perfect uncluttered chicken stock Recipes

perfect, uncluttered chicken stock

I have spent a spectacular amount of time over the last seven years lying to you, pretending to care about soup when I, in fact, did not. I had good intentions, I mean, I get it: Soup is Healthy and Wholesome and Good For You and Warming and Comforting and all sorts of other Hallmark card-like sentiments that I’m not immune to the charms of, but the fact is, I wasn’t a soup person (so many spoonfuls exactly like the one before until I died of boredom may have been a description I’d have used, if I was being honest) and most of the soup recipes I <a href="shared here stemmed from attempts at changing this, with varying degrees of success. Most were only temporary.

let's talk about soup
chicken wings + onion + garlic + water + salt

Yet despite my repeated efforts at recipe-based solutions, it was not a specific combination of ingredients that turned me into the not-even-faking-it soup booster I am today, but two structural shifts. The first was an appreciation of garnishes, and I don’t mean a flurry of chopped parsley, but real, substantial ones, like crisped chickpeas, broiled cheddar, toasted cumin seed crema, and baked potato fixings. With these things half-stirred into the soup below them, no two spoonfuls were exactly alike again, and I felt I’d been released from soup monotony.

slow-cooker in the living room

But garnishes are, as they should be, really just the icing on the cake. When there were a lot of them, I was a soup person. When they were less present, I was back to square one and knew I’d never truly been converted to Team Soup. And then, two winters ago, I went on a slow-cooker bender. You see, my kitchen was overwhelmed with a constant mess of recipes I was testing for the cookbook. Some days were cake days, other days I was testing an egg recipe I never wanted to see again or a salad that was, at best, a side dish, and only a few of these experiments reliably yielded at the end of the day something that resembled dinner. Trust me when I tell you that there’s nothing more depressing than cooking all day but ordering take-out for dinner. So, I kept my slow-cooker set up in the living room (because I have a stupid one-counter kitchen and also there would have been so much explaining to do if it was in the background of every cookbook photo), and attempted each morning to fill it with a new recipe that might actually provide us with some dinner.

strained stock

At the end of it, I had hoped to have a great big stash of new slow-cooker favorites to share, but I’m sorry to say, the experiment was largely a wash. I mean, there were good and decent meals here and there, but not a lot I’d crank up the smittenkitchen broadcast machine to tell you about. Believe me, I was bummed too, and was about to return my slow-cooker to the top shelf for good, when I decided to make one last thing, an impossibly — almost suspiciously — simple chicken stock.

chill the broth (my fridge is an unapologetic mess)

Like most of us, I’d previously made chicken stock with a mish-mosh of stuff: onions and carrots, celery, a parsnip and leeks, a backbone and a neck, a bay leaf, some peppercorns and often what felt like two steps shy of a partridge in a pear tree. They were okay, but none were good enough that I made a habit of it. It always felt like so much work, especially in a tiny kitchen, all to make a flavored watery mixture that would get lost in a pot of soup.

you can add vegetables to make soup
give vegetables a simmer

But this one changed everything. Here, there are no carrots or celery, no pepper or bay leaves; instead, there are but five ingredients: chicken wings, one onion, one clove of garlic, salt and water. You’re not tied to your stove while it simmers away for hours and hours, you just put the whole thing in a slow-cooker and go on with your life. And what comes out is nothing short of life-changing, I mean, seriously, we woke up the morning after it had been simmering all night and thought a Yiddishe bubbeleh had invited herself in to feed her kids a proper meal and we practically ran to the kitchen to hug her. It smelled like the heavens had opened up. These five ingredients make the most cleanly flavor, uncluttered and robust golden stock I’d ever had in my life, and when I swapped out the boxed stocks and condensed bouillons I’d been using for this, it single-handed made me the soup obsessive I’d previously only feigned to be. When it’s backbone tastes this amazing, you will never fall asleep in your soup again.

you could add some noodles, too

One year ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts
Two years ago: Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Biscuits
Three years ago: Spaghetti with Chickpeas
Four years ago: Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Five years ago: Cabbage and Mushroom Galette
Six years ago: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Seven years ago: Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Perfect, Uncluttered Chicken Stock
Barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

I make this just the way CI told me to, except I use only one (instead of three) garlic cloves. I felt the larger amount made this a garlicky chicken stock, which is not what I was going for. You can add anything you’d like (more vegetables or a bay leaf or peppercorns or anything that makes your soup-loving heart sing) however, I would so love it if you could just once try it like this and hopefully understand this bliss of which I extol. It’s simple and golden and robust and the flavor is outstanding.

Yield: 3 quarts

3 pounds uncooked chicken wings
3 quarts water
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste*

Place all ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5.

Strain out chicken parts, onion and garlic. The stock is now ready to use, or, you might prefer to do as we do, and put it in the fridge to chill until any fat solidifies on the top. (Though, there is really very little here, and some might prefer to leave it.) Once defatted, you can now use it or freeze it until needed. (More usage and freezing details below.)

A few more things:
What if you don’t have a slow-cooker? One can spend a horrific amount of time (trust me) trying to figure out what the correct temperature of a slow-cooker is, only to realize that while many hover around 175 degrees F, even more have no temperature control, and simply deliver a constant heat to ingredients eventually bringing them to a very low simmer. There’s no reason to get hung up on this. To make the equivalent stock on your stove, aim for slow and low — a very, very low simmer that you keep going as long as you have patience for, but ideally 4 to 5 hours. You may need to replace some water as it cooks as pots tend to evaporate more water than slow-cookers.

How should I use this? You can use this as stock or broth in any soup. You can use it to cook grains or beans. But most importantly, the flavor is so wonderful that you can have it straight. It particularly excels in broth-y soups, like Chicken Noodle, Matzo Ball and Italian Wedding-style soups, where you directly taste the stock. Here, I show you how I simmered in some vegetables (and later, chicken chunks) to make a chicken noodle soup. Next, I’d love to talk about soup noodles, but at 1,500-plus words here, I think I’ve done run out of space, eh?

How should I store this? If I’m not using it immediately, I divide it into 1 quart freezer bags and freeze them flat. This is a great old trick from Real Simple magazine, as the flat bags can easily be dipped in hot water for quick defrosting. 1 quart of stock in gallon bags will freeze even thinner and flatter. They also stack well in the freezer. I won’t lie; I felt like a SuperDuperDomesticDiva when I can heat up one of these with some simple vegetables and noodles when one of us is getting sick. Then I remember I don’t want to set the table and hate doing dishes and go back to being myself. Anyway, it can also be frozen in ice cube trays for tiny amounts (great to add flavor to cooked grains or beans) and CI recommends nonstick standard muffin pans for 1/2-cup servings.

Why chicken wings? In Cook’s Illustrated’s chicken broth tests, they found that both chicken legs along and necks and backs lent a “livery” taste to the broth. In my own experiments, saving the backs of chickens that I take apart in the freezer to later make broth with, I reluctantly agree (i.e. I wish it were some other way). Chicken wings, with their high bone-to-flesh ratio, made most refined and full-flavored broth and it took me a single sip of this stock to be fully converted.

Do I have to toss the cooked wings when I’m done? Yes and no. I find them overcooked, but not really inedible, so it’s a matter of preference. One thing I love about this recipe is that wings have so little usable flesh, it feels less wasteful than making chicken with larger parts can be (especially because they usually get overcooked and tough, thus, at least I do want to eat them).

* What’s the difference between stock and broth? In most grocery store aisles, they’re used interchangeably but technically, there are small small differences. Stock is often heavier in bones and things that will add body, as this recipe is, though it doesn’t have to be. However, it is unseasoned, which means to make this a true stock, you would skip the salt. Stock is often used in restaurants to make reductions (it is really the backbone of restaurant cooking), and if you reduce something already salty, obviously, you will have an oversalted mess. So, salt is added when needed for final dishes.

Why did this take you two years to tell us about it, Deb?! I was reluctant at first to share this recipe (despite being unable to stop myself from gushing about it to anyone who asked and a great many people who did not) because it felt excessively lush to me. I mean, three pounds of wings just to throw them away? Given, it’s quite easy to buy wings inexpensively in bulk (sometimes as disturbingly cheap as $1/pound), but if you prefers to buy local/cage-free/etc.-type chicken, it’s not exactly the cheapest way to approach what’s supposed to be the most economical kitchen ingredient, designed to use up scraps. But, when I actually ran the numbers, using wings on the priciest end of the spectrum (here, organic/antibiotic-free $3.99/pound and each pound of parts yields 1 quart of stock) the equivalent stuff from the box (the organic, free-range broth I’d buy is $4.50/quart, boasted such lovely ingredients as “yeast extract” and “chicken flavor), I realized that even if the taste didn’t speak for itself (it will), I’d been wrong about the cost.

When are you going to make a life-changing vegetable broth, for the rest of us? Soon. But it’s far more complicated because I don’t think that there is one magical combination of vegetables that will yield the ideal vegetable stock, it’s more about what flavors you enjoy lingering in the background your soups. Boy, I’m glad we had this talk because the kind of vegetable stock I’d like to make just totally hit me.

[New additions to the list, based on comments below]

Why is my stock so thick? I’m sorry I didn’t mention this sooner, but if you’ve never made stock before, it might have been a surprise to find that it became like Jell-o in the fridge over night. This is a good thing; this is excellent! It actually became exactly like Jell-o because stocks cooked for a long time with bones release the natural collagen in them. Stocks that jiggle when cool are the ones with the best and deepest flavors. Once warmed (even a little), it will immediately re-liquefy — do not fret.

I had expected more flavor. If this stock ended up not having the flavor you were hoping for, there are a couple directions you could go in:

  1. Add more salt. Please note, there is very little salt in here, less than half of most commercial brands. [I did a bunch of boring math from the back of a box of stock and another from bouillon cubes but decided to spare you the snore.] Salt (and sometimes MSG) definitely gives consumers the impression of more flavor where there may not be. You will probably want to more heavily season this before using it. I didn’t want to make it too salty in case someone wants to reduce it later for other uses or sauces; it will quickly seem too salty if reduced a bit.
  2. * It’s also possible that your slow-cooker did not cook the stock as much as this recipe assumes it will. As I mentioned earlier, slow-cookers can really vary in cooking temperatures, so if it tastes rather flat to you, even after 10 hours on low, there is little harm in putting it back for a few more hours.
  3. You can reduce it further to concentrate the flavor. This is standard procedure in most restaurant kitchens; large pots of stock are made and applied to various dishes in various concentrations. It wasn’t my intention here — I use this without reduction in soups and other recipes, as I find it just right if not a little intense, but in your kitchen, you should always be free tweak things so that they work the best for you.

* Edited again to add: However, upon further consideration, my first choice would be #2, to cook it longer. With this many bones and that little water, I’m more and more convinced that any lack of flavor just means that it’s possible your slow-cooker is more gentle on heat than others (I do know that mine is on the robust/running-hot side), and that it would benefit from more cooking time. The flavor is there, in the bones, it’s just a matter of whether the stock has been cooked enough to access it.

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409 comments on perfect, uncluttered chicken stock

  1. Working full time and having the baby has me wanting to use the slow cooker more than I have. We do chicken stock in the pressure cooker, but now you have me intrigued. Also, are those yams and cherry tomatoes in the slow cooker’s reflection? So mysterious!

    1. deb

      Brandon — Chopping them is especially good for speedier recipes, because the stock gets at the bones’ content faster. There’s a very quick Edna Lewis one that chops all the bones… I’ll add the link in a few minutes.

  2. This is going to sound insane – but have you tried making double stock? I just had to do it for a book I’m writing and – wow. Totally ridiculous amount of effort, but it was as if the angels sang to me.

  3. Pip

    I make a lot of soup and this is really great – thanks! I just wanted to ask, why do you have to throw away the wings after the simmer? Can you not pick off the meat to use, or has it gone tough or something?

  4. Randi

    Thanks for this Deb. I have a small chicken carcass in the freezer from MC’s Chicken with 2 Lemons. I will pick up some wings to round out the 3 lbs.

    I will have to try with all wings as well to see how different the taste is.

  5. Killian

    Just curious – why does the hyperlink for “kids” link to Urban Dictionary? Did I miss something?

    This stock looks amazing. I have been searching for something like this. I’ll be making it next weekend!

  6. Jen

    Just another tip that may sound a little crazy – breast milk storage bags. They are small, hold 8 ounces, are sterile. I had way too many leftover after realizing pumping wasn’t the way for me and that’s what I’ve been using them for.

  7. Jenna B.

    I so appreciate your detailed and thorough your approach to presenting recipes. Once again, a question I had at the beginning of your post was answered by the end (How should I store this?). I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on soup noodles, as I recall reading from you at one time that you did not enjoy chicken noodle soup because the noodles tended to overcook well before the other ingredients reached their prime state, an issue that also tends to bother me.

    One question: If you do have on hand other chicken parts such as neck and backbone, would this same pared down ingredient list work with them instead of some of the wings? Or is it something special about the wings that makes this work?

  8. amanda

    This looks like something I’d love to make a big batch of and freeze for later. Thanks, Deb! I’m looking forward to the noodles recipe, too! (I assume that is what you were aluding to in “a few more things” question 2) I always have problem when I make homemade noodles that they taste gummy. But if you tell me how to do it, I know it will be great! Thanks (as always) for sharing!

  9. Having only made my own vegetable and dried-chickpea-cooking-liquid broths before to store in my freezer (but as a big purchaser of chicken stock), I’m excited to try this out!

    (And looking forward to your take on a life-changing vegetable stock!)

  10. Jillian L

    Perfect timing! This will be my stock for thanksgiving, the night before I’ll start the crock pot, and then in the morning I’ll have a big pot of broth for the day of cooking. Perfect!! Thank you!!! And although it may not be as amazing as this broth, I really like the crock pot idea for stocks, so all of my freezer scraps may just have to go into the crock pot for stock rather than taking up my stove.

  11. I agree with Beth! I can’t believe it never occurred to me to try the slow cooker! It’s a rainy cole day here, and now I’m jonesing for some soup :)

  12. DaddyBen

    Foster Farms sells a stewing hen, but I’ve never tried it. At one local grocery chain (Town and Country Markets) as well as every local Asian market, there is a frozen stewing hen available. I don’t know the brand, but they come in a clear and red plastic bag, and cost less than $2 for each whole bird.

    We often have soup that start with a frozen hen (sometimes onion/celery/carrot) and water in the slow cooker. Fantastic, low-fat (I don’t skim it!) broth. We add chicken Italian sausage, pasta, garlic, zucchini, and carrot for most of our soups.

  13. Victoria

    Do you peel the onion/garlic? I know you say in the ingredients to chop the onion, but do you leave the peel in the stock while cooking? I’ve seen stock recipes where they suggest to leave that stuff on while simmering, so I was curious if you did that to develop the flavor even more.

  14. Oh I love a good homemade stock! I’ve never tried the wings-only technique, but I’ve heard they made a wonderful stock. Though admittedly somewhat creepy, I also love using chicken feet in my stock. A local farmer I buy chickens from always includes the feet for the sole purpose of making stock, so I toss them and the wings in with the backs when making stock. One unexpected perk is you can pretend you’re a crankity old witch brewing an elaborate potion full of chicken feet… everyone does that, right? Right?

    Can’t wait to try your version!

  15. Rachel

    The best tip I’ve learned for stock is to add a few tablespoons of vinegar (I prefer apple cider)…it helps take all that goodness out of the bones and it results in a super dark rich and amazing tasting broth. I also use the slow cooker…but will do 24-36 hours. The combination of the two makes for the best broth!

  16. Amanda B.

    I feel like this is a dumb question, but my mother always said the only dumb question is one you don’t ask so… Is it possible/okay to make stock with the bones/skin/carcass of roast chicken, rather than raw? Also, is it worthwhile at all to salvage the meat from the cooked wings after you use them for stock?

  17. Paige

    I’m with Pip — do you have to throw away the chicken wing meat at the end?

    Thanks, thanks, thanks, for what looks like a wonderfully simple recipe! I’m going to try it tonight, I hope!

  18. Katie

    I would love to know the details on the chicken noodle soup you have in these pictures. Did I miss that part? Specifically, what kind of noodles did you end up with? And did you only add carrots, celery and chicken chunks to the stock?

    1. deb

      Using the chicken wings — I find the meat overcooked by the time the broth is done, but if you’d like to try salvaging them, some may not mind it. One thing I love about the chicken wings for stock is that there’s so little meat on each wing, it feels less wasteful to me than using larger chicken parts.

      Molly — Yup, yams and tomatoes. I had gone to the market and just dump everything on the table, and then dinner comes around and we need the table and I wonder why things never put themselves away. I confess that my slow-cooker experiments were actually working my way through the CI slow-cooker cookbook. I only got to a handful of recipes, but never found a favorite. This, however, made it all worthwhile. I am ACHING to create more s-c recipes.

      Olga — No, what’s double-stock? Saute or roast the bones first?

      Katie — I’m hoping to put a post up tomorrow about soup noodles. I ran out of space here.

      Kristi — I have also heard that chicken feet make excellent stock. Again, you have the high bone-to-flesh ratio that you have here, and it’s good bones and not a lot of… organ-y areas that make good stock. Elise from Simply Recipes is on Team Chicken Feet.

      Victoria — I do peel them, but you can leave the skins on if you’d like.

      Jean — I definitely think it could work in an oven too. In an oven, I’d use the long cooking time. On the stove, as I mentioned, the shorter (because you’ll have it at a low simmer the whole time).

  19. Misha

    Yum. I love a good, real chicken stock. I haven’t purchased a carton of stock in several years now. It just seems silly when I can make it myself. I freeze this in quart mason jars (because I have room in my freezer). The trick to freezing in glass is to make sure to leave at least 2-3 inches of headspace on the top, and freeze first without a lid on.

    I would recommend checking out the cookbook Love Soup for some amazing vegetable broth recipes. I am not a vegetarian, but I made soup from this cookbook all year long and my family loves it.

  20. OMG, I can hardly wait to try this. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the “livery” flavor from using lots of different parts. I came to the conclusion, a long time ago, that I could never, ever, in a million years, make enough beef or chicken stock to cook with. So, I have purchased tons of it in my lifetime.Using my, better than boxed but not the best ever, stock for my best soups. Half the battle is won. The beef stock battle has been going on for years. I have great beef stock, but can never get ahead. It is always used for the best gravy in the world. I have to cook a roast JUST for the stock in order to make Onion Soup. Thanks again for another taste thrill. G

  21. Matt

    Roasting the chicken wings first is a little bit fancier but works really well at adding a deeper flavour. You can improve the browning with milk powder, like in Heston Blumenthal’s recipe.

  22. Heather

    So, stupid question: the chicken wings are raw?!

    I don’t think I can bring myself to throw away the meat, even for the best tasting broth. I think the only way I would is if you were going to just have it straight (e.g. chicken noodle soup). But even so!

    I just recently tried to make it for the first time after roasting (my first) chicken. It smelled amazing when just the chicken carcass was simmering in it – but then I added all the other stuff and the lovely chicken taste seem to all but disappear in the end product. So maybe I will try a compromise – I have another carcass in the freezer, and maybe this time I’ll just add the onion and garlic (and salt) and see how it turns out.

  23. I’ll make a confession too: the only soup that I really and truly love – as in crave in the night love – is Heinz tinned tomato soup. Isn’t that terrible? I’ve never bothered making my own chicken stock, as it seemed like a lot of effort for, well, soup. But you have inspired me – from one not-really-a-soup-lover to another, I will give this recipe a go… Thank you for sharing.

  24. Michelle

    Hi Deb, I am a big fan! Love your site! I have made my own chicken stock for a few years so I wanted to comment, the way I was taught was to use the chicken carcas without skin from a roasted chicken, then throw in whatever I have,veggies, etc. The stock turns out great and you’re not wasting all that meat. I get my chickens free range from a neighbor so I don’t think I will be using just the wings. I love the idea of using the crockpot! Thanks for all your great ideas!

  25. Elly

    Deb (and whoever else would like to weigh in), this may seem like a silly question, but how do you go about straining out the chicken parts, onion and garlic. I haven’t made this recipe (yet!), but love making chicken stock in a crock-pot until it comes to fishing out all the ingredients without making a huge mess. I’ve tried several methods, but wanted to ask some other cooking folks how they do it.

    1. deb

      Elly — I place a fine-mesh strainer over a very large bowl (here, I used a glass Kitchen Aid bowl, because it’s one of my biggest, plus spouted) and ladle everything in. I might just pick out the wings with tongs, to make it easier, as they’re not very ladle-able. From there, I let it chill until solid in the fridge, skim off the solidified fat, and process it as desired, usually freezing it off in quart-sized bags.

  26. Genius. Thanks Deb! I can’t wait to try this. I was wondering how cost-effective it would be to use high quality chicken, but you answered it. I never should have thought to question you. :)

  27. I can’t believe you waited this long to share the soup indifference. I thought I was alone in a soup-loving world–this bored freak gazing sadly at yet another spoonful of puree…

  28. Shellie

    Elly – I let the stock cool for a bit, then pour it from the stockpot into a large glass mixing bowl through a mesh strainer, such as this one: It’s a little annoying because you have to pour slowly, but that’s what works for me. If you’re using a slowcooker rather than a stockpot, it could be super-convenient to strain directly into a large pot (as long as it fits in your fridge!) because after refrigerating it and skimming the fat, you could reheat directly in the pot. (Unless you’re just freezing the stock, in which case this doesn’t really help :) )

  29. Lynn

    I make stock with this method every time I roast a chicken. I just use the chicken carcass instead of the wings. Also, I find that if you leave the skin on the onion (which I just quarter), it gives the broth a wonderful rich color.

    If you strain the broth into one of those fat separator things (I line the top with cheesecloth) you get fat-free broth with no hassle.

  30. i’m excited about this, the only thing is, I find with my slow cooker that it leaves kind of a weird plasticy/metallic kind of taste to the food. have you ever had this problem? do you have a solution? (I’ve tried washing it before and after I use it, and soaking it for long periods of time. it is a ceramic crock pot, if that helps)

  31. Daniela

    This looks wonderful. I would throw in some glass noodles, shredded chicken, cilantro and green onion. top with some fried shallots and it would be one of my kids’ favorite soups from our local Banh Mi restaurant.

    1. deb

      Daniela — I really want to come over for dinner.

      Lara — No. I am wondering, what kind of bowl does yours have, metal and coated or ceramic? Are there any chips?

  32. Shazza

    Bless you and thank you, thank you, thank you! All my issues with soup/stock addressed and solved! Did I say “thank you”? :)

  33. eclecticdeb

    HOW DID YOU KNOW I was thinking about making homemade broth today? The boxed stuff from Trader Joe’s is a good stand-in…but when I make it myself (usually with a leftover chicken carcass), anything it’s used in gets a “wow this is good!”. The mexican mart has really cheap chicken wings and feet — in the slow cooker now.

  34. the chicken wings are a great idea, though admittedly i’d have a hard time throwing them in a pot for stock! i quit making my own from the carcasses due to being less than thrilled with the taste, so i’d love to try this out. (i don’t have a slow cooker, but i have used my dutch oven and baked it at 180F overnight to the same effect.)

  35. Diana

    Are the wings completely unedible once the stock is done? Seems like a silly question–but is it possible to save the wings to eat afterward?

  36. A couple things:

    1) I bought a slow cooker, put it in the cabinet, and have never used it (mostly because I felt I bought one that was too big for my cooking needs). So, now it has a use, and I love that I don’t have to babysit this stock recipe like the ones I make on the stove – thank you.

    2) My husband is getting his wisdom teeth pulled in a couple weeks and I wanted to make a protein-filled stock for him to drink. This one is perfect as it cuts down on time and effort – thank you. Maybe, if I’m nice, I’ll add a carrot or two for extra nutrition :)

    An all-around helpful recipe. Thank you so much!!

  37. I have to say that I love soup so much that I cannot keep myself rolling in enough stock to keep up with my soup habit! It is always a MUCH better turnout with the homemade stuff, so maybe I’ll try your version for those times when I’ve run out. Thanks!

  38. Tracy

    I’ve just entered the Paleo world and just finished a Whole30 ( Some of the Whole30 people keep a crockpot of stock brewing all the time, pulling out broth daily and adding filtered water back in. I tried it for a week and loved having warm broth available whenever I wanted it. I stopped because I got sick of my house smelling like chicken all the time, but some people in the group keep their crockpot out on the patio to solve the smell problem. I’m making your recipe as we speak.

  39. I love chicken soup the way we do it in Portugal, where I live: it’s just chicken parts, the ones we don’t use for stews (backs, breast bones, wings, feet – yes, feet – and giblets) boiled in water and a little salt until they are fall-apart tender. Then we remove the chicken, add some small pasta shapes (my kid loves alphabet chicken soup, but orzo works great too), just enough to make it slightly hearty, you still want this to be essentially a broth, not a psta dish. Then we pick the meat off the bones, cut up the giblets and add these to the broth. Try it some time, it tastes amazing and is about my favorite soup to have on a cold winter evening. And yes, you can do without the giblets, but I strongly recommend cooking them in the broth even if you toss them later, they add great flavor. Trust me on this one :-)

  40. Julie

    I make stock like this with the bones of a store bought rotisserie chicken after I’ve picked off all the meat I want. It’s really good!

  41. Leslie

    Ive been doing this for years…tho
    I’ve gotta say, my stock is even more golden than yours ;). I get a 3 lb rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5. I take most of the meat off, than throw the carcass in the crockpot with roughly chopped carrots, onion, garlic and celery…I not only let it cook all night, but the whole next day. I can’t tell you how eat this is and what an amazing and healthy stock comes out! Glad you discovered the
    Slow cooker in making stock :).

  42. Yay! This is wonderful. I am a committed soup lover but also a bit of an impostor, and whenever I write up a soup recipe I magically fail to mention anything about the kind of stock I’m using. I have even used the powdered stuff in a pinch. True story. But this is easy and, in my mind, absolutely economical. Thanks Deb! Can’t wait to try it.

  43. I was a convert to stock before I got a slow cooker, but even so…making it in the slow cooker is the best thing ever, and on its own totally justifies the purchase. (They aren’t necessarily so expensive as kitchen gadgets go, but one still must justify the space they take up). I do like using my smaller one for dals and nicely cooked dry beans.

  44. Nancy in CA

    Doggone it, Deb, did you HAVE to make me start craving matzo ball soup?

    I am going to make turkey stock today, now instead of buying necks, I may have to switch to wings. But I just can’t give up my stock bag in the freezer with various parts, I guess we’ll make some super-deluxe wings-only stock for some purposes, and use the stock bag for others. We pressure-can ours in both pints and quarts so we can just store in the pantry, and usually have an open pint jar in the fridge for when we just need a slosh or two.

  45. Shani

    This looks like the answer to my prayers. Can you double (or triple) it without sacrificing flavor? I’d love to have a big stock-fest and, well, “stock” my freezer.

  46. Elizabeth

    I love this! I’ve been making stock in the crockpot for years, because it is so easy. I adore set and forget types of recipes.

    I make a huge mess when I strain my stock, since I use my colander with a bowl under it first to get the big chunks out, then I use a mesh strainer to get the small bits. That’s a lot of dishes in the end, but it goes quickly.

  47. pam

    I always make my stock because I don’t want salt and chemicals in my stock. I have never been happy with the way it turned out. THANK YOU. I’m going to try this right away and stock up (no pun intended) for my Thanksgiving cooking. So many great ideas coming from you lately!

  48. Angie

    I had fallen back into buying cartons of stock after a few years of making it…and feeling how tedious it was. As we’re trying to be more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies…I’ve been trying to get back to making my own stock again. Excited to try this out, soup is one of our staples through the week :)

  49. Linda

    I cheat and use what is left over from a rotisserie chicken to make a stock. I scrape off most of the fat/gel, put the carcass in a big pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer. After an hour, I remove the chicken pieces, add my chopped veggies or whatever I want, and within another hour have fresh soup.

    I will try this in the slow cooker. I try to cook from scratch to avoid excess salt.

  50. OK, Deb, I’m giving you an *extreme* side-eye because this recipe seems so basic and bare-bones (pardon the pun). I like what you are saying about only using wings, it makes sense. But no carrot, celery, leek, clove, bay leaf? And it’s supposed to be even more flavorful?? I am going to have to do a side-by-side comparison and find out for myself. But you’ve never steered me wrong before; I might just have to trust you and eat my words your broth. :)

  51. Jenn

    Three quick comments:

    1) so exciting! this is the same way I make it, except I usually have two cloves of garlic, and two thicker slices of fresh ginger–just as my (Taiwanese) mama taught me :)

    2) if you don’t want to put in the fridge to “de-fat,” there are these “fat skimmers” that are incredible, and can be found at pretty much any asian grocery store for $2-$3. I love this thing!

    3) fun way to store the soup–we always make a ton of stock, and freeze whatever we’re not using immediately in ice cube trays! Very useful, if you only need a little bit of stock (only cooking for my fiance and myself), and you don’t want to be making stock every other day.

  52. Amy

    I must try this. And the bonus for me is that we have a cat that verges on dangerously underweight at times, so we constantly have to try and tempt him with new foods. The vet said that it would be fine to give him chicken, preferably dark meat. And we already know he loves a little broth over dried food.

    So I’ll get more use out of those chicken wings even after getting the great stock!

  53. Amy

    One question: you didn’t say if the wings themselves are skinless? Sorry if it’s a silly question; I usually only cook with boneless chicken skinless breasts and thighs, so I don’t know if anyone sells skinless wings, or if you can take the skin off yourself, or if you want the skin on. Thanks in advance!

  54. I’m so glad you added the “few more things” list. I was going to skip this recipe as I have my own (chicken inedibles from a roasted chicken, plus a splash of vinegar, simmered in water for hours) recipe that works very well for me and the thought of buying wings just for stock was objectionable to my wallet. Your note on that, though, and the $# to back it up has convinced me to give it a try! Thanks!

  55. Susan

    I’ve only become a soup person in the last couple of years. It was always about the flavor of the broth. This soup love started with a turkey stock I make to have for seasoning the dressing and other things and to augment the gravy for the big day. It was simply roasting turkey wings until they were as brown as I wanted my broth, adding them to water with a few pepper corns, an onion, a carrot, a stalk of celery and a clove of garlic. It was so good. I admit, I save wing tips and carcasses in my freezer to use for chicken stock made the same way. It’s a clean flavored stock which, as you discovered, is best seasoned at the end of cooking. What people forget is that all meat has natural salt that leaches out during cooking. You can especially taste it when meat is dry roasted. Adding additional salt at the end keeps you from over seasoning it. Regarding the liver-y flavor from using other poultry bones; I dig the liver residue that sticks inside the rib cage of poultry, out while cleaning the chicken for cooking. I hate that stuff as it makes the gravy taste off and any edible stuffing cooked in the bird, too. BTW..This technique is almost what you used in your simple chicken noodle soup, except you used chicken pieces where the organ parts weren’t attached. It is very good, I think!

  56. Lauren

    Yaaay! Phase one of “stock” seems fabulous. It was the “bubbeleh” reference that cinched it for me.I think of them all now able to take a two-pronged attack on our winter ills since you have just run off to solve the “veggie” dilemma. You have made a lot of “bubbe”s” very happy, as well as those of us who must contemplate the New England weather that is fast approaching.I can hardly wait to fill the freezer with”real” soup bases. Bless your little “converted-to-soup-lover” heart!

    P.S. Speaking of little hearts- how did that darling baby get to big-boy-bike status already? Dang- that went fast.

    1. deb

      Lauren — It’s more like he’s a giant who outgrew his balance bike. ;)

      Amy — They have skin on them.

      Johanna — I do add them later, but only when I want that flavor in the soup. What I love is the clear flavor here, totally unmuddled by boiled vegetables.

  57. So, the double stock – you make your regular stock – this one sounds absolutely amazing btw, and I am going to do this from now on. All that hands-off time! Yes, thank you! But then you take your stock and make stock with it. You take a 2nd batch of bones, roast them, and them put stock over them and cook again until you get this double concentrated stuff. It sounds totally stupid and unnecessary, except it has completely and totally ruined me. I am willing to bet you could do the second phase in a slow-cooker as well. In fact, I’d be curious to see how it makes out.

  58. ellen

    Oh I just started using my slow cooker for chicken stock recently and it’s fantastic! Makes it so easy – I set it up before I go to bed or to work. I usually use the carcass from a store-bought rotisserie chicken which I have used during the week in dinners & lunches. Makes that one purchase go even further and pays for itself with the stock alone….

  59. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I spend all winter making soups, but I’ve always found my chicken stock disappointing. I kept trying to coax more flavor out of it by adding more vegetables, herbs, or more necks/backs that I hoard in the freezer any time I break down a bird for roasting or grilling. I’ll confess that I’ve resorted to adding Penzeys chicken soup base to my own homemade stock to give it a little more oomph with results that were okaaaay, but I think you might have just solved my longstanding stock problem. I’m packing my toddler in the car and running out for a pile of chicken wings as soon as she’s up from her nap.

  60. Jennie

    My favorite way to save stock – freeze it in ice cube trays. Perfect when you just need a little for sauces or just want to add a little of that lip-smacking collagen to cooked grains. And although I’m an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink stock cooker, I swear I will try yours at least once. (The wings are really what won me over, I’ve never been able to bear making stock from an uncooked chicken, it seemed like such a waste, I’ve been medieval-ing it all along with leftover baked chicken bones. But I think I can handle tossing the cooked wings.)

  61. Melissa

    I’m making chicken stock right now! I make it at least once a week using the Zuni Cafe technique/recipe, which yields the best stock I’ve ever tasted. It’s not significantly different from your recipe. I use it during the week whenever a recipe calls for stock, sometimes for soup, but mostly I just drink straight and my son eats it with noodles. 1000% better than stock in a box or can, and there is never any leftover.

  62. Danica

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!! After you promised to share, I started to stockpile matzo balls in the freezer in anticipation. So excited :-)

  63. I have to comment and say my mom just got back from ‘Michelin camp’ (as I describer the cooking school at Le Manoir in the UK) and chef Raymond Blanc does a very similar method for his stock. He uses only wings, but hacks them up first to expose more bone, then browns them before simmering. He also only uses onions and keeps the skin on. I followed his method via my mom’s instruction and made the best broth ever – so glad you have found a way to make it even easier in the slow cooker! (When I asked my mom if I could do this in a slow cooker, she scoffed and said the french do not use slow cookers…she is not French, just a recent Michelin camp grad…).

  64. emily

    just the other night, with a freshly picked roasted chicken on my hands and an urgent desire to make some chicken stock, my bf INSISTED I couldn’t make stock without celery (eh) so I had to get out of my pjs and to grocery just for celery! of all things. So here here! to no more celery!

  65. Stephk

    Re: veg stock: in Plenty, Ottolenghi has a recipe for veggie broth with parsnip dumplings. His secret ingredient for veg stock is to add prunes, let them steep and then remove. It’s pure genius! It adds a body to the broth that regular vegetable stock lacks. And sometimes for extra umami and body I throw in half a sheet of dried seaweed, (remove when done).

  66. Susan

    I can’t wait to try this. I always just bake a chicken and use the grease in the bottom to make my broth. It usually has piece of chicken and piece of liver in it. I bake the liver or livers (unsure why a chicken is packed with more than one liver. Pretty sure it only has one) for my husband. I love your recipes and I have bought you cookbook as soon as it came out. I have an autoimmune disorder and I use no preservative foods. I cook everything from whole foods. Your site is always my first go to when I am looking for something new. My girlfriends always know where to find the recipe of what I have brought to a party. I just wanted to share my enjoyment of your work. And I am using this to procrastinate finishing my evidence based practice research paper. LOL.

  67. Taina

    In culinary school, chef taught us the major difference between stock and broth. Stock is made with just bones, and only whatever minor scraps of meat happen to be on the bones; while broth is made with bones and larger amounts of meat purposefully included. A secondary difference between the two would be the unsalted-ness of stock, as you said, Deb. Both a stock and a broth would simmer the bones/meat with whichever vegetables and herbs you wanted to flavor it with. I just wanted to share what I was taught as the “classical” definition :) but to be clear, I’m not quibbling about you making stock from wings; there is so little meat on a wing I think that fits in the classical definition of a stock!

    Like other commenters, I usually use the well-picked over carcass of a Costco rotisserie chicken to make stock, but next time I do I will use your easy sounding crock pot method instead of hanging over the stove for hours! And I am excited to make your apple slab pie soon, since I adore your apple pie cookies and also hand pies.

  68. Deb

    Love it! I discovered slow cooker chicken broth last winter. I know exactly what you mean about the slow cooker being the cat’s meow for broth! AMAZING difference and you delivered this right in time for the soup season! Salute….

  69. Steph B

    As I’m sitting here polishing off my 12th (no joke) maple nutmeg butter cookie while the baby sleeps, I thought I would just pop by to see what’s cookin. Um. Yes please! This sounds amazing and we love our crockpot. Genius!! I’ll add this to my “to make” list along with the other 20 things in the q. You are doing a wonderful thing here. It’s not just food. It’s happiness!!

  70. This is fantastic. I have made chicken stock in the slow cooker before to then put in chicken soup, but unlike the detail in your title, it was not at all uncluttered. And as you mentioned in a comment, the meat was way overcooked, even compared to making stock on the stove. This is perfect timing to try for the winter, when I find myself craving chicken soup at least once a week. Thanks!

  71. Caroline

    Thanks for the idea of using chicken wings! I’ve been using a similar recipe but with my small pressure cooker (takes 40 min plus a slow release). One question, though….why do you add salt? I would have thought that you add that as needed to the recipe you are making with the stock. Another storage idea in addition to using ziplock quart bags….fill up a few ice cube trays with the stock and then store the frozen cubes in a gallon ziplock. Each cube is 2 tbsp and is perfect when you only need a little stock for your recipe.

  72. homemade chicken stock is amazing, nice to see any easy way to make it. the freezer makes it so easy to do this when you have the chicken carcass and use the stock later.

  73. shannon

    Nothing tops the golden color a slow cooker gives stock. Before I figured this out, I thought the golden color was somehow applied by the box/can the commercial stuff came out of.

    I add all my bones (lamb, chicken, whatever) to a bag as I acquire them, then dump them in the crockpot on the way out the door to work. When I get home, I let it cool and freeze in the big-cube ice trays (those meant for cocktails)– mine hold 1/3 cup, so it’s easy to pull out what a recipe calls for it.

  74. John Knapper

    If you’re not a slow-cooker type, you can also achieve perfect temperature control by placing all the same ingredients into a metal pot and putting it in your oven at about 190ish for as long as you want, if your oven will stay that low for a prolonged period of time.

  75. LynnB

    Just wanted to share my way of removing fat from stock. Put the stock in a wide bowl. Lay cling wrap over the surface – directly touching the stock, no air bubbles. Leave in fridge overnight. In the morning you can just peel off the cling wrap and all the fat comes with it – straight to the bin, no fuss, no mess.

  76. Ladotyk

    Nicely done Deb. I too am enamoured of the CI stock recipe. I’m another fan of using rotisserie chicken carcasses which I toss in the freezer until I have enough to make a stock. This is such a great base for soups, especially ones where the stock is the main star. Lottie and Doof have a great recipe for roasted garlic soup that this stock is perfect in! (

  77. Seems weird to me… I never put any spice, flavor (garlic) or especially salt in my stock. I just don’t see how you could properly control the seasoning in whatever dish you chose to make with this. Love your recipes, it was just hard for me to get my head around this.

  78. Amy

    genius. absolutely genius.
    especially for making chicken soup in florida.

    how do you think I should handle the salt with kosher chicken? I usually don’t add it, for fear of overly salted soup.

  79. santiya

    DEB, hey DEB!…. Oh, Hiiiii…. Stovetop, one would leave the lid off to concentrate the flavors I believe. With this method- do you keep the slowcooker covered up for the whole time? THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOMENESS.

  80. Deirdre

    For vegetable stock, take a look at Jennifer Perillo’s recipe for homemade vegetable bouillon. She adapted it from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. It has been life changing for me in the kitchen! Just this week I used it in 2 recipes from this very Smitten Kitchen: Ina Garten’s stewed lentils and tomatoes and your own white bean and chard pot pie (which I make in one pot with a biscuit topping. The bouillon lasts forever and can be the base for a ton of dishes.

  81. Sally

    I make an even less cluttered chicken stock, with only the chicken–bones, meat, what have you–and water. It gets salt at the end if needed and sometimes the chicken has been too blah to flavor the stock and I’ll reduce it to 2/3 or half the volume. You can also reduce perfect stock, package it in smaller quantities and add water when you use it, saving freezer space. Alas, this can lead to you preferring to use the stock undiluted; it is Really Good!

  82. Hmmm… that’s some seriously goyish way to make Jewish penicillin :). My mom would say it’s no stock without carrots. I don’t use store-bought stock anymore, unless it’s an emergency. I always have a bunch stored frozen of both chicken and beef stock. Also, chicken feet do make the best gelatinous stock, I agree with the above folks.

  83. Lesa

    Ok, I did not read all of the posts but the ones I did read didn’t have this in it. I raise my own meat chickens. We started doing this when I decided that I wanted to KNOW what I was eating. I wasn’t a country girl with intimate knowledge, I had to learn and read and read….So, after hubby butchered the chickens,I had all this wonderful fresh chicken and I happily chopped it, stored it and looked at the carcass’ and wondered what the hell I was going to do with it all. I am the owner of my husband’s great-great grandmother’s cookbook. Boy have I learned alot! Well, to make that silky, glistening chicken broth, it said in this book, you had to throw in a chicken foot (minus the toenails). Ok, how totally gross is this. But I tried it. I will never make stock without one now. It has to be the most glorious stock I have ever made, eaten, seen etc… The stock is made exactly like above, except the crockpot, which I’m going to try, only toss in a chicken foot. Strain it all and there you go. Hope some of you try it. It’s worth it, even if it is kinda gross. lol Happy Cooking.

  84. Staci

    I would live to know how to make a great vegetable stock. I don’t eat meat but I love adding extra flavor to soups & rice dishes. Thanks!

  85. Farrell

    Our family likes a rich broth for matzo ball soup. Double stocks are great for a rich broth but I found an alternative. I roast my chicken parts in a 400 degree oven- wings, feet, well cleaned bones, along with an onion until all are a rich, dark brown.Place in pressure cooker or slow cooker. Deglaze pan and add to pot with water and garlic. The light broths are great for rice dishes or lighter soups. Very welcome when being followed by latkes or brisket.

  86. tunie

    Can’t wait to see your vegetarian recipe – my favorite is onion based (4), but with half a small cabbage, one stick of celery and one carrot barely chopped into thirds, one clove of garlic and the secret ingredient: one cup dried shitake mushrooms! Sometimes I toss in a wedge of fennel if I have it. Occasionally cherry tomatoes, (nothing else has flavor in winter), but that’s rare. Happy to share this here, enjoy!

  87. karen on the coast

    aaah, wings…that would explain why a recent pot of soup stock I made with a single turkey wing had SUCH amazing flavour. I was of course very pleased but also very puzzled. I figured I must have dialed up the absolutely perfect but very elusive combination of veggies, seasonings and prep, plus the fact that my pressure cooker is a treasure as no flavour is lost. BUT, could I reproduce the flavour on the next batch — no, and resigned myself to subpar soup stock. So, its in using the wings, eh?…guess what is on the top of my shopping list for this weekend…
    Mind you, at this stage of my chicken broth paradigm shift I am still a bit squeamish about those chicken feet, but now that I just read in the post from Lesa [119] that you have to trim off the toenails, I feel MUCH better about using the feets. Thanks, Deb [and Lesa], I literally cant wait to make my next stock this weekend, I may have to make a double batch because a single batch with great flavour wont last long, especially now that the November rains have set in here on my part of the west coast.

  88. Chicken broth is about all I use my crock pot for–like you, I never really found any stand out recipes, there wasn’t enough texture to the dishes for me (even soup comes out blah) unless I had to make some other dish or side and that mostly seemed to defeat the purpose, you know? But oh it is wonderful for broth.

    I’m an avowed soup lover and like the Joy of Cooking roasted chicken broth variation, but I’ll try this one as well, the fewer steps are appealing.

    (Also, ugh, yes to cooking all day and ordering takeout. Since when can we not just eat an entire pie for dinner at 10 p.m.?!)

  89. Zora

    I made a huge pot of sofrito/mirepoix a few months ago and froze it in small containers, planning to use it in cooking. I find that if I thaw the sofrito and blend it with some water, I end up with a vegetarian stock (soup base?) that gives a lot of depth to soups. My current fave use is as a base for Persian meatball soup (osh-e-miveh). Onion-rice-red lentils-chopped spinach-herbs-spices-walnuts-dried fruit-meatballs. A meal in a bowl.

  90. Nechama

    Deb, you are the greatest! I get such a kick out of your style of writing. For sure, it gets me laughing and feeling lighter. Well, I once tried to make stock, and it didn’t agree with my taste, and ended up tossing it all. I am delighted to find your recipe, and yes it looks light and delightful. I like the wings element. Then I also tried a beef stock, that too got tossed. I like the broth better than stock. Have you any ‘beef broth’ ideas? How’s the little one, not so little anymore? Lets hear more about him, and more pics too. Wishing you the very best life has to offer. Nechama

  91. We once made stock from a leftover carcass and then my husband (not to name names) left it simmering on low while he made an unexpected hospital visit with me. It took a little longer than expected as these things do and the stock burnt dry. I have never smelled such a foul smell, the whole house stank for weeks. Most of the content of the kitchen cupboards even had to be washed. I became very obsessed with scented candles. So slow cooker stock sounds good to me! This recipe sounds great I am always a bit disappointed by the lack of flavour in my stocks but I do wonder if I try and stretch the chicken bones too far. Will be trying this as soon as I go to the shops as I buy many cartons of stock.

  92. This is perfect. I always make stock this way because I can never remember the celery or carrots or anything. I feel like plain stock like this is clear and fresher tasting, not convoluted by a random bunch of other stuff thrown in. Because stock is a plain slate to spruce up other dishes, right?

  93. Linds

    Lara, I know what you mean about the taste. I feel like everything I cook in my crockpot just tastes like “crockpot.” Mine is a (2010?) Hamilton Beach model with black coated ceramic, and it tends to overcook everything, even on low. I feel like it must constantly bake that burnt flavor into the bowl when I use it (which is why I never use it).

    Still, I’m going to try the stock! The part I hate most about making stock is discarding all of the ingredients at the end, so this recipe should help cut down on that!

  94. I can totally understand you, I’ve been feeling the same about soup so far. I like it but not that much, since it seems boring to me if compared to a plate of pasta or tortellini, and so I don’t get to eat it often. But, you know, when Autumn hits, I always start craving comforting and warm foods, and soup is one of them. So I can’t wait to try your recipe to see if I can finally overcome my boredom for soups!

    xo, Elisa

  95. Leanna

    Great timing. I just finished a large batch of beef stock and this will be next. I love soups and my freezer currently has several kinds of soups ready for winter. There is beef barley, potato, chicken noodle, a sausage/kale/rice chowder, ham and bean and an onion soup. This summer, thanks to a healthy garden, I packaged a stewed tomato mess with onions and peppers. I froze the stew in 2 cup measurements and I think they will go into my chili. Love your recipes.

  96. Susanne

    Sounds lovely! Because I don’t have chicken wings at the moment, but do have a Muscovy Duck carcass in the freezer to use up, I’lo be trying the recipe with that.

  97. Trisha

    I love using my slow cooker, maybe we’ll give this a try. My favorite vegetable stock is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which I think you have on your shelf.

  98. Steph

    Many, many thanks for all the SK recipes that pepper my files and for this easy yum one. I have three suggestions for soup research: two of which would be good starting points. The first is udon noodles – which don’t seem to “melt” as much in soup. The second is Anna Thomas’ three vegetable stocks. I’ve existed for years using her potato peel broth for lots of soups and dishes. I tried her roasted vegetable stock this summer and it did not taste like flavored dishwater. It was good. The third is a change-up – (from Annie Burrell) – for chicken noodle soup which has become the go-to favorite: squeeze a lemon into the broth and then throw in the rind for the simmer – a wonderful zing!

  99. Yup, homemade stock is the way to go, and chicken feet added when possible.
    Just had to respond to Christina: I ate pie for dinner last night, Actually, it was Dorie Greenspan’s orange-almond tart, and I didn’t eat the entire thing, but nor did I eat anything else. So, you can do it; eat pie for dinner, Christina!

  100. Prissnboot

    I’ve been doing this for years now, although I just recently figured out the freezing the bags flat thing – make sure the air is out of the bag, though. I freeze in 2-cup quantities. I get bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and remove the flesh from the bones and freeze them, then make stock with the bones. If you don’t want to make the stock right then, you can freeze the bones for later, but be sure to label the bag (ask me how I know this)! My freezer is full of chicken, vegetable, and beef stock, and it’s time to start using it!

  101. Prissnboot

    I forgot to add – it’s easy to put the bones in a cheesecloth, makes it easier for removal. Then remove the vegetables (I put my colandar inside a larger bowl and pour the broth into the colandar to catch the vegetables) and puree them in a food processor or blender (careful of the heat), then add back to the broth. Let cool to room temperature, stir and bag.

  102. 99bonk

    This is a minor variation on Edna Lewis’s recipe, which uses just onion and chicken. Pam Anderson wrote about it for Cook’s Illustrated and then reprinted her article in her book The Perfect Recipe. The non-slow cooker version only takes half an hour!

  103. This is the only way to make stock, be it chicken, turkey, whatever you have on hand. The first few times I tackled stock, I attempted the ol’ “simmer for 2 hours,” but always ended up disappointed that it tasted so watery! An overnight/all day/8 to 10 hour simmer is the only way to go to achieve that deep golden color and flavor that we all want out of this.

    I’ve never tried it in a slow cooker, always on the stove for hours and hours and hours. I tend to pull apart the meat from the bones and keep it in a separate container in the fridge for dishes with the stock… does the slow cooker give the meat an odd flavor or texture? I know when I use slow cookers for other dishes, it softens meat dramatically. Sometimes that can be good and sometimes not so much…

  104. It’s nice to know that there is a stock recipe out there that (a) doesn’t cost 5 times as much as buying a canned version and (b) doesn’t require you to do a bunch of chopping and straining and skimming and watching the stove so it doesn’t boil too hard. Thanks for sharing!

  105. Lisa

    I only ever make stock as step one of chicken soup. But I throw a whole dang raw chicken into a pot and some times an extra package of wings, some very roughly chopped onion, skin on if organic, celery, carrot, clove of garlic. Very little salt at this stage. Then simmer for a long time to let the meat and the bones give up their two different types of meaty goodness and to let all the collagen render. When the chicken is falling apart, strain. Pick through the cooled stuff to salvage the meat. It was the best job in the world to do with Gram because after you pulled off the meat, we would snack on the little bits of meat left on the warm bones and the nuckles. Ok, and yes the skin! The back “oysters” never made it into the meat pile. The rest was pitched.

    Then the soup would be finished. More onion and garlic, simmmered with salt, pepper, garlic, sometimes spices like cinnamon, with big chunks of carrot and celery added at the end and cooked until just tender. Add back in some meat. In our family we served it with a dusting of pecorino and more black pepper.

    And defat it? Are you kidding? According to her friends who were bubbes not nonnis, that’s where all the goodness was. Guaranteed to cure what ails you. She didn’t take cooking advice from many, but when it came to chicken soup, she listened to them.

  106. Not just a Jewish Mom, my Nonna taught me, and nothing but chicken wings was allowed, after all, back then what would you have used them for? She made a simple vegetable soup with “on the bed dried” homemade egg noodles every Sunday before the main meal and it was, the best thing on the table.

  107. Beth

    I beg to differ with all due respect. A whole chicken makes a much better soup in my opinion, and if not overbooked but just given an hour or two on the stove also provides wonderful meat for the soup or chicken salad.

    1. deb

      Lily — I did, but only to serve it as soup. I mention that you can simmer in some vegetables or noodles under “How should I use this?”

      Beth — The argument is not that you cannot make good stock with a whole chicken on the stove, but that I simply liked this taste better. I am curious what you think of it if you try it.

      Terri — This is stock, but if you plan on reducing it further for other recipes, omit the salt.

      Karen — I haven’t worked with a pressure cooker, so I cannot say for sure. It does sound like many people use theirs for stocks. However, I do think for a stock like this at least, the slow-and-low method is the best. You’re trying to develop the biggest flavor boom from a pot of simple ingredients. Long — not just intense — cooking times help.

      kate — Not even one. But I think if I ever write another (which I, emphatically, am not) I would have one.

      santinya — Slow-cooker, you’d cover it, so I’d do the same on the stove.

      Amy — Skip it. It can always be added at the end, or when the stock will be used.

      T Racy — Different goals. That’s more of a one-hour from-scratch chicken noodle soup — after work, in a rush, don’t want to waste time in the kitchen. This is for a slowly developed stock for stock obsessives. It’s the very best one I know how to make, with the biggest depth of flavor. It’s not quick. (But it is easy.)

  108. NancyJ

    Love this idea. Have been using Molly O’Neil’s “Rich Fowl Glaze” but not concentrating it to a glaze. It uses roasted chicken parts and, importantly, turkey wings. It is great, makes a stock with body, but is a good bit of work. Will definitely try the slow cooker method and justify that purchase!

  109. Melinda

    Any thoughts on substituting turkey wings for making turkey stock? My normal recipe isn’t difficult, just time intensive.

    2 hours cooking wings, 4 hours simmering wings and veggies…

  110. Stephanie

    Looking forward to your veggie stock recipe! And a quick “amen” to loving your writing style. I’m a vegetarian, and still read your whole post!

    My veg stock comes from ends of carrots, celery, parsley stems, garlic peel, corn cobs, squash innards, ginger knobs, pea shells, etc. kept in freezer bags until it’s time to make some. I will probably still do this, but would love to hear your faves…

  111. Kelly

    Deb, I love this recipe. I have always wanted to make chicken stock but was always unsure of the taste. I am going to try this soon. Thanks so much…

  112. I’m all for stock and soup, but ever since I learned that adding a tablespoon draws the beneficial minerals and other stuff out of the bones and into my belly, I’m bummed when it’s not included in a recipe. Such a simple thing to do for such an amazing nutritional boost!

  113. Gillian

    Frozen chicken question: my grocer sells chicken wings (and other bulk chicken products) that appear to have been frozen. Can I use frozen chicken wings to make stock, and then freeze it for later use? I feel like there’s something to the ‘do not refreeze previously frozen food’ rule. Thoughts? I can’t think of how to get try fresh chicken from my grocer.

    1. deb

      Gillian — I think you’d be fine, and that is usually more about freezing than unfreezing then refreezing uncooked meat. It… would be quite aged by the time it was used.

  114. Jeannie

    I Love!! the crockpot for broth making… and for the smell. Only disaster was fish stock…it does not take to the long cook time. This summer made a chick broth with the addition of corn cobs and it was the perfect start to a great southwestern corn chowder like soup from the Junior League cookbook.

  115. jp010038

    For anyone who is interested, for my money, the perfect vegetable broth is Anna Thomas’s Basic Light Vegetable Broth from her Love Soup book. It’s awesome (although it does use a lot of ingredients). It makes soup taste special.

  116. Peggy

    I made this overnight and OMG it is delicious. Its so easy and so hands off. It’s in the fridge now cooling so I can skim the fat off. Next time I will roast the wings to see if I get a darker stock. Can’t wait to use this to make my weekly soup on Saturday; I’m thinking curry butternut squash with apples soup.

  117. Susan

    This sounds like a good reason to keep my crockpot. I like the fact that it doesn’t require massive amounts of sodium (salt). I also very much appreciate that it eliminates any liver-like flavor, because I have never been able to tolerate the flavor of liver of any kind, especially chicken liver. Now I just hope that when I make this I can find room in my freezer for it – guess I’ll have to use all that mesquite flour I’ve been making… :-)

  118. Caroline

    I second the use of cheesecloth. I put the whole carcass, veggies, herbs and peppercorns on a piece of cheesecloth & tie it up into a bundle. Makes it *so* easy to remove when done. Just let cool, cut it out of the cheesecloth, and dump into the compost bin. Will definitely try the slow cooker rather than the stove top, though.

  119. Gluten and diary free in Wyoming

    THANK YOU!!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! I am a huge fan of the crock pot. I recently discovered that my favorite chicken base (Better than bullion) has dairy in it and I had to stop buying it. I enjoyed it’s compact 8oz jar that when mixed with water probably made the better part of 2 gallons of stock (at $4-5 a jar, not bad right?). I also have a small kitchen (house in general) and live fairly rural so I hated the idea of buying boxes and boxes of chicken stock to have on hand. Somehow having it in my freezer is much better :) I am greatly looking forward to your veggie stock. We participate in a biweekly produce co-op out here and sometimes we need a purpose for veggies that will otherwise go bad before we attempt to use them up. Cheers!!!

  120. Lauren

    In error I deleted my entry so here I go again. In the 40’s and 50’s we went to butcher shops for chicken, and all kinds of meats and fish.
    My mother and grandmothers would each buy CHICKEN FEET……your blog reminded me. Their soups were amazing. I am not sure how much to suggested, but I would think that maybe 4-5 pounds-they are larger than the wings……but I am guessing. And theonly place I have seen them thinking it was horrible to see them….boy am I dumb…….is at a large Asian market here.

    Thank you for giving back the memory, especially this time of year……not sure why I forgot.

  121. My hubs surprised me with the All-Clad Slow Cooker that goes on the top of the stove and then into the thing-a-ma-jiggy to cook! I make his Steel Cut Oats in there for the week – and the insert is NON STICK to boot! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET! I love that machine! HAPPY DANCE HAPPY DANCE!

  122. Sara

    Regarding the one-day-forthcoming vegetable stock: I have a chef/farmer friend who swears by the presence of basic brown lentils for a delicious, hearty vegetable stock.

  123. Kathi

    Re: what to do with the wing meat after you are done. I package it up in small plastic bags after carefully removing all the bones, freeze it and use it for special additions to my dog’s diet. Your dog will love you and who wants to eat overcooked chicken, anyway!

  124. ok we are totally doing this this weekend. and we are all about simple in our house so i’m totally going to just try the straightforward method. ooooo can’t wait. and keep work on the slow cooker recipes. we use ours about once a week starting in october and those slow cooker cookbooks are so scary with all their beef and noodles and casserole concoctions… ::shudder:: any good recipes resources (until you perfect some!) would be much appreciated!

  125. CarolJ

    I look forward to your creating more slow-cooker recipes, hoping some will even be without tomatoes (to which I’m allergic but which show up in so many s-c recipes, understandably). I’ve found many of the s-c recipes I’ve tried to be disappointing in flavor and texture. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy making and using this stock. Thanks!

  126. Can’t wait to try this. I use boxed stock all of the time, because I feel when I make it from scratch it’s”cluttered” only I didn’t know how to describe it until this post. I wanted to come up with an easy stock recipe that was worth the work. It sounds like you came up with a way easier recipe that’s way tastier! Thanks :)

  127. msue

    I didn’t see this in the comments yet – apologies if I missed it – there is a nifty mesh sack, marketed as a ‘Soup Sock’. Essentially it is a loosely woven cheesecloth bag. Whenever I’m making stock, I put all ingredients in the ‘sock’, then put that sock into the crockpot along with the water. When cooking is done, you can just lift the entire bag out in one swoop. They’re fairly inexpensive, and make clean up super easy. Google ‘Regency Soup Sock’ – they come in packages of 3, and maybe larger packs too. I just store my extras in the crockpot so they’re handy when I’m ready to make a stock.

  128. curious

    I was told that right near the wing of the chicken is where they tend to inject the chickens with hormones and such unless your buying organic chicken wings and even then there are concerns…This is why it is not recommended that you eat chicken wings or utilize them in any cooking facet…that is if you believe in the theory of you are what you eat or that per-say if you were to eat the wings whatever has been injected into would affect your health.

    Just thought i’d share since ive made it a point to never eat or use chicken wings again…

  129. Theresa

    I agree with many posters that my crockpot (i have the one with
    The green ceramic insert that is removable) leaves a funny taste to everything i cook in it. And foods tend to be overheated. I read somewhere that the older crockpots actually work better at keeping foods at lower temperatures, but are more difficult to clean because they dont have the removable ceramic insert. Cooking in the oven or on stove for long hours wastes so much energy and you can easily evaporate too much liquid and come home to a burnt mess. (i did that).
    Just wondering if anybody out there has a good crockpot recommendation (based on experience with other crocks that leave an odd crockpotted taste). If not, i may be headed to the goodwill to find an older one before trying this recipe.

  130. Elizabeth in VT

    “the kind of vegetable stock I’d like to make just totally hit me.”

    I’m waiting, most store-bought “organic” veggie broths taste truly weird, and the vegetarian person in my life is impatient.

  131. Adina

    Deb, I join others in expressing my excitement for this great-looking, hands-free stock. I cannot wait to try it out in my own kitchen! For those of you who freeze soup, what type of containers do you use? I’ve never done it and typically have little available room in my freezer but I would like to make several batches of my favorite (Romanian) soups ahead of time and enjoy them over the cold season. Thanks!

  132. ardys

    I’m making this now. I just pressed COOK and look forward to the results in 4 hours! Finally an easy way to make chicken stock.

  133. Kate

    Another thought in terms of storage – you mentioned muffin tins, but that’s pain because you have to get the stock OUT of them again. I freeze my stock in silicone muffin molds. It makes exactly 1/2 cup portions and you can pop them out and store them in Ziploc baggies.

  134. Jean Woessner

    Why did it never occur to me to make stock in my slow cooker? Really, this is brilliant! I’d opt for a day-time cooking because why miss all that yummy smelling goodness during dreamtime? One thing I almost always add (as per my friend Greg Patent, a notable chef) is a few slices of gingerroot. Doesn’t add gingery flavor but it freshens the taste, somehow. Thanks, Deb!

  135. Paula

    All done & sitting in the fridge so I can skim the fat off the top! My house smells so delicious. Just been cruising around here for ideas on what to do with it and I think I’m going to make the silky cauliflower soup. Thanks, Deb!

  136. Jeri

    My father turned me onto the chicken wing thing; they really do make a super-rich stock. If it doesn’t gross you out, and you can get them, a couple chicken feet are good to add too.

  137. JP

    Concerning comment #177, my research shows that “no hormones are used in poultry production”. So go ahead and make some chicken stock using the wings…as a matter of fact, if you want to eat the chicken wings, do that too. :)

  138. Melody

    Cannot wait to try this and I love the simplicity. Thank you for sharing. For many years now I have made my own, following Martha Stewart’s recipe. Quite the ritual and it was a lot darker then I would like. When I make yours, I am going to try roasting the wings first. Something about roasting brings about even more flavor to broth/stock. I don’t have a slow cooker, but use a dedicated, enamel roaster on the stovetop. It then goes in frig once strained, uncovered, to allow fat to rise. I have used the plastic freezer bags, laying flat on a cookie sheet until frozen, then stacked them. Once I purchased the Ziplock plastic containers in the one cup size and froze that way. I like that too because you can keep reusing the containers and they also stack.

  139. Kate

    I was mentally lamenting only yesterday about the fact that you hadn’t ferreted out my dream chicken stock for me! I already have it in the slow cooker, house smells utterly divine.

  140. Yet another Anna

    Soup has always been one of those things I really want to learn more about, but I get stuck making the same few soups I like, and moving on to other things once I create a version we all love, and that I can repeat.

    (The evidence in my recipe files seems to indicate that I have a weakness for soups with lots of cheese.)

    Baked potato soup? Roast an actual potato, and blend the entire thing, skin and all with some broth before adding to your soup. (For smaller batches, half the potato is plenty, a great way to use up a bit of leftover baked potato.) Blending the potato gives it a smoothness that the soup doesn’t get any other way. Reminds me of those over-beaten cheesy garlicky French potatoes that are soupy gloopy goodness on the plate, I guess all that beating does a number on the starches?

    My chicken taco soup is pretty much a variation on a taco meat/queso dip with salsa, broth and corn chips. Not elegant, or low sodium, but so good.

    Broccoli and cheese? Forget it. Still haven’t forgotten the time I put too much hot soup in a blender. Green is not my favorite color.

    Chili, beef stew, gumbo and red beans? Not quite soup, but if you add enough good broth and some extra things to garnish, not bad. Plus, I can pretty much make those without a recipe now.

    Chicken soup? Found a Chickarina copycat recipe with chicken meatballs so I can dupe the old Campbell’s Chicken and Stars, and add some meatballs. This slow cooker broth just ramps it up a few dozen notches. :)

    Still feeling the need to branch out, though. I’m thinking I’ll browse through some vegetarian soup cookbooks, just to see what I can find. I AM learning that a cup of soup, however basic, can round out an overly-simple or leftover-dependent dinner very nicely.

  141. Bonny

    After opening a new box of Trader Joe’s Vegetable broth tonight to add to my lovely fish chowder…You had better hurry. This “hearty broth” tasted like water with a celery stalk waved over it.

  142. Kate

    Hi Deb :)
    I have this cooking away on the bench as we speak, I’m highly anticipating the results :) On an unrelated subject, my partner and I have just confirmed our trip to New York!!! We are coming all the way from Australia and are super excited! I have read all your guides on where to eat.. I was wondering maybe could I pretty please get a little info from a New Yorker’s perspective, maybe I could email you? Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated :)

  143. Sally

    For Shani #171 and others. Beef stock can be made the same way, but it’s best to start with browning the bones, etc. in a 450° oven for 45 min. first. Or longer if you start with frozen bones. That browning really adds to the flavor! Keep the same proportion of 1-to-1 bones/meat and water. I have a big oven and a strong person handy, so I brown the bones right in my stock pot. If you don’t do that, deglaze the roasting pan with some of the water.

  144. Amanda

    Deb, definitely try the feet if you can find some at the farmers’ market! Feet are so gelatinous and dense that I’ve found that good feet + parts stock is superior to wing stock, at least with the organic feet I’ve bought. The body they add makes a really superb reduction later. You gotta try it and see what you think. Plus, the feet peeking out of the pot are appealingly witch-y…

  145. Deb- It’s amazing that sometimes the fewest ingredients give the absolute best results. Sometimes less is more! I’ve found that when using the whole carcass, you don’t get the beautiful light clear color. Also, I use a Chinese spider strainer to fish out all the solids before straining it. I have a couple of different sizes and they are dirt cheap at the Chinese grocery stores. I also have found putting the bowl or container in the sink and then pouring, saves in cleanup. I’m only 5 foot so I have had to clean up a lot of spilled stock, so no it’s way easier to clean up and I don’t spill nearly as much.

  146. Delia

    I agree with Karen. I just made this recipe tonight using my pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, then let it release pressure naturally (about another 15 minutes). Excellent!!! If you haven’t tried the pressure cooker version you should; it’s a great way to extract flavor.

    Thanks so much for the lovely, simple recipe. The stock has a lovely, golden color and a marvelous flavor!

  147. Annette

    Another advantage of using the pressure cooker to make broth: it’s no biggie, time-wise, so you don’t have to make huge amounts, so no hassle with packaging and storing. I usually only make enough for one meal, plus one extra jam jar full for risotto. I’ve been using legs because they also have a fairly good bone-to-meat ratio, and I do use the leg meat for the meal. “Livery taste”?! I haven’t noticed any but if I ever get enough wings together, I’ll do a test run.

  148. Kelsey in Joburg

    Deb, Thank you! This is just the stock recipe that I’ve been searching for. Not just to make soups for my husband and I, but also to use to make puppy snacks for my four-legged children. The slow-cooker aspect presents the opportunity to convert “puppy snack cooking” from a weekend-only activity to a weeknight possibility. And thanks to Kathi (#172) for the suggestion to use the wing meat for the pups–now to choose a soup to use this in for my husband and I…

    PS. I asked my dad bring your cookbook over for me (I live in South Africa, originally from NJ). He finally arrived yesterday, and it’s superb–worth the wait!

  149. One of my favorite ways to make chicken stock is by “roasting” a whole chicken in the slow cooker, and then throwing the bits and pieces back in when I’m done and cooking the liquid down more. This reminded me a lot of that method, and I actually shared your post with my readers on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up today. I wanted to pop by and let you know, and leave the link in case you’re interested:

    Thanks for another wonderful blog post, and I hope you’re having an excellent weekend!

  150. Janet

    I made this, followed the exact steps, and it was so bland. Hours and money wasted. I think I’ve only had success with one of your recipes. I’m giving up on this site.

  151. Cathy

    Life changing, indeed! I put a batch on last night after work and I just strained it. My house smells so yummy and warm; only one thing missing: an equally simple yet rich beef broth/stock recipe. Pretty please?
    (My remaining cans of College Inn will be delivered to my local food pantry.)

  152. Elizabeth Lincoln

    I am disappointed- after following the recipe exactly and slow cooking on low for 10 hours the stock is…virtually tasteless. I have dumped the entire thing into a stockpot and am now reducing on high in the hope that some flavor can be extracted. I can’t imagine what I could have done wrong, and why others are raving about this recipe when it just hasn’t produced for me (and I had SUCH high hopes). Sigh.

  153. WOW! This post is full of useful information! Especially on why using chicken wings instead of other parts. I usually just use whole chicken for soup but with other Chinese spices added so I didn’t notice the “liver” taste.
    I am thinking the same recipe can be applied to Chinese cooking and other stock or soup. Anyway, great post. Thanks for sharing!

  154. Lindsay

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Elizabeth Lincoln. I made this EXACTLY as the recipe said, leaving it on low in the slow cooker for 10 hours – and, not adding my usual bay leaf, peppercorns and such as you requested Deb – and I am SO bummed. Pretty much tasteless. It smelled like onion broth and if there is a hint of anything, it’s onions. I can’t imagine what the issue could be… Like Elizabeth, I think I’ll throw the bones and such back into the broth and put it on the stove to simmer.

  155. Lindsay

    I just want to add to my above post as I’m still trying to figure out how the results could be so different. I have to say that my broth didn’t seem reduced at all this morning. Pretty darn close to the same 3 qts I put in last night. Could there be variations on what different slow cookers use as “Low”? I have a brand-new Cuisinart (bought it yesterday) and they say “Low” is 165 – 200 degrees F. Is that enough to get it simmering? There is a “Simmer” level, that’s a lower temperature: 165 – 185 degrees F, which interestingly, they suggest for soups and homemade stocks. Anyway, the whole batch is on the stove simmering away. Hopefully it will reduce, concentrate the flavors and save the day!

  156. Jenny

    Okay, this was my first try at chicken stock- admittedly, I used a chicken carcass in addition. I put it in the fridge overnight and it turned gelatinous!! Is this okay?

  157. denise

    I have read somewhere on some blog the nutritional benefits of the outer skin of onions, so I would suggest using it. I started this recipe at 3:30 AM then went back to bed. First thing my husband said this morning, “what are you cooking that smells so good!” I am hopeful for an unami flavor!

  158. Lindsay

    Final update to my previous comments… Stock has now been on the stovetop at a slow simmer for 2 hours. The level in the large stockpot is reduced by a good inch and the wings are falling apart (they were not after 10 hours in my slow cooker). The flavor is delicious though I think I will give it another 30-60 minutes to intensify a bit more. This must be a temperature issue…
    And Jenny – since Deb hasn’t popped on yet this morning – gelatinous is totally normal. It will reliquify as soon as you warm it on the stove.

  159. Keren

    I made this last night and put it in the fridge overnight to let the fat solidify. This morning I took the layer off the top, but the rest of the soup was a little “thick” too. What did I do wrong? Is this normal? Can it be salvaged?

  160. The ease of making stock in the crockpot (I use a chicken carcass normally rather than wings) somehow feels like cheating as when I do it I leave it on over night and it all happens like magic. The second best thing, however, is that when you come down the next morning the house smells so delicious…aromatherapy.

  161. Zoey

    A couple of people have mentioned using turkey wings. With Thanksgiving coming up I think that would be a great idea. Deb, is there any reason it wouldn’t turn out just as good with turkey wings?

  162. Roberta

    Just put everything in the crockpot, turned it on and look forward to the results–bag of wide egg noodles standing by, as we’re going to have this for dinner tonight. Thank you!

  163. Elaine

    The reason I leave the onion skins on when I make stock/soup is that they leach and add their lovely golden color to the broth (and, it saves work).

  164. Laura

    Was reading over the comments and saw Amy say something about feeding this to her cat – don’t feed cats onions (or broth cooked with them)! I’m married to a vet student who just came home talking about a sulfur component in alions that oxidizes cats’ red blood cells and gives them anemia (dogs, too).

  165. Deb, I have never thought of making my stock in a slow cooker. Kind of genius!

    I roast the chicken bones when making chicken stock and it gives the stock an incredible depth of flavour.

    If you are looking for a fantastic vegetable stock, look no further than Mark Bittman’s recipe for roasted vegetable stock. I made French Onion soup with it and you would swear you were eating beef stock!

  166. I was so excited to try this, as I’m a big fan of homemade chicken broth but short on time these days. I followed your directions to a tee. Unfortunately the result was a gelatinous mess! I’m going to try to salvage it but I wonder if I should reduce the wings to water ratio next time. I cooked it on LOW for 8.5 hours.

    1. deb

      Hi Lena — Can you tell me more about the galetinous part? Was it while it was still hot or cold? Because this definitely, definitely gels when chilled (as good stocks should).

      Lauren — Does it smell like water? Or does it seem to just need more seasoning (the amount listed is on the very low end)? Nevertheless, if you feel like you haven’t gotten good flavor yet, no reason not to run the slow-cooker for longer. I don’t think there’s any harm to it, only in overcooking and imparting an overcooked flavor, but it sounds like it’s far from that happening.

      Turkey wings — I think they’d be great here, too. Also, I haven’t gotten into Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving book on this site yet (I hope to this month, read it last year and loved it) but he’s definitely of the belief that you absolutely must take your turkey carcass and make a simple turkey stock with it the day after Thanksgiving, to deep freeze until the following year. He, of course, has recipes too.

      Keren — Thick is normal and good. Good stocks gel when chilled (I’m sorry I didn’t mention this, I really thought people knew, which was silly of me because I certainly didn’t know before I’d made my own the first time) from the bones. They immediately liquefy when warmed.

      Lindsey — The stock is not supposed to reduce (you put in 3 quarts water, you yield about 3 quarts stock). Slow-cookers are excellent at not evaporating liquid. You can further reduce the stock if you find the flavor is not to your liking (this is common in stocks), however, I’ve never found the flavor weak here. It is more onion-forward than other chicken stocks, only because there’s nothing else hiding the onion. I hope that helps a little.

      Elizabeth (sorry, I’m reading comments backwards, new to old, I know you commented first) — Ditto what I said to Lindsey and Lauren above. Again, there’s little harm in cooking in longer if you haven’t gotten the oomph you wanted from it. I know slow-cookers can really vary in their cooking temperatures, too.

      Kate — CI recommended nonstick muffin tins. I haven’t tried this because I use quart bags but they claim that will make it easy for them to pop out. Again, I haven’t tried it, but they do usually test things well.

  167. Jen

    I have been reading your blog for ages, but I am a first time poster. Made this stock this weekend. It is as glorious as you describe–the clarity and depth of flavor is remarkable. So easy and so satisfying on a chilly day. Thank you!

  168. So much easier than stovetop broth/stock!
    Thank you.

    It’s chugging away in the kitchen as I type. Unfortunately, I got mixed up and bought legs rather than wings. But I like the taste liver so it may not be a total loss.

    I second the suggestion to use an ice cube tray to make smaller portions. We always have a container of chicken cubes on hand in the freezer!

  169. Allie

    This turned out great! It’s my first home-made broth. I did it on high for 4 hours then made an incredibly delicious soup with it. Plus, the chicken didn’t go to waste as I left it by the dumpster where half a dozen stray cats live. They seemed grateful for the leftover wings.

  170. Liane

    Well, we gave it a try. I love a good turkey wing stock and wouldn’t dream of Thanksgiving without one, but this: meh. I’ll throw the results it into other recipes instead of boxed or jarred stock. But as a base for soup, nope. One old hen, a quartered onion, rough chopped carrots, celery, peppercorns, parsley and maybe a parsnip aren’t that much more work and always produce a beautiful clear broth that always wins raves. The amount of prep really isn’t that different other than skimming foam from the chicken. Different strokes!

  171. Kate

    I cooked it on low for 9 hours, it is utterly perfect! Unfortunately one of the freezer bags exploded, but I still have lots left. I mixed the chicken wing meat with some plain yoghurt, mayo (mayo covers a lot of sins), curry powder, salt and pepper as a sandwich filing. It’s….not terrible. Thrift!

  172. I had a recipe ready for sausage kale potato soup, it asked for chicken stock, grabbed the crockpot and threw the wings in, let them cook over night, utterly golden goodness. Made the soup tonight… sooooo yum! I will make my own stock when I want that richness for a good soup. (I was able to get a little meat from the wings, I felt guilty throwing it away.)

  173. Lauren

    Hi, I tried this on high for 5 hours and my stock basically still tastes like water. Did I do something wrong? Is it supposed to taste like chicken soup without stuff in it? I turned it down to low and plan to leave it going for another 4 hours. Is there a maximum amount of time you can leave a slow cooker turned on?

  174. Jessica

    Deb, if I am using a bag of frozen chicken wings, should I thaw them first? Or just plan on leaving it in the crockpot longer? Thank you!

  175. Jenn G

    I made this stock today and damn, is it awesome! I ended up cooking it on high for 5 1/2 hours, and the flavor is insane. My slow cooker wasn’t quite big enough for all 3 quarts of water, so I saved the bit that wouldn’t fit and added it to the stock after I strained it (and I didn’t notice it tasting watered down at all, it’s that intense and delicious). I made soup with the whole shebang, and I’m feeling prepared for any cold or sniffles that come my way now. Bring it, winter!

  176. beanwean

    Oh, blah blah blah. What a waste of a post. Do you or CI really think you’ve discovered something astonishingly new? I’ve been making excellent and flavorful chicken stock for the last thirty-five years without your input or CI’s. Honestly, Deb, I look to this blog for things I don’t know, things I haven’t thought of, things that are new and interesting, not a redux of cooking 101. Wow, what are you going to regale us with next–a retake on something equally obvious, like Julia Child’s onion soup recipe? Oh, wait, that already happened! And how boring was that? Zzzzzzzz……please wake me when you have something interesting to say.

    1. deb

      Jessica — I have done that before and I just give them an extra hour or so to include defrosting time.

      beanwean — Every few days, something new appears on this site — some people benefit from the recipe, others do not. I don’t expect every recipe to be beneficial to every reader, nor do I only write about things because they’re “new,” but I assume you came here because you were hoping for something else. Why not just come back tomorrow when that happens? It would be a shame to miss it (we’re inhaling them now).

  177. Heather

    @Karen – totally true. I’m still perfecting those cooking 101 techniques and this was great – I didn’t use the wings (used a leftover carcass), but not cluttering it up with stuff other than onion and garlic produced a yummy broth I would totally eat on it’s own. If you have great fundamentals, the more complicated recipes will be even better!

  178. Gloucesterina

    I guess I consider myself a lover of soup, but I totally get the feeling of boredom surrounding the simple fact that soup eating entails eating spoon after spoon of the same, well, soup…

    Is your problem the lack of acid/tart dimension in many soups, and lack of textural interest?

    Those are my problem, hence my passion for things like mien ga (glass noodles and chicken soup with lime) and pho (also with lime!) and all variations of pasta/bean/green soups with a tomato component.

  179. Gina

    Thank you for the tip about the livery flavor, Deb. I didn’t realize that was the result of using leg/backs/necks! Excited to try this.

    And geez, Beanwean seems to think that you, Deb, are forcibly dragging her back to this site, forcing her to read every word of every new post. She seems to have forgotten that she isn’t paying you to come up with an exciting new recipe every day, that in fact this website is FREE (and ad-free!) and that you do not owe anyone a damned thing.

    Protip, Beanwean: if the post isn’t something you want to read, skip it.

  180. Erin

    I too have switched to making chicken stock with wings only!! I was always grossed out by the chicken spines and all the sediment from it…so much tastier with wings. I definitely agree with you about most soups, they never really excite me and I usually end up eating 1/3rd of the bowl and then I’m sick of it. My favorite soup to make is this lentil soup recipe from a vegetarian cookbook I have. It tastes even better the next day and I’m actually excited about having it for lunch and sometimes I even lick the bowl!! It’s seriously so so good, filling, low fat and easy!!! I found the recipe online so you can check it out:

  181. AdamB

    Hi Deb —
    I probably would not have bothered to comment, except that I just wanted to say THANK YOU for a thoroughly civil reply to what was obviously “beanwean”s poor attempt at troll-bait.
    Sometimes it’s just nice to see that the interwebs aren’t all full of spiteful people trying to on-up each other.
    I can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up for us next!

  182. Welcome to awesome soup world!

    The key is never letting the cooking liquid come to a boil – which is why a crockpot makes perfect sense. The lower temp. allows the marrow to come out of the bones easier – and my guess is it’s the marrow (not just the collagen)which takes the liquid to Bubbeleh status – flavor, richness, cold curing, can’t stop at one taste etc.

  183. Pamela

    Well, I am now going to buy a slow cooker!. I have always wanted to have stock on hand to use in recipies instead of the canned stock and now I can!. I knew about using chicken wings from classes with Hugh Carpenter who would always say that the Chinese used only wings to make their stock.
    Thanks so much for this recipie that will make cooking so much easier!

  184. JB

    I have been making chicken stock for about 20 years, and it’s usually pretty good, but not great. Not tons of flavor. I made this recipe yesterday, and it is FANTASTIC! I usually simmer stock for 3 hours (stove-top; I don’t have a slow cooker). This time I cooked it for Deb’s recommended 4.5 hours. I’m not sure if that’s what made the difference from my previous attempts, but this was really flavorful, rich stock, beautifully gelled and so delicious. Thanks so much, Deb!

  185. Whoaaa, beanwean. How nasty your comments are! I am 64, have been cooking all of my adult life and absolutely LOVE Deb’s innovative recipes and great commentary.
    Don’t you enjoy reading all of the new cooks who are encouraged here to try out their “wings”…(sorry, that was terrible). In my opinion, we are never too old to try new approaches.
    If you are so bored, don’t come to this website and pollute the fun we are all having.
    Love you, Deb!

  186. Em from Oz

    I’m hoping to get an early start on my Christmas cooking, so have a batch of this in the slow cooker right now using turkey wings as the base for what will hopefully be a delicious turkey gravy.
    Having seen someone’s comment earlier on about a double stock, i’m intrigued, so plan to reserve half of the stock from this batch and do a double stock so I can do a side by side comparison, will let you know how it compares to just reducing a ‘single’ stock by half.

  187. Bethany

    So, I had similar problems to a couple of other commenters — pretty watery tasting broth. I think I’ll try it again (probably in a week or two) with the cooker on high … it seems likely that the fault lies with the slow cooker, since Deb, you have never failed me, and nor has CI. :) And I really want an effective stock recipe.

  188. ellen

    Michael Ruhlman’s make ahead turkey stock recipe is the best recipe for gravy.
    Made this past weekend for my daughter to bring back to Brooklyn for her
    “friendsgiving!” Round two in the oven now

  189. Susan

    @Lara (comment #52) That weird metallic taste may actually be coming from the chicken. I was once swayed by the grocery store’s sale, and bought some really inexpensive chicken. I used my tried and true broth recipe, and the results were as you described: oddly metallic. The ONLY difference was the quality of the chicken (same veg, same water, same technique). I didn’t think it would matter, but it turns out it really does….

  190. Anna


    Your blog has been life changing for me in many ways (your recent pizza crust provided a thrilling breakthrough in my years-long quest). I was excited to try this recipe, but it hasn’t worked well for me. Despite cooking (on low) for about 8 hours, it is barely flavored and didn’t smell like much of anything but onion. I must’ve done something wrong. I will try again, cooking on high, but for now I’m going to have to reduce all 3 (almost) quarts to about one quart to get any flavor. Still, I’ve made more fabulous recipes from SK than I can count, so thank you.

    1. deb

      Hi Anna — I would opt for cooking it longer before reducing it. It’s possible your slow-cooker is so low on low, it didn’t cook enough flavor out yet.

  191. Anna

    Thanks, Deb. However, I already strained, threw out bones, etc. (guess I should’ve tasted first). Do you think reducing is still an option? Also, maybe dumb question, but would this work as well with turkey wings? Thanks!

  192. Susan

    I really like that this stock does not have all the seasoning that one made using all the typical herbs and vegetables for a chicken based soup or casserole does. This is a stock used as a mildly flavored base so that you can develop the flavor that you want at time of use in a recipe. Say I wanted to poach a mild flavored meat or fish in this stock, I might season this stock very differently than I would if I were making chicken noodle soup. That’s the beauty of the “uncluttered” stock, its flavor is more neutral.

  193. Terri

    I just finished straining and packaging my first batch of your slow cooker chicken stock. I didn’t use any salt, so that I can reduce it further if I want to. The result yielded 10 cups of golden magic and tastes very good. I cannot wait to use it in our traditional Christmas Eve chicken noodle soup!

  194. Terri

    I forgot to say thanks for this recipe! I took a Culinary Boot Camp this past summer, taught by a CIA trained chef. I learned a lot, starting with making mirepoix for chicken and veal stock, and fish fume. Three days of cooking to achieve the finished product. It was great but left me a little daunted about doing it on my own. Your recipe was so easy with good results, that I know I will make it again and again.

    And to beanwean, I would just say, It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.

  195. Victoria

    Mostly, can we talk about a similarly simple/mindblowing beef stock? Because I feel like homemade beef stock would really up my already-super-delicious French Onion Soup game (thank youuuu for that recipe, too!) in a way that leaves me a little bit in raptures.

  196. Shani

    Reporting back after making Dinner A Love Story’s Chicken Soup with Orzo using Deb’s broth. It was extraordinary!!!! Superlative flavor and I’m thrilled to have a winning chicken broth recipe moving forward. One question: I kept it in the fridge for a few days and it gelled beautifully but there was some very fine brownish sediment at the bottom. It didn’t affect the flavor or texture but I am curious to know what it was. Any ideas Deb or wise commenters?

    And thank you to the lovely person who gave me tips for beef broth!

    1. deb

      Shani — Sediment is just caused by stuff that didn’t strain off. If you’d like to avoid it next time, you could put a coffee filter or cheesecloth over the fine-mesh colander before straining your soup stock.

      Anna — Yes and yes.

  197. I’ve been thinking that my soups and dishes cooked with the veggie stock I’ve been making have been missing some punch. This might be just the trick for it. I’ll get started with some experiments on making an incredible veggie (read: mushroom) stock using just this technique. Love to squeeze more use out of the slow-cooker. I always thought it they were dumb when I was a kid, and now it’s coming back to show me what’s-what.

  198. Otter

    Google “bone broth”, that’s a big paleo thing! Super healthy, basically what you have here, but cooked a little longer and with a dash of vinegar to extract some of that bony goodness

  199. Deb – I used to think vegetable stock could be subbed for chicken stock in almost everything, but when I tried this recently in a gravy recipe, the result was disastrous. What’s your stance on this substitution and what types of dishes lend themselves to it?

    1. deb

      Brande — Sorry, do you mean you used this chicken stock in a gravy or a vegetable stock? Was it homemade? When you say disastrous, do you mean it lacked flavor or texture or just didn’t come together? Sorry to pummel you with questions; I just want to help.

  200. Caitlin

    I’m another person who has had some real difficulties getting this recipe to work. After 8 hours on low, I had weak onion broth; after six more hours on high, several of those with the lid off so it could reduce, I had weak chicken broth. I just strained everything (which was a disaster unrelated to the recipe) and am putting it on the stove to reduce further. I have no idea why this would happen, unless there’s some difference in the quality of chicken wings that I’m not aware of.

  201. Emily

    Sweet mother of mercy. That looks awesome. I am an avowed soup fanatic, but ONLY for truly delicious soup with varying textures and depth of flavor (my soups, a good ramen, pho, almost any Korean soup, etc). I’ll need to add this stock to my repertoire!

  202. MFK

    I’ve been a long time reader and a huge fan of your work for years. I’ve never, ever posted a comment on any recipe but after making this perfect stock last night I felt compelled so here I am. Thank you! I can’t tell you how many dissatisfying stocks I’ve made in my time. On a slow and low note, I’ve been observing a pattern as of late. The Splendid Table has the most incredible fried egg recipe (starting the eggs in a cold pan!) and they did another segment on Andrew Schloss who just published a cookbook all about cooking slow and low. I’ve been meaning to try the Carrots Slow Baked on Coffee Beans. Lastly, (just look at me go on my first comment!) I encourage you to cook salmon in a 200 degree oven (with a pan of water on the bottom rack) for 40-60 minutes. It’s an old Chez Pannise recipe and I won’t cook salmon any other way. Thank again Deb, you are the best.

  203. Hey Deb, I am making your chicken soup now. I can’t believe the ingredients are so simple. No more carrots and celery. There’s still 4 more hours to go on the slow cooker set on low. My kitchen smells so good already. Can’t wait to taste it. Thank you for sharing this recipe and cheers for many nights of delicious clear chicken soup!

  204. Marie

    I know you specifically said wings to avoid the ‘liver-y’ taste of other chicken parts – but I made this with thighs and it was spectacular. I am a huge fan of chicken stock and often put leftover bones onto boil straight after work for a late dinner.
    This was the best yet. I made chicken and bacon soup, and I made croutons from frying bread in the leftover bacon fat.


  205. kate

    Very excited to try this. I’ve made stock before, most recently using Ina Garten’s recipe which calls for three whole chicken, only one of which you use for meat, and it just seemed like an awfully expensive and wasteful way to produce stock. And I wasn’t that thrilled with the outcome, too much gelatin.

  206. Karen

    Stock in the crockpot has changed our soup making, and is so easy. I’ve never tied the chicken wings, next time I see them I might try it. We usually use bits and pieces of chicken, but the ease of the slow cooker means there is almost always broth in the freezer.

  207. So glad you discovered chicken broth! I make it every other week, that’s how much we love it here! I usually use the bones from a chicken roasted for dinner, so technically it’s a chicken bone broth. (Mostly because I feel like I’m really putting the chicken to good use…) But sometimes I’ll make it with just wings or other parts or at times with a whole chicken from a farmer friend when the chicken is old and too tough to eat (by the way, roasting the chicken for a few minutes, doesn’t need to be cooked through, or sautéing it will get rid of the weird taste the meatier parts can give). I cook it upwards of 24 hours though and always try to add some (well scrubbed) chicken feet, makes it gel better. Also 1/2cup of Apple cider vinegar gets all the collagen out too. By the way… Just bought your book… Love, love, love!!

  208. Mc Mc

    I am thrilled to find you! I am heading out to buy wings now – my hubby is working a spate of nights and will so appreciate your soup when he rises. It is difficult to figure out what to cook/eat when your days and nights are turned around. Can anyone advise me on the best grocery store or market chicken to purchase in Ontario (Canada).

  209. I didn’t read all of the comments since there were so many but I made this the other day. I threw all the ingredients in the crock pot and then went to add the water and found that my crock pot would only fit 2 1/2 qts of water. The stock is now sitting in my fridge and I’m sure it did not suffer any for the lesser amount of water but it might be good to consider the size of the crock pot first. Mine is old and a Mom hand me down that I use infrequently so I never thought about how big it is. Everyone cringes in my house when they see that thing on the counter. I think I’ve found 3 things (now 4) that are good to make in it.

  210. Miranda

    I did exactly what Lisa did! Did not for one second think about how much volume my hand-me-down crockpot could handle. Oops! I ended up freezing some of the chicken wings for later.

    That said, this is like the chicken stock version of the simple Marcella Hazan tomato sauce. It’s the flavor I’ve been trying to get for years with over a dozen ingredients. Who knew? It tasted great. And had surprisingly little fat.

    I got home late tonight and, because I had this in the fridge, was able to throw together a quick Asian-inspired chicken soup by adding a few ingredients, including thinly sliced chicken breast, which cooked right in the stock. Thanks for sharing!

  211. Jeanne

    Like many of the others who have commented here, I’ve had mixed results from trying to make my own chicken stock. The ready made is so tasteless, and pretty expensive when considering what you get for the money you’ve spent. I’ll definitely be trying this soon. Thank you for sharing your recipe and techniques.

  212. Hi Deb, I’ve tried many of your recipes, online and from your book, with great results, so the first thing I’d like to say is THANKS! This chicken stock recipe is the first Smitten recipe I’ve tried that didn’t work out. I ended up with a lot of pale, tasteless liquid. I used my Cuisinart slow cooker and gave it 10 hours on low. Very little aroma, zero taste. Not enough time? Not hot enough? Wrong kind of wings? (Is there a wrong kind and a right kind?) I’d like to try it again. Any suggestions? I feel silly asking, it’s such a simple recipe.

    1. deb

      Hi Anne-Marie — Sadly, it’s not just you who has responded that they didn’t get the flavor they wanted to out of this. (It baffles me so much as I’ve made this dozens of times in the last two years and we would drink it straight, okay, that’s gross, but we love it that much. Nevertheless, there is clearly a mismatch between our experience of this stock and that of, I’d say, 1/4 to 1/3 of the responses I’ve gotten.) I suggested cooking it longer, and think you should. I know my slow-cooker (and clearly those at CI) run hot. The flavor is in the bones; it’s just a matter of getting it out.

  213. Skip

    Made the stock. Easy and and full of flavor. Cooked the stock 17 hours. Used the stock to make Hearty Chicken, Vegetable, and Wild Rice soup. Didn’t add the salt at the time of making the stock but waited until I made the soup. I’m going to make more stock tomorrow because I like to cook my beans, such as butter beans or black beans, in stock. Thank you for the stock recipe; it takes all the stress and guess work out of the equation.

  214. Saw this and ran out to get some wings. Tossed it all in the crockpot last night. Haven’t tasted it yet (defatting right now), but it certainly SMELLS like a compelling stock! And I love the ease. There is nothing better than doing practically nothing and getting something out of it! I may try with leftover veggies too to get a veggie stock. One thing I’ve noticed from past stock successes is that if you brown the meat or veggies first, it gives another level of flavor. I’ll try it next time. :)

  215. Jen L

    Do you use whole wings with the tips, or just the edible portions (flaps and drumettes)? I think Whole Foods generally sells the “party style” wings, which are broken down and don’t include tips.

  216. katy lesser

    i’ve been making chicken stock for years. tried this last night. it made perfect, golden, deeply chicken-y stock!!! the brilliant thing is that it never boils, which is the downfall of stock. i left it overnight, where it ever-so-slowly simmered. this morning i was greeted by perfection. thanks!

  217. Deborah J

    Because I live in a country where we drive on the other side of the road and unfortunately measure everything in kilo’s and litres I’ve added my conversions.
    Fortunately an onion….is an onion in any country:)
    Thanks for the lovely recipes!

    1.35 kilograms Chicken Wings
    2.83 Litres water
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, smashed
    1 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste*

  218. Pat M

    Deb – Ingredients are in the slow cooker now and I’m excited about the outcome. This is the first stock I’ve made from scratch since I’m a lazy cook so this recipe hit the spot.
    However, the real reason I’m leaving my first comment is to commend you on your skill at keeping this blog upbeat and handling all commenters with aplomb. My mother would have said that you always behave like a lady and I would have to agree. (That was a compliment in her day.) Keep up the good work.

  219. Greg

    Sorry, but the recipe was a total FAIL for me. The broth at the end tasted like onions, zero chicken flavor. Could smell the onions all day, but not the chicken. Ended up throwing it out, since I could not think of a use for the result.

    Followed the directions to the letter. cooked for 10 hours. Do not know what was wrong. The only thing that I can think was that the chicken was underflavored and that the onion had too much flavor.

    Since you got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated, I am perplexed. I have never had one of their recipes fail on me. Having re-read your notes, I am considering trying it again with less onion and cooking it longer, maybe on high for a while. I could take the result and reduce it too. It was very discouraging.

  220. kellymo

    I threw everything (less garlic) in the crockpot last night at 10, and let it go for 12 hours. I got 10 cups + a ice cube tray full of AMAZING stock for about 11 bucks, and it was so easy. There were some great tips here – like the soup socks (which I so bought & used) and freezing in small bags. I did splurge a bit on the wings from a really good butcher, for around 3.20/lb.

  221. Bess

    I made this today and it’s the best chicken stock I’ve ever made. At first, I was tempted to cook it on low. However, I noticed many of the comments regarding bland stock seemed to be about stocks cooked on low, so I opted for high for 6 hours. It’s perfect and full of chicken flavor. In fact, it smelled so good I drank a mug of it after straining it. Perhaps cooking on high is a better bet to extract more flavor. We use a lot of stock around here, so I’ll be making this often. Thanks for the recipe and for being your gracious and generous self.

  222. KentuckyKate

    Dear Deb and all of her fans: Thank you. Y’all are a fabulous bunch! I’ve been reading for a couple of months and thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve done several of Deb’s recipes which I’ve really liked (Baked Pasta with Rabe & Italian Sausage – YES! Hmmm, Now that I mention it, I think it goes on the menu for this week), and also learned so much from the comments. No slow cooker, no pressure cooker and, at the moment, no room to add anything, but will try the suggestions for low and slow in the oven for the stock. Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure it was a CI recipe that I used several years ago to do a crown roast of beef that cooked for hours at something like 225. It was fabulous. I couldn’t agree more with Pat M (#287) and Bess (#290). Cheers.

  223. Maggie

    With only 10 days til Thanksgiving, can I really be the only person who clicked on that Two-Years-Ago link for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Marshmallows, only to discover that it took me to a gingerbread recipe…

    The true link to the biscuits is here:

    (And if this chicken stock is as miraculous as Deb describes, I will have wasted about 8,000 hours of my life on weekend-long chicken stock projects.)

  224. Julien

    It’s funny, I was just wondering why there are only four slow-cooker recipes on this site. I have your spiced brisket in the crock pot right now, although, I confess I crossed it with the Barefoot Contessa recipe that was mentioned in the comments section- and added some random spices I like. (hangs head in shame) I just can’t leave a recipe alone.

    I love my slow cooker but have yet to find enough recipes to keep it going in my kitchen. Most things just come out with blended, muted flavors. If you did find a keeper recipe or two, be sure to pass them along.

  225. Sara

    I started this in the slow cooker this morning — I just popped home for lunch and tasted a spoonful and it was already AMAZING. If it was that good after just 4 hours, I can’t imagine how it’ll taste tonight.

  226. I have a batch of this simmering away on high right now! I left home for a few hours and forgot I’d started this stock and I walked into the most amazing-smelling home! I used my “boneyard” from the past few rotisserie chicken’s I’ve gone through and cracked through the bones with the back of a heavy chef’s knife hoping that’ll release more marrowy goodness.

    Thanks for sharing! <3

  227. OK Deb – I came here today to follow up on this recipe because I did not believe you before. How could I have ever doubted you! This was the most flavorful and EASIEST stock I’ve ever made. It went beautifully in a pork and hatch chile stew I made over the weekend. This will be my go-to broth recipe from now on.

  228. Marnie

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I have been disappointed in the stocks that I’ve made, despite years of trying, and this was delicious – apparently I was adding too many things in my other experiments. I also found that 10 hours in my slow cooker was not enough (I have the Crockpot brand). I tasted it after an overnight and it still tasted too much like raw onions. I did 4 extra hours on high and that did the trick. The only weird part was waking up in the middle of the night with my baby and smelling chicken soup – it’s a little surreal. And can I add my voice to those requesting more slow cooker recipes? I love the slow cooker because it allows me to stay out of the kitchen during “crazy time” – kids everywhere go insane from 5-6:00 at night, right? – but I’ve been a little underwhelmed by many of the recipes I’ve tried. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Marnie — So glad you enjoyed it and THANK YOU for the 5-6 p.m. comment. It totally clicked why making dinner is such a drag most weekday nights, this idea that we’re supposed to be cooking when kids are at their most exhausting/exhausted. And I only have one! Anyway, yes, more slow-cooker recipes in the New Year… I’ll do my best.

  229. Pam P

    Hi, just weighing in, as I made this yesterday with turkey wings (3 of them) and it was WONDERFUL! My mother has a chicken allergy, but turkey is safe, but it is so hard to find turkey stock in aseptic packages. This was a piece of cake and tastes delicious. With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I highly recommend using turkey wings.

  230. this was delicious! mine took about 8 hours on high in my old 3qt crock pot. i had to reduce the wings and water a bit to fit. i’ve been drinking it all week and can’t wait to make another batch next weekend. thanks for the great post!

  231. Carroll

    Hi Deb, I made this just as you suggested. 8 hours in my Westbend. Strained it and put into fridge so I could skim the fat off. So glad you added the bit about thickened broth. It was like jelly, but I stifled my panic and now have several freezer bags in my freezer. There was just enough left to warm up for a pre-dinner cup. It is amazing!!!! It has the most clear and beautiful flavor. Thanks!

  232. CarolineM

    I cook a 12 qt pot of chicken soup/stock each week but
    I LOOOOVE the slow cooker idea! Something I would add to the discussion is Subbing the onion with a red onion. The color is richer & of course the flavor….

  233. Ellen

    You are the reason I bought a slow cooker…..I have resisted for years, but I make stock all the time and you made it look so easy….and it was! I ended up with 3+ quarts of lovely broth/stock. I am reducing it now to freeze small containers.
    Thank you!

  234. Pam Parkinson

    Deb, many thanks for all your inspiration. I’ve used (and loved) a number of your recipes. So the other day i caught my annual “rotten stinkin” cold. But I am one of the oddballs that hates chicken soup in all its forms, but I was really dying for a good, uncomplicated beef broth. Packaged broths were not the answer!! So I decided to take this chicken broth idea and beef it up. I didn’t have any soup bones, so i used a pot roast I had in the freezer and simmered it with just some onion and 1clove of garlic. It just hit the spot! It is much richer than when i load it up with celery and carrots. And my throat and chest thank you too.

  235. cabsy

    I didn’t read through all 300 comments to see if anyone suggested this, but if you’re REALLY torn up over throwing away the meat on chicken wings you could just use the same weight in chicken wingtips snipped off the whole wing and use the wings and drumettes later on for chicken wings

  236. karen on the coast

    Wow, awesome responses, save for one, but it got lost in the context. Thanks for your feedback way up there on pressure cooker vs slow cooker. Here is what I did:
    first of all, went and got a nice-sized slow cooker from the thrift store for 12.99 to test drive. Didnt find full chicken wings and didnt have time at that point to run half way across town for the chicken feet. So — please note 258 Victoria if you are still following the posts here — I used what I had at home, because I was eager to try the process of double cooking. I used some brisket beef with bones in and cooked all in the pressure cooker for 35 minutes once pressure was up, using only garlic cloves, onion, salt and a smidge of black pepper. When pressure was down, the meat, bones and stock went into the slow cooker with fresh onion slices and five or six freshly peeled garlic cloves and I set the cooker on low at 8:30 pm. I let it do its thing for 30 hrs — yes, I can hear the gasps from here, but its ok to unclutch any clutched pearls — and the result is the most amazing beef stock ever. Pure, uncluttered, with deep flavour and colour, and the smell is beefy, not garlicky. Reason for so much garlic is as a preventive, by the way. Coming home on windy, rainy nights last week, first thing was hot shower, then warm woollies topped off with a mug of hot beef broth….cant wait to make my next beef stock with oxtail for the same reason chicken stock ought to be made with wings. But first I will repeat the process with chicken wings and then two turkey wings.
    The 12.99 slow cooker is a keeper until I upgrade to a nice Farberware or AllClad, then it gets donated back to the thrift store…for now, it and the pressure cooker sit in the same cupboard on the same shelf, amicably, side by side. I wonder if they talk…
    This has been so fun, thanks Deb for the goods you so freely and generously deliver. Now, I have to go and catch up with your cauliflower post, which is the only way to eat it, I agree!

  237. Other Jocelyn

    You know what I’d love to see? A good slow-cooker recipe for Chicken Tagine. There’s one that looks good over on The Kitchn but I’d love to get your take on it. Also, most recipes call for dried apricots, but I love using dried prunes in there. Am I the only one who feels like prunes are totally underrated? They’re so delicious (and so good chopped up, soaked in whiskey, and added to chocolate cake), but they seem to just make everyone think of Metamucil ads. It’s so sad.

    Anyway, that’s a special request for when you’re working on more slow-cooker recipes – I’m loving this week of thanksgiving posts, and we are totally on the same page about stuffing.

  238. Emma

    Tried this today…put it on my slow cooker for 10 hours and nothing but an oniony / garlicky warm water at the end. Admittedly it’s an english slow cooker… I don’t know if they are any different, but gutted it didn’t work :(

  239. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    This stock made the most lovely backdrop for a large batch of chicken noodle soup; it was lucious, silky and full-bodied. Both the little people and big people ate it with abandon and I dare say it helped cure a cold or two! This is most certainly a keeper. And FTR – I went for the stove top method and gently simmered it for 5 hours or so.

  240. Amanda

    Just wanted to comment, in case someone else hasn’t already…for people who want to use the muffin pan idea, I use a silicone one because you can peel it right off. Even a non-stick metal one seems to have a lot of difficulty popping out, unless you let it thaw for a while, and then you’re losing precious stock!

    Also, I’d had lots of trouble making stock on the stove, but the slow cooker has revolutionized soup in my house (and that one-pot farro dish, SO yummy!). My husband loves making beer can chicken on the grill, so I throw all the carcasses in the SC with water and let’er rip. Don’t have to add anything else, and I could drink it from the pot! :)

  241. Linda K

    I’m a complete newcomer to soup, so thank you for this guide to the basics! I don’t have a slow-cooker, so I simmered this on the stove for 5-6 hours, and it came out deliciously. :D I also found that in my case the meat on the chicken wings, what little there was of it, was really tender! The flavor was a little delicate, but not bad at all.

    I do have a question for anyone else who went the stovetop route. I found that if I covered the pot, the liquid would start to boil even on low heat, so I left the stock uncovered; unfortunately, this meant that a lot of my liquid ended up evaporating (I added more water in, but I worried that adding too much would thin out the taste, so I didn’t overdo it). Is there a way to keep more of the liquid in without making the liquid reach a boil?

    1. deb

      Linda K — I don’t think there would be huge harm in adding some of the lost water back. When I braise something in the oven, I often wrap the top of the pot tightly with foil before putting the lid on top to seal in as much moisture as possible. But somehow this seems riskier on the stove.

  242. Sue

    I tried your recipe and, because of its ease, will likely try again. I did end up cooking it longer (about 14 hours) and I did reduce the broth by about 1/3 on the stovetop. Without the further reduction, my broth was fairly weak (it had great color, but was weak in taste).

  243. Nanette Stoll

    I made the chicken soup and it was absolutely delicious!! I added parsnip, carrots and celery cut up in small chunks and fresh dill. (I also added another teaspoon of salt). Twelve hours later and it was perfect. I got just under 3 quarts of soup and refrigerated it overnight. The next day I skimmed off a thin layer of fat and noticed that the soup had jelled perfectly. What a great recipe!!! Thanks so much.

  244. holland

    I get it, the photos are showing how to prepare chicken noodle soup with the broth…DOH! I made this yesterday, at first it felt odd not adding veggies to the stock pot. Like I was doing something wrong…. but it was amazing. It was clear with a great pure chicken taste. For all those that are tossing in the usual veggies and herbs, I say DON’T! Try it at least once just as it is written here. This is a perfect stock if you want to make clear, flavourful soups.

    I made this stove top, and let it go closer to 8 hours. Linda K I left the pot partially covered. This way it doesn’t get too hot and boil, but I don’t lose too much volume. I didn’t add water so I only ended up with 2L. but I prefer to have less volume and more concentrated stock. It takes up less room in my freezer and can be watered down (if needed).

  245. Made this yesterday and it turned out really well – but the best part was how EASY it was to make! Made your matza ball soup – wondering if you’d ever consider putting up a recipe for the “hard camp” matza balls?

  246. Starstruck

    Made this with my leftover turkey carcass, but otherwise followed your recipe. Turned out great! Loved the slow cooker method (can leave the house) although I left it on low for longer, probably about 12 hours. I felt so efficient filling up my 1 qt ziplocs, labeling, and stowing in the freezer! Thanks for sharing a great technique!

  247. KatieK

    My slow cooker is too small. I have a new range and it has a very low simmer burner. The temp of cooking stock is right below 200 degrees, I’m using a lid. I’ve always done the chicken carcass, with the vegetables, routine. Trying this as it’s written and looking forward to the results. I’m not a huge fan of slow cookers, so I guess I’m not surprised that there have been so many varied results. I’d thought of using the wing meat for my dogs as well. Sometimes I think they eat better that we do!

  248. Rachel

    I made this broth this evening to use in your (fantastic) Italian wedding soup recipe. The broth was certainly the easiest I’ve ever made, and it was delicious! Since I don’t have a slow cooker, I cooked it on the stove for 4.5 hours on low heat. When I strained the stock, I tasted some of the meat on the chicken bones, and I found that it was still quite tasty. Its texture wasn’t perfect, but it certainly wasn’t overcooked enough to throw out. I stirred it into the soup, and it made the already delicious soup wonderfully hearty. If I were making the soup for company, I wouldn’t stir the leftover chicken back in, but as I was just cooking for myself, my frugal instincts wouldn’t let me discard it!

  249. A.J.

    Skin on bone-in chicken thighs make excellent stock as well. While the cooked thigh meat will become too “stringy” to make an ideal soup ingredient, do not discard it. I use it to make chicken salad & any number of Mexican dishes (from enchiladas to casseroles). An additional benefit is that stock from thighs will produce enough fat that will act as a natural cover for stored stock. And I also save the fat for making roux and as a saute fat when extra chicken flavor is welcome ( like when making chicken soup).

  250. I did it! I had to wait for the chicken wings to go on sale. I REFUSED to pay $3.49 a pound for 8 or 10 wings. Not right. Anyway…I was successful!
    This is a beautiful stock. I ended up letting my crock go over night, for a total of about 18 hours. It is rich, hearty, and best of all…..not “livery”. I had to laugh, we use that term also.
    Thank you, yet again, for sharing another recipe that is delicious. Now, into the freezer ye yummy stock!!

  251. Jess

    I’m late to the party here, but wanted to comment that this technique works great with other kinds of meat as well. I had a kind of old, weird-sized venison roast in the freezer and stock seemed like the best use for it. I browned the roast a bit before adding it to the crock. 10 hours later, I had amazing, rich broth. I expected to throw the meat out, but I tasted it first–it was falling-apart tender and delicious! So we’ll pull it and eat it on sandwiches.

    I’ve made pulled pork and pork stock in a similar way in the past, and may never make stock another way again!

  252. Amy

    The best alternative to a slow cooker is putting a stock pot in the oven on very low heat. I was lucky enough to use an Aga cooker for 6 years, where 70% of all cooking is done in the ovens vs. the 70% of cooking we normally do on top of the stove. So….just take anything you want to cook for a long time (even things like rice), put it in an oven-proof pot, and close that oven door! It’s the best. Thanks! Amy

  253. Callicarpa

    I’ve made two batches of this chicken stock since you posted the recipe, and they’ve both been perfect! So, I started wondering about beef stock. I picked up three pounds of beef bones, then used the exact same ingredients/ratios, the only difference being that I browned the bones a bit in the oven first and doubled the time in the slow cooker (extra time may not have been necessary–it just worked out better for my day to keep it cooking…)
    Not having your (or CI’s) dedication to testing and retesting, I can’t say it’s the *best* recipe for beef stock, but I can say it worked and was more delicious than any canned/boxed beef stock I’ve tried. I turned around the next day and used it to make your French onion soup, which was fantastic. Thank you for the recipes and the inspiration!

  254. I made this recipe – twice! The slow cooker was used on both occasions. For the first batch, I simmered the wings and onions for the required time. Once the cooking was completed, I placed the pot on a cooling rack and promptly forgot about the broth. Once I got home from work the next evening, I realized what I had done. I dumped it down the drain after removing the small amount of chicken fat that had risen to the top of the broth. A few weeks later, I was able to try this recipe again. This time I cooked the recipe on HIGH for 5 hours and then lowered the temperature to low and simmered for another 4 hours. I also cooled it down for a few hours on the cooling rack, then placed the broth in plastic freezer bags, and even used the muffin tins as you had written. I also made a rice soup with the chicken broth. It tasted great! Thanks.

  255. Helen

    Hurrah! This is made such a wonderful chicken stock – full of chicken flavor. I cooked it on high for about 5 hours then poured it through a strainer and tossed away the chicken and onions, then poured it again through a paper-towel lined strainer to clarify it. I floated some coffee filters on top to soak up the fat, then refrigerated it. The next day, it was beautifully gelatinous! this stock has a very noticeable chicken aroma and flavor. I cooked some kluski noodles in it, and it was delicious! This is the best chicken stock I have ever made – thank you for sharing the recipe!

  256. Everyone should add this recipe to their recipe boxes! It is insanely easy. I’ve made this twice now (freezing the broth) and it saved my bacon when we were a house full of sickies a week ago… amazing (and easy) homemade chicken soup made with this broth helped ease us back into the land of the living.

  257. Richard Dietzel

    I found you while searching on stock recipes hoping for new ideas. Now you’re Bookmarked and followed, etc. I make stock/broth all the time from the bones I freeze until needed and will continue to do so, the family motto of “Use it up, wear it out, make it do.” won’t allow otherwise. When I want a special stock I’ll make this one. Actually I need to keep some frozen because who wants to make it when you’re sick? Hot and sour or matzo ball for when I’m blechedich. Makes me want to go out in the cold without a jacket.

    I look forward to a veggie stock as the commercial ones suck.

    I am a paper CI subscriber so my search there was greyed out but I had hoped to find an article I remembered using a tomato(es) in the pot. No such…

  258. Loulou

    I am trying my hand at good, hearty organic chicken stock and beef stock. I am reading that chicken necks and backs are great for this and that beef marrow bones are the best for beef stock. Do you have a good recipe with tips on simmering time?

    1. deb

      Loulou — If you’d like to try this with chicken necks and backs instead of wings, I see no reason not to. (Though, I prefer the wings.) For beef stock, well, I make it differently… I like to roast the bones.

  259. anne

    OK, I am really late to the comment party, but, I made this and a beef stock today and wow. My house smells like heaven. At some point I decided buying the aseptic broths from the store were good enough. I’ve been wrong. There was a time when I would always have homemade stocks in my freezer at the ready. What happened to me? Did I lose my mind or something? Nothing that comes out of a carton smells like this or even comes close in flavor.

    I have no crock pot at the moment, so I sealed my pots with foil, put the lids on and sealed them again with foil around the outside seam. Popped them in a 275 degree oven ( who knows if it’s actually 275, I could hear them simmering away when I opened the door, good enough) for 5 hours. That did the trick, I tell you. I am dreaming of all the soups and sauces that are going to happen this rainy weekend. Thanks for the reminder of how irreplaceable the most basic kitchen essentials really are.

  260. Sydney Nahay

    Thank you for this recipe! Finally getting around to it for the first time since your post back in Nov ’13. Also, it was my first time making chicken stock, ever. I’m a convert. And yeah, I ran the math, too. Organic/humanely raised chicken wings @ 3.99/lb still comes out pretty close price-wise to store bought boxes of stock, and of course homemade is such a tastier end product! No more store-bought stock, yay!!

  261. Kay

    My first go at this yielded a lovely stock but, I wasn’t quite sure until I tasted against the everything but the kitchen sink approach. There is really no comparison. If one seeks a pure chicken flavor, that you literally can’t get off your mind then, the CI recipe is the way. I like putting scraps to use so I may use the old way in dishes where the chicken stock plays second or third fiddle.

  262. Richard Dietzel

    I’ve made this twice but with a stock pot not slow cooker and it’s wonderful and still easier than most. Today will be doing it with the cooker.

  263. Gisele

    I was worried my slow cooker might not get hot enough, so I made this yesterday in the oven, in a heavy cast iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. I kept the temperature at 225 degrees for 10 hours. It turned out beautifully. Perfect, in fact.

  264. Susie

    Thank you sooooo soooo sooooo much for this recipe. I’ve suffered for years with sludgy, sweety, cloudy chicken stocks that didn’t taste much of chicken. I had sort of given up and concluded that I couldn’t make a tasty chicken stock, even though everyone else seemed to be able to. This is the recipe for me for now and always. Also, do want to note it works with leftover thigh bones as well–we sometimes have some left over when we’ve wanted boneless dark meat and mix of thigh bones and wing tips also works as well as wings. Thank you again. Really.

  265. DN Waters

    Utterly delicious chicken soup. I serve it with small matzo balls (made with 2 eggs, 2 T. oil, 1/2 cup matzo meal, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 T. water). Tonight I used it as a base for a ground turkey/spinach/white bean soup, which would have been a bit dull if not for this golden deliciousness. Thank you, Deb.

  266. Shruti

    No luck on the vegetable stock yet? My guess is it’s something with onions, celery and carrot since they’re the backbone of almost every soup, but not sure what else would give it the flavor oomph that it needs.

  267. Bob

    I’ve recently discovered that truly great stock can be made quickly in a pressure cooker. Same procedure described here, but it only needs 45 minutes at pressure to give you a stock that would take four hours on the stove or much longer in a slow cooker. You can also start with frozen chicken bones or parts, so it doesn’t require as much forethought.

  268. Nikki

    It seems it’s been awhile since anyone has commented on this post, but I wanted to give my input. I literally forced myself to adhere to your plea of “just once” trying your simplified recipe (while every fiber of my being told me to ADD MORE GARLIC! ADD A BAY LEAF! THROW IN SOME HERBS!). I avoided those urges and, surprisingly, this made the best chicken broth/stock that I have ever tasted! The first batch, I cooked on my stove today for about 11+ hours (insane, I know), but I now have the second batch going in my slow cooker as I prepare to sleep and I must say, I’m very looking forward to it!! I kinda feel that the taste of traditional broth ingredients, i.e. carrots and celery are lost anyways, so why include them when they’re just going to be discarded? I didn’t even use fresh onion (onion powder instead) and this was the best broth I’ve ever made. I’d rather include them later on if I’m going to be using the broth/stock as chicken soup (with rice, as my hubby wouldn’t have it any other way). Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!!

  269. Vicki

    Nikki, I did the same! Followed precisely. I now save the stock and drink it as a coffee replacement and pick-me–up at times.

  270. Julie

    I made this yesterday on the stovetop exactly as written. This morning I skimmed off the thin layer of fat and I must say this broth is PERFECT! About to make my matzoh balls.. This is the soup you want when you’re sick. Or well. Or if it’s Tuesday. Thank you so have made all of my future holiday dinners so much less stressful.

  271. jenny

    Okay, I am on a perpetual quest for the perfect chicken stock, so when I stumbled upon this and the assurance that it was the best ever, I decided to give it a try. Just fyi I found this recipe while researching if anyone ever uses any pork in their chicken stock, as a chef friend told me he does. Didn’t find much on that, but did find this recipe, and so I was intrigued enough to give it a try. I do love good chicken stock, so had hoped for the best.

    i’m sorry to say, I found it to be truly the worst stock I’ve ever made. My 22-y/o daughter asked why I made onion water when she tasted it. I had wondered how this stock would achieve a balanced flavor with so few ingredients and so heavy on the onions, but I put it on faith it would be good. I followed the directions to a “T”, by the way. Bummed I wasted $14 on chicken wings, but oh well, lesson learned!

  272. (continued) FWIW, I’m pretty close to what my version of the ideal stock is, and here’s what I do: I roast a whole chicken (happy to use a stewing chicken if I can get one from farmer friends, often better flavor and cheaper), and two turkey thighs for about an hour at 375 degrees (I dry the chicken & thighs well 1st and sprinkle generously w/ kosher salt and ground pepper, and then Borsari citrus salt (can find at Whole Foods).

    In the meantime I fill a large stockpot a little less than 3/4 of the way with water and bring to boil with about a tbl of black peppercorns. Then I reduce temperature to medium/medium low, toss in chicken feet (about 10 or whatever I’ve got in the freezer), a handful of parsley, a generous tbl of kosher salt, about a 6″-long spring of fresh rosemary, a handful of fresh thyme, a handful of basil leaves, two large leeks (take out tough outer stalks, trim off ends, rinse off any dirt inside, and chop into 2-3″ pieces), about 4-5 stalks of celery, chopped, a large yellow onion, chopped (i’ll include skins, even the ends into it), and about 6-7 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into maybe 3″ pieces.

    As soon as the chicken & turkey thighs come out of the oven, I drain the extra fat, put the meat into the pot (I use tongs to carefully hold the bird over the sink to drain the inside of the chicken in case there is any extra liquid in there), and then quickly deglaze all those great brown drippings w/ a little white wine (maybe 1/4 c) & pour that into the pot.

    I let it simmer for several hours–maybe 5-6 or so. I strain into separate pot, then re-strain the stock twice, add another tbl of salt, and then cool it all down quickly in an ice bath in the sink. (sometimes I’ll sprinkle a bit of the Borsari citrus salt in as well if the flavor needs a little boost). Then I pick the meat from the chicken and separate out the carrots to serve with the soup (tossing all other cooked ingredients).

    This stock might not be perfectly clear like stock ideally should be; it’s definitely a little rustic, but it has a lot of flavor.

  273. posting one more thing: after reading all of the comments, I decided to cook this overnight in the crockpot. It had already cooked on high for 5 hours. I cooked another 10 hours on low, and the stock was MUCH better at that point. I did add a good bit of salt to it at that point–was still sort of bland. Still pretty oniony, but the aroma actually brought to mind the smell inside the old school delis we used to go to in Pittsburgh when I was growing up. I guess that gives credence to the broths authenticity ;-).
    I guess I’d say I like it now (whereas earlier it was just downright awful), but I still feel like I’d want to tweak it more, which makes me think I ought to revert to my tried and true for now, though this is not bad to have on hand for a less-involved recipe (clean-up sure is easier with this one).

    1. deb

      jenny — Glad to hear that you’re liking it more after more cooking. I knew from the outset that the stock wouldn’t be for everyone (though I have this same disclaimer about most recipes); I like a simple one without a lot of vegetable flavor, etc. But one of the more frustrating things when writing slow-cooker recipes is that I find that they really vary in how long they can take to cook something — it sounds like yours needed more time to really get that gelatin and full-bodied flavor into the stock. I hope you’re able to tweak it to your liking in future batches.

  274. To paraphrase, how do you do a search for information sites that fit what I want to check out? Does any body have learned how to BROWSE through blogs and forums by content or anything that on blog writer? . agegbcgegeagdbkk

  275. Linda

    Will be trying this recipe. Love the ease!
    Question: Are there food safety issues we need to be mindful of when food is cooking at such low temps for so long?
    Have read some newer slo cookers have temp problems. Older ones also had heating elements in the sides as well as the bottom.
    Somewhere I read a method for testing your cooker’s temps at the various settings. Must be be available somewhere online.
    I, too, look forward to some good slo-cooker recipes. Please do always include the size of cooker needed. I’ve got one of the old avocado green 4 qt CrockPots!

  276. I cannot believe how many of my friends with young children complain about not having enough time to cook. My suggestion and their solution has always been the slow cooker. There is no excuse to say that you don’t have time!! I use my crock pot for just me and freeze the rest. It takes more energy to complain than to use your crock pot. Fabulous article, thank you!

  277. Natalie

    Just adding to the chorus of praises. I make this so often in the colder winter months (which have now arrived . . . ) and it makes everything, from soups to sauces, immeasurably better.

    There are a lot of requests up top for vegetable stock; I’d like to hear how you make beef stock!

  278. Shruti

    Shruti (from April) is back :) It’s November and New York City street were windy today! Are you going to start testing vegetable stocks soon? Please? :) :)

  279. Shruti

    Back! I made some last night with 3 celery ribs, 3 carrots, 2 onions, 1 head garlic, 1 bay leaf, handful of mushrooms, 1 tablespoons black peppercorns and 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt.

    Browned all the vegetables in the stock pot and added 4 quarts water + a pinch of saffron.

    I think next time I might reduce the amount of peppercorns (maybe eliminate them completely?) but this was pretty good. I think the saffron adds a lot of flavor. My husband said it was “pretty close to chicken stock but without the chicken-y taste”. I think that’s a good sign?

  280. Kate

    Hi Deb – With Thanksgiving upon us I figured I could do turkey stock for my gravy and soup this way. What tweaks would you recommend? Use turkey wings in lieu of the chicken wings? Is that a suitable modification? anything else?


    1. deb

      Kate — It’s a great idea. In Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving book/manual, he has a lot of opinions on turkey stock. He thinks it should be the first thing you prepare, and you can definitely do so in advance, as you seem to be planning. For his “quick” turkey stock, he recommends a neck, a spanish onion, a stalk of celery and a carrot. He also has a “serious” turkey stock, which I find very interesting. He thinks you should take your carcass after the meal and the last shred is gone to make a turkey stock, or if you have a good freezer, the turkey stock you’ll use the next Thanksgiving. Anyway, you didn’t ask about any of that. If you’d like a perfect, uncluttered turkey stock, you can definitely just use this recipe here although you might throw in the drumsticks or the neck too since the two wings may not be enough. But I would be tempted to at least add a bay leaf or two and maybe a sprig of thyme, maybe I just like my turkey stock slightly more cluttered. Enjoy.

  281. Lindsay

    I was searching chicken recipe and some how ended up here, but thought I’d share that I’ve made great broth with USED chicken wings. I always save onion ends and poultry carcasses in my freezer to make stock, and I’ve found that the most delicious stock comes from just the wings as well. Of course, they’ve usually been seasoned, grilled, and chewed on prior to stock making, but they produce the most gelatinous broth. Not uncluttered, but if you live with hot wing enthusiasts a good way to make use of all those bones! (Just rinse well first!)

  282. Evonne

    Can I check how I can make chicken both in smaller quantity for 1 person? I dun have a big cooker and I only cook for myself. Can I just reduce the portions to one-third for all the ingredients?

  283. Kookie in London

    Hi Deb
    Just made this today with a leek, 1 clove of garlic and half the amount of wings. We have been eating rich food all through the holidays and we were craving a bowl of minestrone! I completely covered the bones with water rather than measuring. The broth was excellent, a scant teaspoon of salt at the beginning of cooking time was perfect for me, and I just let it bubble away gently on the back burner as I have no slow cooker. I was careful to let it come to the boil very very slowly and I think this gives a better, clearer stock from raw bones. Very happy with it! Thanks!

  284. Bliss Siman

    I love the recipe, love to make my own stock, such a difference. The wonderful hint about plastic bags I have seen often, but I just can’t see it. What do you do with the bags afterwards. I wash most of my plastic bags out and have a special dryer on which to hang them. But I know that it will be impossible to really get the bags with the broth in them clean, free of grease etc. Not worth the delightful convenience. I use the quart jars I’ve had for years, remember not to fill them too full (or they crack) and put up with the difficulty. I’ve never do ice cube trays, but this next time I will try small smaller amounts. Plastic is the bane of our oceans and our future. i think we all should use it as little as possible.

  285. I deboned a pile of chicken breasts over New Year to make kebabs for a BBQ, and dropped the bones and skins in the freezer. Decided today to cook it all up for stock and wanted something a bit different. Got two stock pots going on the gas range now, one with your recipe and one with the traditional carrots, onion, celery etc. Looking forward to the results. :P

  286. Michael

    You are God and never has there been one more divine. I have cooked chicken broth after chicken broth with occasionally brilliant results but often unpleasant points. This recipe, using the wings, onion and garlic is sublime consistently producing exquisite results. Forever in your debt.

  287. RR

    I know this is years late, but I was wondering what you did between taking it out of the crockpot and putting it into the fridge to cool/get the fat off. Do you just cool it on your countertop? Ice bath?

  288. Suzanne

    I just came across this blog this morning and have my chicken broth in the slow cooker right now. Your blog on this subject makes perfect sense to me. I have never gotten great homemade chicken broth as I always felt it was too complicated in taste and not what I was looking for. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this subject! Thanks and I will report back to share how my broth turns out.

  289. Candace Riegelhaupt

    This is the chicken stock recipe I’ve been looking for, simple and tasty. I cook mine on the stove top and it works.

    I don’t like the meat after it’s been simmered so long, but I do take the bones out and mix some of the meat and skin in with my dog’s meals. He’s a happy camper and I don’t feel like I’m wasting anything and I know exactly what he’s eating and where it came from.

  290. Rose

    This was fantastic. This broth didn’t set as it usually does in the fridge, but it’s a lovely clear golden color and very flavorful, so I guess that’s ok. Strangely, there was no evaporation at all! Many times before I have made broth and lost half of it in the cooking process to evaporation (making my house feel like a chicken sauna) for a no-very-flavorful result. I had to cook it for 20 hours, but I could have let it go for longer, and I still got a full 2 1/2 quarts out of it. I make my own wonton soup, and have been trying to get a flavorful clear broth for years! Next time I will sub scallions, ginger, and white pepper and I’m sure I’ll end up with magic!

    1. deb

      Rose — I wonder if maybe it might be cooked even longer next time, because I usually get a quite firm set from all of the bones. It’s not a problem if it tastes good, but it suggests that the bones weren’t cooked long enough to release their gelatin.

  291. Rose

    Batch two: used chicken feet and thighs, everything else the same, and cooked for longer. Result was a darker, but still not cloudy, equally flavorful broth, and you’re right, it just needed a bit more time to get the gelatin. My kitchen efficiency just went up 1000%. I’ve got 5 quarts of stock in the freezer which I spent all of 1/2 an hour prepping and cleaning up. Seriously, I could kiss you. Now I’m going to go over all my cookbooks and retry everything. :) Thanks.

  292. Rita

    Hi Deb. I was so excited to try your recipe! Couldn’t wait. I followed your instructions exactly and set up the slow cooker last night before going to bed. During the night, all I could smell was onion. I figured that would change as the cooking continued. This morning, the onion aroma continued. I tasted the stock and it tastes like onion broth, not chicken. Not like the caramelized onion broth used in French onion soup, but a strong onion broth with a raw sort of edge to it. It cooked for 10 1/2 hours, so I think I gave it plenty of time. I have an excellent slow cooker that has never failed me in a recipe before. I used a large onion, as you specified. Not a giant onion…just a large one. HELP!! What went wrong?? Thanks, Deb.

    1. deb

      Rita — You might put it back for even longer if you’re not tasting chicken yet. What I’m learning from comments on this and other slow-cooker recipes is that there’s a lot of variance in temperature and cooking times. But if chicken bones went in and you don’t taste them, the flavor was not released and cooking it even longer should address that.

  293. Crystal Braddock

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I will definitely let you know how it turns out. I had a thought about Rita’s onion problem. Could she have used one with too strong of a flavor? I will be using a white, sweet Vidalia onion.

  294. Andrew

    Just made this. I ended up using 3 lbs of wings and 2 quarts water due to size limitations of my crockpot.

    It simmered on low for 9 hrs, the meat fell off the bone, but there was still some shape to it.

    Honestly, it was a little bland. Next time, I will put in a bit more garlic (used 2 cloves, will try 3 or 4), and I’ll cook it for longer.

  295. Crystal Braddock

    I made the broth, and mine was too oniony, too. I think the problem might be in the size of the onion. Mine was at least 2X and I used only half. Also, it wouldn’t all fit in my 5-quart Crock Pot, so I had to ladle out some of the water, but I didn’t remove any onion, though I should have. Otherwise, it’s OK. Next time I’ll do a half recipe.

  296. Crystal Braddock

    I’d like to amend my previous post. After freezing the broth, the weather became too hot for eating much of anything. It finally cooled down enough that I was able to finally have a nice, cup of broth. Maybe it was the freezing process, but it was no longer too oniony. In fact, I thought I’d died and gone to chicken broth heaven. Thank you for providing the recipe that I’d been looking for more than any other.

  297. Gloucester

    Ok, so I am reporting back as one of those people who altered a major component of the recipe, so please ignore the rest if you can’t stand those people!

    I used drumsticks rather than chicken wings (not enough wings at the store and drumsticks were more plentiful and also cheaper) & the aroma wafting from a single teaspoonful of this stock is incredible.

    While I look forward to the full chicken wing experience at a later date when I have better luck shopping, I’m glad to know drumsticks are a good option in a pinch.

    (I have no slow cooker and followed the super helpful stovetop instructions!!)

  298. returning with a follow up on this. My first attempt was a failure on this but I soon realized I needed to slow cook this for a very, very long time.
    It is now my go-to stock recipe and I love the ease and simplicity of it. So thanks!!!

  299. Rosamund


    I live in London, UK and I’m lucky enough to have a farmers market where I can buy free-range organic chicken. The farmer sells raw chicken carcasses could I use these instead of chicken wings?

    Many thanks

    1. deb

      Rosamund — No reason not to, however, the reason I use wings here is that I liked the flavor they imparted most of all, more than the usual mix of bones from a carcass.

  300. Heidi

    As a cheapskate I have found a less expensive way to do this…we often buy roasted chickens at the grocery store and after removing the meat I freeze the carcasses in ziplock bags. I got the idea from a chef when I took a sauce class with him. I also add to the bags any onion skins, carrot peelings, celery ends, garlic skins, parsnip skins, parsley stems, etc. from cooking other things. The historical way that stocks were made was from the leftovers of actual cooking…no one bought ingredients to make a stock. As I cook I just put these scraps aside in the freezer. When I have need of a stock I just empty the bags into the stock pot and let it simmer away. I never freeze the stock afterward as I find it easier to store the frozen ingredients. I make the stock and use it fresh every time. Now to blow your mind…there is such a thing as a double stock and even a triple stock…after you make the stock all the way through…put it back in the stock pot…and start over with more bones and vegetable scraps. And yep, you guessed it…a triple stock is a double stock that gets put back in the stockpot a third time. They are unbelievable!

  301. marilyn

    When are you going to make a life-changing vegetable broth, for the rest of us? Soon. But it’s far more complicated because I don’t think that there is one magical combination of vegetables that will yield the ideal vegetable stock, it’s more about what flavors you enjoy lingering in the background your soups. Boy, I’m glad we had this talk because the kind of vegetable stock I’d like to make just totally hit me.

    Did I miss the vegetable stock recipe? I just made a trillion gallons of mushroom barley soup ( and ruined it with College Inn Veg Broth. Ugh.

    1. deb

      marilyn — I still owe you one. I’d like to do a dark and a light, if that doesn’t sound too weird. The dark would be earthy, the light would be more of a classic vegetable broth. Winter is coming! I’ll have ample opportunity soon.

  302. Gloria

    I’m just about to start a stock with a turkey carcass. I’ll save this recipe for another time. However, I have one question.
    What is the end result of using a crockpot, stove top or pressure cooker on a stock/broth?
    I’m going to use the pressure cooker for now as it’s already loaded.
    I would love to hear your suggestions.

  303. Kelly

    Just wanted to thank you! I use a lot of stock and have been looking for a way to make enough that I don’t have to make it so often. I used my giant Nesco roaster set at 170 and tripled the recipe. Took 3 days but came out beautiful!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! FWIW, after reading the comments about blandness I decided to throw in some fenugreek seeds, just a few so it didn’t overpower.

  304. patricia

    And for people looking to save money, try asking for chicken backs/necks at the butcher counter. Whole Foods up here in MA almost always has them. 1.99 a pound, folks. Roast them with veggies like carrots, leek tops, celery and garlic for 40 minutes and voila – stock starter kit…

  305. Gloucester

    I am reporting back having made your stock several more times as written (as opposed to my first attempt, which subbed drumsticks for wings.) Indeed, it is better–richer and more chicken-y–with wings, and better again with whole wings (what I mean is not the little nubbins that look like mini-drumsticks, but the fully jointed wing that actually looks like a wing, with the pointy wing-tip still attached, if that makes sense!). Thank you for keeping winter endurable and colds at bay with this marvelous elixir!

  306. Gloucester

    I just noticed your comment to marilyn above (389) about dark and light vegetable stocks–have you tried Darra Goldstein’s Roasted Vegetable Broth in The Winter Vegetarian (also published as The Vegetarian Hearth)?

    It is part of a recipe called Cabbage Pie Soup, and the broth is rich and dark, and savory if salted just right. Maybe roasting veggies is a common technique for making dark vegetarian stocks, but it was new to me.

    The Cabbage Pie Soup itself is a winner and worth trying–think 2 layers of sour cream pastry rolled out to 9 by 13 encasing a silken sweet cabbage filling. Then you pour the hot broth atop each square of cabbage pie to serve.

    1. deb

      Gloucester — Thanks for the tip; I will try it out. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I’ve actually been meaning to come back at this with roasted wings/bones first. A darker stock, but I can’t imagine the extra flavor would be unwelcome for some purposes.

  307. Louise

    Deb, You are a genius. This recipe has changed my life as a cook. That may sound a bit dramatic, but I’m completely serious. I, like many others that have commented, was a disbeliever in the simplicity of this recipe. How could all the complex methods I’d tried before and tips from family and friends be inferior to throwing 3# of chicken wings, an onion, garlic and water in a slow cooker for 9 hours? Well they were! This stock is amazing. I’ve made it 4 times during the last year and it is perfect every time. I just made a batch yesterday as a stock for Vietnamese Pho. Delicious! If your stock doesn’t come out exactly like Deb describes – rich, heavenly and turns to jello when refrigerated – you need more cooking time as the bones haven’t released their gelatin yet. I have steered many friends to this recipe and will continue to evangelize it’s brilliance. Thank you Deb!

  308. Nancy in CA

    I have my first pot of this going right now. We’ve long made stock from our stock bag, which of course leads to variable results, depending on what is in said stock bag. I’m about to need to be on a liquid diet for a couple weeks, so nothing but the very best would do. I’ll have to post how it came out.

  309. Jessica

    For those wondering about making this in a pressure cooker-just pulled it out of my instant pot. I only had about 1.75lbs of chicken wings so I just used 2 qts of water. Soup setting-high pressure for 90 minutes. It’s divine!! Best, purest chicken stock I’ve ever had!! I’m having to resist just drinking it as is instead of making it into soup.. Thanks Deb!

  310. Jane

    Deb, you are a godsend. First and foremost, thank you for being the person you are every darn day and secondly, thank you for sharing this recipe. Due to a pesky medical condition, I find myself occasionally unable to eat, sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a few weeks. During those times, I read your blog and all of the comments for comfort, connection, inspiration, hope and humor. I went through one of those times recently and just got out of the hospital. With the go ahead to slowly and gently start eating again by starting with clear broths and jello, I decided that instead of picking up quarts of pho broth from the neighborhood pho joint (my usual go to), I would try making your “uncluttered chicken stock” so I had lots and lots of it for nourishment. At the outset I have to say, I was REALLY doubtful that the sum of those 5 ingredients could be greater than their parts. Really. Doubtful. But I have grown to trust you so I heeded your advice to try it “just once”. All the way through yesterday’s “this is way too easy to be delicious” cooking phase, and when sipping a few taste tests, I thought the broth both too watery and too onion-y. But I kept the faith, cooked it for extra hours in the crockpot, strained and poured the broth into a huge mixing bowl, and set it in the fridge to cool. This morning I skimmed off the fat, “decanted” the broth into quart jars, and fired up my first bowlful. I added a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dash of curry powder but that’s all I did. Otherwise, it was straight up Deb’s Broth. I am not kidding, dear one, I could hear angels singing, but they weren’t coming for me, they were rejoicing for me. That stuff could heal nations…thank you! Here we are, still coming for this recipe, 2 and a half years after you posted and 300+ comments later. I imagine only a fraction of folks who make your recipes post a comment, so I bet there are thousands more of us who are better nourished and comforted, all because of you. Thank you, Deb.

  311. Sara Lucks

    Do you put the cover on the slow cooker when making this chicken stock? When making it on the stove in a regular stock pot it seems the pot is left uncovered. I assume the slow cooker is covered.

  312. Jane

    I made a second batch of your perfect uncluttered chicken stock last week. Deb, it was much, much needed. Thank you. Again, the chicken stock proved heavenly and life sustaining. I wish I could invent and bestow to you a James Beard award for “Food Writer Contributing Most to Humanity”.
    Honestly. I can see the short bio of you on the celebration program now…
    Deb Perelman:
    Woman/Mother/Wife/Author/Photographer/Creator/Chef/Humorist/Inventor/ Friend to All.
    You are something else again.

  313. T

    I made this without the onion (allergic :/ )…it turned out so so so delicious! Chicken broth has been a huge pregnancy craving for me but all the store bought stuff has onion. I also made the chicken soup from this recipe-incredible! But I could not be happier with this broth-it’s so flavorful all by itself. I have to make it again this week because I’ve almost already polished off the entire crock pot full😋😳

  314. Cheri

    If you like this recipe you will love chicken stock made with chicken bones leftover from roast chicken. Save 2 or 3 in your freezer and use in lieu of the chicken wings in this recipe. Be sure to thaw before heating or you won’t get good flavor. Also use the carcasses with the classic recipe for chicken stock using celery and carrot or parsnip. I also eve parsley stalks in freezer and add them in. Have fun everyone!