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Estimating calories in homemade chicken stock?

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It's finally starting to get a little chilly here in southern California, so I decided to make a big batch of chicken soup. It probably doesn't make a very big difference, but I have no idea how to estimate the calories in the homemade stock. It tastes so much better than canned that I think it must be more.

Here's the basic process: I take a whole chicken and cover it with water in a large stock pot along with a chopped up onion and some celery. Allow it to boil gently for about 1 1/2 hours, until the chicken is almost falling off the bone. Then I remove the chicken from the broth, strip the meat from the bones and set it aside. The skin and the bones go back in the pot and simmer for another 3 - 4 hours. Then you drain it through a strainer and stick the liquid in the fridge overnight. The next morning, the fat has risen to the top and solidified, so you can pull that off. The broth is really good. BTW: this sounds complicated when I write it down, but it's really easy and it makes the house smell good.

Anyone else do this who might have an idea of the calorie content? I'm curious.  

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I make my stock the same way.  I have always considered it to have the same or alittle more calories and fat as the Swanson's Natural Goodness Broth, with the exception of the Sodium.  I just cannot imagine it having much fat if you scrape all of it off the top. The stats are:

1 cup = serving

15 cals

0 fat 

1g carbs

3g protein

Obviously this is just a guess, but I hope it is helpful :)

Thanks 2qtboys! I'll go with your estimate. It just has so much flavor, I wasn't sure if I should assume it was the same calories as boxed broth. It was my first time making my own stock, after having watched my mother do it for years. I don't think I'll ever go back to making chicken soup with store bought stock. Yum!

It's really hard to calculate.  I make my own stock and broth and I know just what you mean - so much more flavor and body than canned!

I entered mine as a custom, tagged item at 50 calories per cup, which is probably high.  I chill my meat stocks and remove every last bit of the fat that rises to the top. 

Thanks, clairelaine! I tried just typing in "chicken broth" for my chicken soup recipe and it gave me a value of 38 calories per cup. That's somewhere between these two estimates, so I think I'll just go with that. Either way, it isn't high calorie, and I'm sure there's plenty of good nutrition in there!
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hi. i'm very new to this. first time. question. i use all the DRIPPINGS from a chicken roaster-with the cold yellow fat discarded-then add water for soup. BEFORE added water it has a gel consistency in the frig.. (think difference between weight of water and weight of gel per same volume would be calories.) thought maybe this would be "condensed" stock = about 100 cal/cup. any ideas? thanks. k

Another good thread revived!  Thank you.

The "gel" is just natural gelatin from the bones and has almost no calories.  It does give a richer flavor.  I love making soup from roasted leftovers and drippings.

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thanks so much claire.  k

I've wondered about this too.  Especially since I clarify the stock and it is so like gelatin in its cold state.  It taste so rich and right when heated with a bit of green onion floating on top. So here's what I have found out. . . via  The recipe is simple and gets rave reviews.  It does not however tell you how to clarify stock(s).  That is really simple.  When the stock is done and you have removed the fat, simmer it again and drop in a couple of raw egg whites.  They will rise to the top as they cook and collect any impurities that may be left behind.  Just lift them out with a sieve/spoon and enjoy!  

If you follow that recipe and reduce the liquid (through cooking,) to six cups a serving is roughly 3.43 oz. 

Nutritional Information Chicken Stock

Servings Per Recipe: 14

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 252

  • Total Fat: 14.4g
  • Cholesterol: 87mg
  • Sodium: 104mg
  • Total Carbs: 2.5g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 26.6g


About: Nutrition Info

Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database


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Great thread.  I have no clue on calories either so I just took the most calorie laden chicken broth numbers I could find on the web, hadn't thought to use "chicken stock", I'll try it.

One idea: typically I make soup on the weekend and eat it all week so I don't want to wait the day to gel the broth and scrape off the hardened fat.  After I've run the stock through a colander and then a large strainer, I ladel off as much as I can and stop when I start getting more broth than fat in the spoon, and to finish it off I gently lay a paper towel across the surface and it wicks away the fat.  I do this maybe 3 times.  It's a little wasteful on the paper towels I guess, but it gives a great result and while the broth is still warm I though in my fresh ingredients, boil until tender crisp, let it cool, then stick it in the fridge.

Yes the calories given on the website seem WAY too little for it but in India we don't get canned stock so we've always made our own. However here is a great idea for you, this is how I make mine.


1 Full chicken (WITHOUT SKIN)

1 litre of water

2-3 Onions (indian ones not those big white ones)

Lots of garlic cloves

Full peppercorns 

Salt to taste 


Instead of boiling this for a long time I just use the pressure cooker (very commonly used in India for cooking ANYTHING) so yeah it gets done in 10minutes, the meat falls off the bone, I shred it and use it in sandwiches and rice and things like that and I strain the rest of the stock and I've got a nice amount of stock that I can use.


We do get stock cubes in India though, but real stock is the **** \m/

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Interesting recipe for using the pressure cooker in cooking the chicken.  I just aquired one recently and have been aiming to use it.  This will be a perfect experiment.  Thanks.

You're welcome :)

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