« Onions (Recipe: clam, bacon and caramelized onion pita pizza) | Main | Eggs (Recipe: corn, green chile, egg and cheese casserole) {vegetarian, gluten-free} »

Homemade chicken stock (Recipe: smashed potato and leek soup with bacon and thyme)

Smashed potato and leek soup

Every week I make homemade chicken stock in my slow cooker, with the carcass of a rotisserie chicken or a chicken I've roasted at home.

It couldn't be easier: toss what's left of the chicken carcass into a four-quart slow cooker; add one onion, cut in half, skin and all; add one stalk of celery, with the leaves, and one carrot, cut in half; add a bay leaf and half a dozen peppercorns, and water. Set the cooker on high for three hours, or on low for six hours. Walk away, read a book, check your email, take a nap.


Strain the stock into a freezer-safe container, and let it cool to room temperature on the counter top. Then, store for up to one week in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer, and make soup to your heart's content.

What is chicken stock?
A flavored water made from chicken bones (carcass, neck, wings), long-simmered to release the flavorful gelatin into the liquid.

How/where to store:
In a nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid, in the refrigerator for up to one week; in the freezer for up to six months. You can also fill an ice cube tray with stock and, when frozen, store the cubes in a plastic bag.

Rotisserie chicken stock 

Smashed potato and leek soup with bacon and thyme

Most potato-and-leek soups get pureed into something delicate and refined. Not this soup; it's got a rustic personality and big flavors, and it all starts with homemade chicken stock. My husband Ted loved this soup so much that I thought you'd want to know about it, so please head over to Soup Chick for the recipe.

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Black bean and peach soup
Chicken with preserved lemon tagine
Chicken and shrimp jambalaya
Vegetable-beef soup
Fregula sarda with leeks and sausage

Other recipes that use homemade chicken stock:
Chicken pot pie, from Food, and Other Musings
Chicken pesto fondue, from Andrea Meyers
Gnocchi with rich chicken broth and summer veggies, from Restaurant Widow
Chicken with kalamata olives, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Hainanese chicken rice, from Nook & Pantry

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Holy chicken! I never thought to use a slow cooker for making broth. Thanks for the tip and the link to the soup.

It sounds delicious Lydia!!

Genius! I bet if I added a bit more water I could probably even do it while I was at work!

Don't walk away from the slow cooker until you add the water: from Soup Chick, to 2" from the top. (maybe we could make slow-roasted veggies?)

My hubby and I are all about soup. I haven't made my own broth yet though and I know I should try it because I would love it.

What Judy F. said above!!

Nor have I thought of making chicken stock in the slow-cooker. Brilliant. This will be how I do it from now on. Great soup, Lydia!

Judy, Nick, Susan G, Carol, Christine: So easy to make stock this way. And if you're a rotisserie chicken addict, even easier! (Nick, you can set it on low for longer than six hours, if the lid on your slow cooker is tight-fitting so you don't have evaporation, or if you start in a larger slow cooker.)

Val, it is, it is!

Dawn, the advantage to making your own stock is that you can control the saltiness. I never salt my homemade stock at all, so I can salt the dish I'm using it in instead.

That soup looks delicious!

My problem is sometimes I seem to add too much water when I make mine and there isn't enough flavor. I usually just cook it down and that helps. When it comes out right - it is very rewarding!

letting it cook down it definitely the key! usually if you make sure to cover the chicken/veggies with water and maybe an inch above them, you're good! i make my own stock weekly as well and use it promptly in that week's soup that we then eat for lunch throughout the week!

What a delicious recipe using chicken broth. Will add this to my list aside from those that I have on our blog.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.