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For the best, most delicious homemade chicken broth, start with a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces and simple vegetables and herbs. At the end of it, you’ll have 4 cups of delicious cooked chicken and 2 quarts of the best chicken broth you’ve ever tasted. Freeze it for your future soups, stews, and casseroles.

Homemade chicken broth in a jar on a plate.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to Make Chicken Broth Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled chicken broth ingredients in bowls.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken: This recipe uses a whole raw chicken or the equivalent of cut-up pieces (you can do 4 to 5 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, thighs, drumsticks, necks, whatever!).
  • Organ meats: The heart and gizzard can be added to the broth if desired, but the liver should be discarded or reserved for another purpose.
  • Cold water: Always start with cold water. This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time will determine the intensity of the broth.
  • Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  • Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To a Dutch oven or large stock pot, add chicken and cold water to cover (see note 3). Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and skim the foam off the top.
Fat being scooped off the top of chicken broth in a silver pot.
  1. To the pot add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns to make a sachet or add loosely to the pot.
Chicken broth ingredients in water in a silver pot.
  1. Simmer gently (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals) until the chicken is cooked through, at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more flavor it will have. (NOTE: After 1 hour, you should remove the chicken breasts from the pot to prevent them from drying out).
Chicken broth ingredients in water in a silver pot.
  1. Remove chicken from pot to a rimmed baking sheet or large bowl. Separate chicken, discarding skin and bones (you should have about 4 cups chicken).
Pieces of chicken on parchment paper.
  1. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
Chicken broth ingredients in a strainer over a clear bowl of chicken broth.
  1. The next day, scrape off the accumulated fat from the top of the stock and discard. Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze. Or, refrigerate and use within 4 days.
Chicken fat being scooped off of the top of chicken broth.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups (2 quarts) homemade chicken broth. You’ll also get 4 cups cooked chicken in the process.
  • Refrigerate: Store chicken broth in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  • Freezer: Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Leftover roasted chicken carcass: To make chicken broth from a roasted chicken, I recommend adding the leftover roast chicken carcass to a pot with raw chicken. If you boil just a leftover roasted chicken carcass on its own, the broth will be thin and lack body and flavor.
  • Chicken stock vs. broth: Technically, stock is made with just bones, while broth is made with the bones and meat.
Homemade chicken broth in a jar on a plate.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup to the rescue! This classic recipe comes together in a hurry, and is the perfect thing to make with leftover chicken. That means you can have a big pot of homemade soup…

35 minutes
View Recipe

Put your chicken broth to work

Homemade chicken broth in a jar on a plate.

How to Make Chicken Broth

For the best, most delicious homemade chicken broth, start with a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces and simple vegetables and herbs. At the end of it, you'll have 4 cups of delicious cooked chicken and 2 quarts of the best chicken broth you've ever tasted.
5 from 40 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 8 cups
Course Pantry, Soup
Cuisine French
Calories 13

Ingredients 

  • 1 4 to 5 pound whole chicken cut into pieces and giblets removed (see note 1 & 2)
  • Cold water about 12 cups (see note 3)
  • 1 medium onion peeled and halved
  • 1 large carrot peeled and coarsely chopped (see note 4)
  • 1 celery rib coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Sachet (see note 5):

  • 6 fresh parsley stems
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Instructions 

  • To a Dutch oven or large stock pot, add chicken and cold water to cover (see note 3).
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and skim the foam off the top.
  • To the pot add onion, carrot, celery, and salt. If desired, tie parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns to make a sachet or add loosely to the pot (see note 5).
  • Simmer gently (bubbles should barely break the surface at irregular intervals) until the chicken is cooked through, at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more flavor it will have. (NOTE: After 1 hour, you should remove the chicken breasts from the pot to prevent them from drying out).
  • Remove chicken from pot to a rimmed baking sheet or large bowl. Separate chicken, discarding skin and bones (you should have about 4 cups chicken).
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Place in a large bowl and chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, scrape off the accumulated fat from the top of the stock and discard. Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (leaving at least 1/2-inch for expansion), label, and freeze. Or, refrigerate and use within 4 days.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chicken: This recipe uses a whole raw chicken or the equivalent of cut-up pieces (you can do 4 to 5 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, thighs, drumsticks, necks, whatever!).
  2. Organ meats: The heart and gizzard can be added to the broth if desired, but the liver should be discarded or reserved for another purpose.
  3. Cold water: Always start with cold water. This helps keep the broth clear, not cloudy. The amount of water used and the length of simmering time will determine the intensity of the broth.
  4. Vegetables: Some cooks save old vegetable trimmings to add to their broth. I prefer to start with new, fresh vegetables because I think the broth will taste better. So yes, we peel the carrots, and save your vegetable scraps for composting!
  5. Herbs and spices: A sachet is a fancy term for parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and optionally, garlic or cloves, tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the broth later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the broth at the end.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups (2 quarts) homemade chicken broth. You’ll also get 4 cups cooked chicken in the process.
  7. Refrigerate: Store chicken broth in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
  8. Freezer: Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers (I like to use 16-ounce glass jars) and leave 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Label and date, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 13kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 884mgPotassium: 69mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1589IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I have a bad habit of rarely following recipes; however, I need to up my game in the broth making department so I’m going to make this one as written. Just have a couple things I want to clarify:
    1. The pot stays uncovered throughout the whole process? No lid?
    2. Is the 1 tbsp of salt regular or kosher salt?

    1. Hi Katie! Happy to help! The pot remains uncovered while simmering. I prefer kosher salt, but regular table salt will also work. I would say just use what you have on hand. Take care! – Meggan

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