Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

slow cooker chicken stockI have a simple recipe for you today. In fact, it’s so simple that I never considered it “blog-worthy.” But the other day, after whipping up another batch and getting it ready to freeze, I realized that my method for making chicken stock is so easy that everyone should hear about it.

This rich and beautiful stock is the base for nearly all of my soups and chilis. I use it to make my risotto. I use it in braises. The long-simmered flavor comes from overnight cooking in the slow cooker. Though it’s doing its thing for hours, it literally takes five minutes of active prep time. Plus it makes use of that chicken carcass you’d otherwise toss in the trash (even the one from that rotesserie chicken you picked up when you were too tired to cook dinner).


Throw that in your slow-cooker, along with the limp carrots, celery and onions at the bottom of your produce drawer (I’m on to you…) and you’ve got your next meal well on its way to homemade awesomeness. By the way, have you ever read a lable on the back of store-bought chicken broth? Not only is it a huge source of hidden gluten, but it has SO MANY unnecessary and yucky ingredients.

The only problem with this stock is that the warm, cozy fragrance of soup simmering away all night sometimes makes my tummy a bit growly come morning. That’s a small price to pay…promise.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 24 hours

about 2 quarts

Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

This is the easiest way imaginable to make your own fresh chicken stock. A few minutes of your time yields rich and delicious stock that you can use in all of your soups, braises and chilis.


  • 1 chicken carcass, picked relatively clean
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks of celery with leafy greens attached
  • 1 onion, peeled and chunked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, optional


  1. Place the carcass, carrots, celery, onion, bay, peppercorns and salt (if using) in a slow cooker and cover with water (fill to one inch above the chicken).
  2. Cover, set to low and simmer for 12-24 hours.
  3. Cool slightly and carefully pour through a strainer into a bowl. Ladel broth into jars or another stoage container, leaving a couple of inches of head-room. If desired, chill in the fridge for several hours until the fat congeals at the top (I never do this as I like a little extra fat in my stock). Scoop the fat from the top, cover and use within 5-6 days, or freeze for 6 months. After that it's still safe to eat, but won't be as flavorful.


  1. This looks great! I usually only have a leftover whole chicken after I’ve finished making homemade chicken soup. Do you think that carcass would work even though it’s already been cooking and simmering for several hours?
    I’d love to make my own chicken stock for so many reasons beyond knowing what’s in my food.

    • Yes! It may not be quite as potent, but bones have quite a lot of flavor so give it a try. :)

    • I make chicken stock both ways. I save (raw) backbones, wing tips, cartilage, etc. when cutting up a chicken and toss in the freezer until I have enough pieces to make stock. When I use the carcass from a roasted chicken I also add juice from a lemon or a little vinegar to draw the calcium out of the bones. The cartilage also helps set up the stock making it gel when cooled. Good thick chicken stock is full of cartilage-building proteins and amino acids.

  2. Hi Alison,
    I wanted to leave a comment to let you know how much I enjoy your site. It is so beautiful! The quality of you photographs makes me want to jump into my computer and eat your yummy recipes! I wrote a blog post review I wrote about your Warm Autumnal Rice and Vegetable salad, which was absolutely delicious by the way. If you are interested, you can read the post here: http://newceliacmom.blogspot.com/2014/03/Recipe-Review-Warm-Autumnal-Rice-and-Vegetable-Salad.html. Thanks again for being such a great resource!

  3. mary eslin says:

    Husband and I are both diabetics and I was searching for healthy/homemade/easy and luscious recipes. and there you were! Your site is just lovely.
    Thank you so much for your slow cooker chicken stock recipe. Do you think it would make a good vegetable stock if I just left out the chicken carcass?

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