How to Make Chicken Stock from Scratch – A Complete Guide

Use this simple and delicious, zero waste chicken stock recipe for soups, stews, chili, and more!

  • Author: Erin Hendrickson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: at least 3 hours
  • Total Time: 185 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 cups 1x



Approximately 5 cups leftover bones (from whole carcass or rotisserie chicken)

2 cups vegetable scraps of choice

10 cups water (or enough to cover the bones and veggies by one inch)

1 Tablespoon chopped, dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.)

2 dried bay leaves

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Combine bone and vegetable scraps in a large soup pot.

2. Add water and herbs and seasonings as desired.

3. Pour in 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.

4. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low.

5. Simmer on low for at least 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the more collagen it will release. *

6. Let cool before draining.

7. Place strainer over a large bowl and strain stock out.

8. Transfer stock to jars or other container for storage. Leave 1/3 jar empty to allow for freezer expansion.


* Chicken stock can be cooked for up to 12 hours or more. The longer it cooks,  the more gelatin like it will be when cooled. To reduce fat and calories, skim off the layer of fat that floats to the top of stock using a spoon.