super concentrated chicken stock

Chicken stock. Bone broth. It’s a simple thing really. Making stock. Bones. A few aromatics. Water. Time. Super concentrated chicken stock is a whole different thing.

When you reduce the stock right down to a syrupy consistency it transforms into a flavour grenade ready to transform any chicken dish.

Think chicken demi-glace. If you only ever make one thing from this blog, make the concentrated chicken stock.

The best thing about this recipe is it’s dead easy. It’s even easier than regular stock. Regular chicken stock has carrots and celery you have to chop. Herbs. Peppercorns. Tomatoes even.

Add explosive flavour to all your chicken dishes with concentrated chicken stock.

Concentrated chicken stock has 3 ingredients. And one of them is water. You don’t want the flavour from the aromatics and herbs.

This is about concentrating flavours. Concentrate celery and carrots in your stock and you get something horrible. More is not better here.

All you have to do is save the carcasses from roast chickens, the backbones you cut out or unused necks. Any chicken bones you would throw out you throw into a bag and chuck it into the freezer.

Anything really as long as it never saw a grill. When you figure you have a pot full of bones, toss them into a pot along with one unpeeled, halved onion. Fill it up with water. Turn on the heat and wait.

And wait.

Wait some more…

Wait until you have simmered that pot of stock down from a full 5 litre pot to around a couple cups. This can take a long time. But it’s so worth it.

It goes from what you’d call stock to this syrupy, magic elixir. I’m not overstating it. Try it, you’ll see. You want it to be solid like jello when it comes out of the fridge.

Concentrated chicken stock. It’s a game changer. Seriously.

concentrated chicken stock
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4.70 from 13 votes

concentrated chicken stock

Concentrated chicken stock is a flavour grenade you can throw at any chicken dish. Its especially good in a pan sauce for roast chicken
Course stuff
Cuisine French
Keyword bone broth, chicken stock
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 22kcal


  • 5 lbs chicken bones or more
  • 1 onion unpeeled and cut in half
  • Water to fill the pot.


  • Toss the chicken and onion in a big pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the bones.
  • Simmer over low heat, partially covered until reduced to about two cups. This takes around 6-8 hours. Keep an eye on it. The last thing you want is for it to go dry and burn.
  • Strain through a colander to catch all the bones.
  • Strain again through a fine mesh strainer to catch any small bits.
  • To store, pour 1/2 cup into a medium ziploc freezer bag, squeeze the air out and freeze. Place a cookie sheet into the freezer as flat as you can get it and put the ziploc bags onto the cookie sheet to freeze up. An ice cube tray is another approach.
  • Concentrated chicken stock keeps a month or two in the freezer.
  • When you need some extra wow just break off a piece and melt it into the sauce.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 80mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.1mg

65 thoughts on “super concentrated chicken stock”

  1. Could this just stay in the fridge (maybe with some salt to help preserve it) instead of the freezer? If so, how long do you think it might stay fresh there?

    • I have held it for a few days. It won’t last a week I don’t think. I freeze it in ziploc bags laid flat on a sheet-pan. I can then just break pieces off as required. I always have this in my freezer. Always.

  2. 5 stars
    I was making your roast chicken, and decided to give this a whirl, since gravy is not my strong suit. Holy guacamole, Batman, this was the bomb! I used raw chicken necks and feet from the farmer’s market. I wasn’t seeing much progress after a few hours on the stovetop, and decided to finish it in the slow cooker overnight on low. I awakened to a big pot o’chicken wonder. The gravy was divine, and I’m portioning up the remainder for vacuum sealing.

    Thank you for this inspiration!

    • It’s pure kitchen magic. I always, always, always have some in the freezer. I bet now you will too:-)

    • 5 stars
      I expect this will be what I’ve been trying to achieve all along, over the past handful of years. I cooked concentrated stock with vegetables, and I did notice that there was some strong or unwanted taste, and now with all the input from this recipe, I think I’ve found the culprit. I KNEW I was onto something great by going this route with chicken scraps/bones, but had failed my taste buds by some margin because I thought I was “adding more” by adding vegetables, extra onions, garlic(aromatics) but now I see the error. I look forward soon to my experience matching Donna G’s comment soon. dang, for years I was sooo close and yet soooo far away! thanks!

    • I find freezer burn imparts a background flavour I really don’t like. If you don’t share my aversion then I guess it’s less of an issue. This one is an absolute essential in my pantry and I run through it quickly so I never hit that problem.

    • I’m glad you found me too! Yes – chicken feet will make amazing stock. It will be super, super concentrated chicken stock. All that collagen. The mouthfeel you get will be amazing.

  3. Hi Romain,

    I had noticed in some of your restaurant curry recipes that you lamented the loss when discarding the cooking water when making pre-cooked meat for these dishes.

    Seeing that you know how to make proper stock, I’m surprised that you don’t just reduce what’s left (particularly after simmering 1Kg of lamb) until it’s syrupy and then freezing it in ice-cube bags.

    That way, you get small flavour bombs to drop into your restaurant curry together with the pre-cooked meat. Nothing is lost and nearly all the flavour is there! Plus, the collagen in the reduction gives the sauce an even more glutinous and delicious appearance.

    Still cooking my way through the web site. It may be a while before I’m finished! 🙂

    • Guess I better pick up the pace to keep you busy!

      There’s one fundamental difference between this technique and pre-cooking protein for curries and that is salt. I tend to strongly salt the liquid when pre-cooking meat to maximize flavour. Boil that down and it becomes unbearably salty. I have been know to drink the leftover, unreduced stock though. Tasty, if a bit on the salty side.

  4. Why only 1 to 2 months in the freezer? It seems like it should keep longer than that, have you ever gone beyond 2 months? I would imagine the frozen concentrate didn’t spoil, but maybe lost some flavor?

    • Freezer burn is the challenge. If you have a vac pac that can handle liquid I’d guess it would make 6 months easy. There have been a few ziplocs that have been misfiled (read fallen to the bottom of the freezer and lost for a while) and they have survived.

      But I have also lost a few where I left a bit of air in the ziploc and suffered the freezer burn.

    • Once my stock has jelled, I cut it into cubes, wrap each separately in cling-wrap then put them all in an oversized vacuum sealed bag. Making the bag oversized gives one the option to reseal it several times. Say goodby to freezer burn.

  5. 5 stars
    When I was young, chicken stock meant just that, chicken stock (unsalted). Vegetables were too valuable to reduce down to a pulp and then be discarded. Vegetables were used to flavor soups not stocks, vegetables were never wasted. Chicken stock was used to make a variety of broths. Chicken stock was meant to be virgin pure and then flavoured only when it was used to make another dish. Chicken stock is supposed to taste like chicken, not chicken plus a vegetable and that includes onions. Keeping chicken stock free of other tastes is one of the reasons it is so versatile and valuable. Romain clearly has a great understanding of what constitutes a genuine chicken stock.

    • Thank you for saying. I push it a bit with an onion because I like the complexity that onion brings to just about everything (plus I love fishing that meltingly soft, chicken infused onion out and eating it along the way) but I am with you. Chicken stock is supposed to taste like chicken.

    • I don’t know. I can’t see why not though. The thing you will lose is the ability to just break off a chunk when you need it. I probably hit my stash at least twice a week so I like the ability to just grab what I need. This stuff really doesn’t take up a lot of room in the freezer when frozen flat in ziplock bags.

  6. I found this information really useful and I started making chicken stock from a whole roasted carcass with celery, carrots onion and a few mushroom, after about 4 hrs reduction time in a pot and straining I put it in the fridge overnight. I ended up with a semi jelly like consistency which I have now frozen in zip locks. Is this part way to having a concentrate and will it be ok to use or should I have used more water.

    • I am always very careful not to add aromatics (other than one onion) when I make concentrate as the flavours get too strong as it reduces. Semi-jelly sounds OK. It will be tasty and make a lovely addition to your pan sauces I am sure.

  7. Do you roast the bones/chicken parts before putting them in the pot? And at a certain point the bones will become uncovered as you cook it down further, correct?

    • I collect bones over time from roasted chickens and raw bones (from boning out chicken). Basically if I have any bones that didn’t see smoke on the grill, it all goes in the pot when I have enough to make a batch. The smaller bones in the carcasses break down over the long simmer but at the every end some bones may clear the surface, yes.

      I use concentrated chicken stock constantly so I just put the bones in a bag in the freezer. After about a month I have enough to make a batch.

    • Thanks for the reply. Do you roast the raw bones in the oven before putting them in the pot? Or do you put them in the pot raw? And do you remove bones as the stock cooks down further and leaves the previously covered bones exposed?

    • All the bones go in as is. If they are from a roasted chicken they are cooked. If they are raw they go in raw. I do not remove exposed bones. You’ll see why when you do it.

  8. I am making this now to use up leftover chicken bones that I’ve frozen from organic rotisserie chickens. In a 10 qt pot I used 4.5 lbs of chicken bones and scraps (defrosted), one large onion with skin, quartered, and added about 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar. (I usually add the ACV as it is often suggested in bone broths. Adds a nice brightness to flavor.

    One question: is this simmering UNCOVERED the entire time? Thanks!

    • I typically simmer covered for the first few hours and then take the cover off to reduce. I am a bit concerned about the cider vinegar though. This is a highly concentrated stock. Flavours amplify as you reduce. I’m worried you will get something way too acidic…

    • Acidity tends to soften with extended cooking, so if they add at the beginning it should be fine. That being said, if zing is desired I would recommend adding to the end dish. As an example I make collards in the instant pot (which I plan on using to make this recipe —pressure cook for a couple hours then take the lid off and concentrate using sauté on low) and added ACV and it never came out well. So I took it out and added separately at the end and to was much better

  9. I’ve just made this for the first time. When it cooled down it separated into 2 layers. Should I only use the darker layer or can I use all of it.

    • The top layer is fat. It depends on how there is. If you have a lot I’d skim it. If there’s just a little it’s no big deal. Fat tastes good!

    • I’m afraid I don’t have a slow cooker so I have absolutely no idea. You want a gentle simmer. I don’t know if a slow cooker would get hot enough without the lid on. Maybe start on the slow cooker to make the stock and then reduce in a pot?

    • I don’t like concentrated beef stock as much as I like concentrated veal stock done this way. Concentrated veal stock is a wonderful thing…

  10. Why wouldn’t you recommend adding veggies? A lot of recipes for concentrated chicken stock have in them veggies.
    Just trying to decide witch recipe to follow.
    Thank you!

    • You are concentrating flavours here. Really concentrating flavours. For me this is about concentrating chicken flavour (and to a lesser extent onion flavour). If you add veggies you will concentrate their flavour as well. Personally, I don’t want concentrated celery or carrot flavour in everything I use this in.

      Pure chicken flavour is what you’ll get here. Up to you really. Go with what you like!

    • I always keep this on hand. I use it for any sauce where I deglaze a chicken based fond. Any roasted or sautéed poultry for sure. Sometimes I slip it into a braised dish as well. I even use it with pork sometimes. It adds a great mouthfeel to any dish.

    • Yup. I never don’t have this in my freezer. It’s not just the flavour – the mouthfeel it adds is really special.

  11. Quick question: if I wanted to then reconstitute the stock, what would be the ratio of water to concentrate?

    for example:

    X grams concentrate to 1 liter Water

    • I can’t offer a formula I am afraid. I would guess somewhere around maybe 5 or 6 parts water to 1 part stock. If I were doing it I would start at 4:1 and taste. Then decide if I wanted more diluted and adjust accordingly.

    • Ok thanks – I have been purchasing concentrated stock over the last few years and have been considering replacing this with my own concentrate.

    • 5 stars
      Raw bones might be OK but I find roasting the bones at 400゚ for 20 minutes adds an amazing layer of flavor.

    • Haha. You had me confused. Saying “she” threw me. I’m a he. I meant that it hadn’t been grilled as in not cooked on a grill or smoked in any way. Raw or cooked is OK. The smokiness from grilling is an absolute no go. Concentrating smoke is just bad…

    • Hi Helen. Actually, there are two kinds of chicken stock. Blond or light chicken stock uses raw chicken Brown or dock stock uses cooked chicken. The brown stock is richer in taste and can be used with almost any meat. Blond stock is bascically for use with chicken. When I make brown stock, I usually use roasted chicken rather than rotisserie chicken because rotisserie chicken usually has a lot of salt on it. Some places sell unsalted rotisserie chicken and that works fine. If you use a roasted or rotisserie chicken, be sure to take the skin off and remove the breast meat as it does not help the stock. Use it for something else, but be sure to keep the skin for your stock!

    • To each his own but I keep anything that touches smoke doesn’t go in mine. I wind up tossing a lot of chicken bones as a result which is wasteful. What do you use the smoky version for?

4.70 from 13 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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