A great recipe for making a basic and very flavorful chicken stock.

I’ve mentioned before that one of my husband’s nicknames is “Soup Guy,” and this basic chicken stock recipe is the one he makes as the starting point for many of his wonderful soup recipes. Jack will sometimes double this recipe to make a great big pot of this delicious stock – making a soup with half of the stock the day he makes it and freezing the rest for a different soup on another day.

Selecting the right kind of chicken – a fryer (don’t use a roaster!) – is critical when making a chicken stock to ensure that your results are as rich and flavorful as possible. Fryers are younger chickens so they are mostly bone, and the bone is what gives chicken stock the best flavor.

Additionally, my husband swears by adding chicken feet which are among the most flavorful parts of the bird and give a particularly gelatinous and thick quality to the stock. I know – the thought of chicken feet isn’t the most appealing. (You should see our 6-year-old’s face when Daddy comes home with a bag of chicken feet!) But if you can get past those thoughts and include the feet, you’ll be delighted at how good your chicken stock tastes. Occasionally we’ve been able to find chicken feet at our usual supermarket, but the best place to buy them is at an Asian supermarket where chicken feet are more commonplace.

Adapted from The New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neill. (Affiliate Link)

A great recipe for basic chicken stock - A Family Feast

Chicken Stock

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts


  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 fryer chicken 4-5 pounds quartered
  • 5 chicken feet, or 4 chicken wings or 1 turkey wing
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and bruised
  • 1 onion peeled and cut in half
  • 23 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (about one cup)
  • 2 celery ribs tops and all cut into 1 inch pieces (about one cup)
  • ½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley tied with a string
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Put all ingredients into a large stock pot and slowly bring to a boil. Skim foam that floats to the top during this slow heating process and discard.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for four hours. Skim often.
  3. Strain the stock from the solids and discard the onion, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns but save the chicken, and other vegetables.
  4. Remove skin and debone the chicken and reserve.
  5. Press the carrots, celery and garlic through a fine strainer into the stock.
  6. Discard and pulp left in the strainer. Cool the stock, remove and discard the fat that floats to the top and use stock for any recipe calling for a good chicken stock.

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  • Cindi wrote:

    I always make my own chicken stock. My questions (1) are after cooking th the chicken for 4 hours is there flavor left in the chicken? Many recipes say to throw it out because there isn’t any flavor remaining. (2) After pressing the cooked veggies threw the sieve isn’t the stock cloudy? (3) with the chicken noodle soup aren’t the veggies nothing go but mush after cooking them for 4 hours in preparing the stock?


    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cindi – To answer your questions…. (1) There isn’t at lot of flavor left in the chicken after it cooks for 4 hours – sometimes we throw it out, other times we save it and make chicken salad or add it to the finished soup. (2) Yes – it will be somewhat cloudy but if you want a clear stock, you can just strain the liquids (3) We usually throw the vegetables from the stock out after the 4 hours and then we will add new diced vegetables when making a soup out of the stock. Hope that helps!

  • Dianna wrote:

    Do you trim the toe nails off of the chicken feet? I too have heard they make a delicious broth but have heard that you should trim the nails off. Can’t wait to try this stock recipe…just drooling over how great it could be for my chicken and dumplings!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dianna – Yes – you can trim the toe nails off the chicken feet if you’d like…we’ve read that doing so allows more of the collagen to come out of the feet! Trimmed toe nails or not – adding the feet really adds quite a bit of flavor to the stock! Thanks for visiting our site! Martha

  • Cara Ivey wrote:

    I LOVE filling my freezer with homemade stock. Every time I cook, I place any left over onion ends, carrot peelings, celery tops (when I don’t use them), and chicken bones in my “scrap bag” which I keep in the freezer. When that bag fills up, I make a giant batch of kitchen stock. Good stuff, and free!! I NEED to try your Brown Stock recipe. Looks like good stuff.

    • Martha wrote:

      Cara – my husband does the exact same thing…whatever he doesn’t compost gets saved for a future batch of stock! Thanks again for stopping by! Martha

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