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.
Servings 8 cups
- 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 ribs 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Serving: 1cup | Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1589IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg