know how anything can be nutrient rich after cooking for 24 hours..
    The DNA structural bonds break from the heat
    and then, what’s left? I just wonder…
    Keeping the integrity of soup-
    I cook cut up chicken in water with seasonings the minimal time to cook through; remove chicken- set aside to cool or refrigerate. After cooled, remove skin, debone- refrigerate. Same with water chicken cooked in- refrigerate overnight- skim fat off- save for future. Add chicken and vegetables now to broth and simmer for 20 miinutes at most.

    • Jenny says

      Length of time only affects some, not all nutrients. Length of time often affects enzymes, antioxidants and vitamins; however no one is eating broth for enzymes, antioxidants or vitamins. People eat broth for protein, particularly those proteins that make gelatin, and trace minerals, both of which need a significant amount of time and a consistent low Heat to be extracted from the bone and joints. By cooking your broth only for 20 minutes, you are not “keeping the integrity of your soup;” rather, you are losing out on the very nutrients that we seek in broth by cooking it only for a fraction of the time that it should. Moreover, your missing out on the exquisite flavor that a broth should offer, which cannot be produced in 20 minutes.

  29. Sandy Bet says

    After roasting a chicken I am left with greasy liquid, which I put in the fridge. The top of the liquid becomes fat. I throw it out, and I keep the gel underneath. I know people use it, but I’m new to cooking other than simple things, I recently retired, and now that I have time, I need to learn how to cook the best chicken soup ever. I’ve always thrown out the gel eventually, not knowing what to do with it, and especially not knowing what it’s made of. I’m trying to get my blood sugar under control, I think if I can make a great chicken soup, it will help. Could you please answer?

  30. Samantha says

    If I boiled the chicken the first time to cook it and have some broth, should I roast the bones in the oven (after thawing, they’ve been in the freezer) before making bone broth in the slow cooker? Wasn’t sure if the roasting before is for beef mostly, or for chicken that has yet to be roasted.
    Thank you for helping with this great information!!!

  31. says

    hi jenny youre the bomb great job on your undertakings my wife makes bone broth it has helped heal her question she brings crockpot to boil with 2 chickens that have been baked and meat pulled off and veggies when it starts to boil she turns it down to low approx. 24 hrs the cooker has low high and warm when she cooks with low it still bubbles and will burn the edges of veggies the bones fall apart and can only be used once is the low setting maybe too high should we use warm setting ive looked at other bone broth pictures and they dont look burned like hers whats your thoughts jerry

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