Easy Chicken Stock Recipe | Cook the Book

A glass measuring cup with chicken stock.
Photograph: Caroline Russock

It would be a shame to see even a bit of Michael Ruhlman's Perfect Roasted Chicken go to waste. So after you've had it for dinner and used the leftovers for chicken salad or a club sandwich, may we suggest stocking the freezer with a batch of Easy Chicken Stock.

Adapted from Ruhlman's Twenty, this chicken stock couldn't be easier. Instead of prepping a bunch of veggies, tying up a bouquet garni, and roasting off bone, this stock requires barely more effort than plopping the chicken carcass into a few cups of water and letting it slowly warm through in the oven overnight. Of course, you can do this on the stovetop but letting the oven do the work is all the more lazy.

The next day when your pot of stock emerges from the oven it will be plenty chicken-y and ready for a final simmer with a handful of aromatics. Ruhlman calls for a standard mélange of onion, carrot, bay leaves, and black peppercorns along with the unexpected addition of tomato paste. This little tweak imparts the stock with a welcome touch of sugar and acid, brightening ever so slightly.

Adapted from Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman. Copyright © 2011. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 12 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 roasted chicken carcass (and any leftover pieces or bones that have not been dispatched)

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • Optional additions: a few garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme 


  1. Break the chicken carcass into pieces. Put the chicken and any leftovers in a 3-quart ovenproof saucepan and add water to cover. You will need about 6 cups.

  2. If cooking the stock on the stove top, put the pan, uncovered, on a back burner on low for a few hours. The surface of the water should be still, but the pot should be too hot to hold your hand to.

  3. If cooking the stock in the oven, put the pan, uncovered, in an oven preheated to 180° to 200°F and cook for at least 4 hours or as long as 12 hours. (I simply put the pan in the oven and cook the stock overnight).

  4. Add the remaining ingredients, bring the stock back to temperature over high heat, then reduce the heat to low or return the pan to the oven. Cook for 1 hour longer.

  5. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer or, better still, through cheesecloth/muslin or a kitchen cloth. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
44 Calories
1g Fat
4g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 44
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 256mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)