Homemade Chicken Stock from Freezer Scraps

January 17, 2024

Save your leftover veggie scraps and chicken bones to make your own homemade chicken stock. Then, use your stock for soups, sauces, and so much more!

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Homemade chicken stock being made in Dutch oven on stovetop with veggie scraps and chicken bones.

It has been downright frigid here in Jersey this week.  A perfect week for staying in and enjoying comfort foods.  Knowing that the weather called for snow and freezing temps, I took advantage of the freezer bag of scraps I’ve been saving and made stock.

I had a gallon bag filled with all sorts of veggie peels and some chicken bones so I turned it into a delicious, veggie loaded chicken stock.  Stock is basically broth, but made with bones instead of meat.  Next time you get a rotisserie chicken (that’s what I used), save the scraps to make your own stock!

I don’t think there’s too many rules when it comes to making your own stock just as long as you cook it for at least a couple hours.  Some people say there are certain veggies you shouldn’t use – like broccoli – but I threw in a stem and my stock was fine.  It didn’t taste bitter.

I also had some bell pepper, onion, and garlic peels in my freezer bag.  Along with the chicken and herbs and spices, I was able to make a tasty stock that was divided between meals and the freezer.

Homemade Chicken Stock from Freezer Scraps

Basically, to start this stock, I started saving whatever veggie scraps I had in a freezer bag and kept adding to it.  After we had rotisserie chicken one night, I tossed the bones in another bag and stuck it in the freezer.  Once my scraps reached the top of the bag, it was time to make my stock.

Frozen chicken bones, veggie scraps, and fresh herbs and spices in Dutch oven.

Close up photo of fresh thyme and rosemary in Dutch oven of veggie scraps and chicken bones for homemade chicken stock.

I don’t have any measurements to guide you along, but you’ll get the gist of it with the photos.  Start by dumping your scraps into a large pot (I used my Dutch oven).  At this time, I also added some fresh herbs from my garden – like thyme and rosemary – along with some other spices like peppercorns and bay leaves.

Water filling up Dutch oven filled with chicken bones, veggie scraps, and fresh herbs.

Hand holding spice jar of turmeric over pot of homemade chicken stock.

Cover the veggies and chicken bones with water and bring to a boil.  Then, lower the pot to a simmer.  While the stock was simmering, I stirred in some turmeric and ground ginger (I like their immune boosting properties).

Cover the pot and cook for at least two hours.  The longer the stock cooks, the better it will taste!  I had this going for most of the morning and afternoon.

Metal strainer straining veggies and chicken bones out of homemade chicken stock.

Once the stock has finished cooking, use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove the bones and veggies from the stock.  Then, allow the stock to cool.

Tip: if you’re just making veggie broth, you can compost the veggies once they’re strained from the pot.

Homemade chicken stock in silicone freezer soup trays.

Store the cooled stock in jars or silicone soup freezer trays.  Homemade stock is good for 3-4 days in the fridge and about 6 months in the freezer.

Vegetables to Add to Your Chicken Stock

  • Carrots and carrot peels
  • Onions and onion skins
  • Garlic and garlic peels
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery and leaves
  • Broccoli stems (some say it causes bitterness, but my stock was fine so don’t use too much)
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil

Use your homemade stock for soups, sauces, cooking rice, and so much more!

Need a few ideas for using your homemade stock?  Check out these recipes: