Easy Overnight Chicken Stock

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    1 quart

Appears in

From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over

From Scratch

By Michael Ruhlman

Published 2019

  • About

Make this a part of your roast chicken routine and you can enjoy the glories of fresh stock, a genuine pleasure if you’re used to store-bought broths that are laced with salt, “natural flavorings,” and other products not present in chicken or vegetables. What you have is clear, clean, fresh chicken broth. It takes less than a minute to prepare, then it cooks overnight in a low oven. I don’t even peel the carrots or the onion—I’ve found that onion skin enhances the stock’s flavor and color, so I just trim the root and any dirt. As has often been said, if you have chicken stock, you’ve got a meal.

This is beautiful for making a full-on gravy, or use it in place of water for a more intense jus. It makes a terrific soup, too, of course.


  • 1 roast chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, root trimmed, quartered
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 leek, green parts and all, well cleaned (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly smashed (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • A few flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (optional)


Combine all the ingredients in a 2-quart/2-liter oven-safe saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover the ingredients by 2 to 3 inches/5 to 8 centimeters. Put the pan, uncovered, in the oven and turn the oven to 200°F/93°C. In the morning, or after 8 hours, turn the oven off.

When you have a moment, that morning or that evening, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container or pan and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it. If you won’t be using it within the week, freeze it for up to a month (it will keep, frozen, indefinitely; it just may pick up flavors that you don’t want). I leave this stock on the stovetop if I want to use it during the week. It will keep that long in cool weather; just bring it up to a simmer for a few minutes each day to kill any bacteria that have descended on the room-temperature, protein-rich liquid. If you’re concerned about this, then by all means refrigerate until ready to use.