Homemade chicken broth is a game-changer. Make it once and you are sure to make it time and time again!
Homemade chicken broth used to intimidate me. From concentrates to cans to boxed varieties, there are so many great broths you can purchase at the store. While these are all awesome, nothing compares to the kind you can make at home.
Homemade chicken broth is the best base for so many different types of soup. Make a huge batch and freeze your leftovers so you have broth on hand at all times!
Chicken broth is pure comfort food. When someone in my family gets sick (myself included), I love to warm up a cup of chicken broth for them to drink like tea. It’s light, soothing and so flavorful.
What Goes into Basic Chicken Broth?
- Carrots: There’s no need to peel your carrots. Just wash them super well!
- Onion: Leave the skin on your onion! It adds more color to the broth.
- Celery: Wash your celery well. Keep it in large chunks to prevent it from becoming soggy and hard to strain out.
- Bay Leaves: Bay leaves add a subtle bitterness to your broth. Somewhere between pepper and pine, these herbs are a must when it comes to rounding out the flavors in your broth.
- Bone-In Chicken: I strongly recommend using organic chicken. It’s so much more flavorful than the varieties that have been stuffed with antibiotics and other chemicals. Also, don’t use boneless chicken. All the flavor is born out of slow cooking the marrow out of the bones!
- Fresh Herbs: Dill, parsley, rosemary and thyme are all amazing herbs to add to the mix! Get creative and add the ones you love the most.
- Garlic: Add an entire head of garlic right to the pot. You don’t have to bother with peeling the individual cloves!
- Filtered Water: If you can, use cold, filtered water to build your broth. The filtered stuff isn’t muddied up with extra minerals or chemicals from the tap. This allows for all that delicious chicken flavor to shine through.
Chicken Broth Video
How to Make Chicken Broth
- Place all your ingredients directly into a large stock pot. Remember: You don’t need to peel any of your veggies! You will strain them out after your broth is all done, so don’t waste your time. Also, feel free to use fresh or frozen chicken.
- Hot tip: Have a rotisserie chicken hanging out in the fridge? Remove the meat from the bone, shred it and set aside. (You can add it to soup later!) Then, throw the chicken carcass directly into your pot! All the bones will add amazing flavor and fats. It would be a shame to let the carcass go to waste…
- Fill your pot with filtered water. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat to a low and simmer uncovered for 3-4 hours.
- Hot tip: You can also use a crock pot to cook your broth. This is a great option when you can’t be at home during the cooking time and don’t feel comfortable leaving the house with the stove on. Cook the broth on the low setting for 6-8 hours instead. Strain and store per usual.
- Strain the broth into a colander lined with a paper towel.
- Save the chicken to make soup with! Discard all the veggies.
Are Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock the Same Thing?
Typically, chicken broth is made with more meat, while chicken stock is made with more bones. Therefore, broth is more runny, while stock tends to be thicker and more fatty. Feel free to experiment here and add more or less bones as you see fit.
Ways to Use Chicken Broth
Aside from drinking it like tea, here are some of my favorite ways to use homemade chicken broth:
- Chicken Gizzard Soup: Chicken gizzards and mushrooms team up to make an insanely rich soup. Using homemade chicken broth will take this family recipe to the next level!
- Chicken Noodle Soup: This classic is always delicious. When you or your loved ones are feeling under the weather, make a big batch of soup and cozy up.
- Homemade Clam Chowder: Living in Seattle means I get to have amazing clam chowder. Use the freshest clams you can find (or canned if you are in a pinch) and homemade chicken broth to make this classic in the comfort of your own home.
Freezing Chicken Broth
Let’s just say I have made a few mistakes in my day when it comes to storing chicken broth. One time, I stored the broth in mason jars and the glass shattered because the water expanded when it froze! I like to think I made these mistakes so you don’t have to…
My best tip is to use freezer bags or reusable plastic containers to store your broth. This will make your life much easier!
- 6 Chicken Drumsticks
- 3 medium Carrots
- 1 medium Onion
- 1 Garlic Head
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 2 tbsp Salt
- Place chicken, carrots, bay leaves, onion and garlic head into a large pot. You don't need to peel onion, garlic or the carrots. You can use frozen chicken.
- Fill the pot with water and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to very low and leave it simmering for 3-4 hours.
- Run through a strainer. Tip: Don't discard chicken, break it into pieces and set aside, you can use it to make soup.
- Store broth in a refrigerator for up to a week. You can also store broth in a freezer, using a plastic container, for several months.
The photos show that you have added Celery but it is not showing in the ingredients ?
Hi Vinnie, I often add other veggies I have on hand. You can add it with carrots and onion. Hope this clears things up. Enjoy
By far my favorite chicken broth recipe! I love that it is SO easy!
Hi Jessica - That's so good to hear! Everyone needs a good chicken broth recipe - especially with the weather and cold season upon us. Hope you get a ton of great soups and dishes out of it. Thanks for the kind note.
Another question – could you use several chicken breasts that are still on the bone? My family won’t eat the dark meat so I hate to waste it. Thanks!
This is my absolute go to chicken soup especially when I am doing whole 30. I make the recipe exactly as it states and find that it needs no tinkering or adjustments and then I usually use the leftover chicken breast to put over a salad
Hey Arpita, I am so happy to hear that you love this soup. Thank you for sharing!
Hi, can you tell me what do you do with the carrots, onion, and garlic after the broth is done? I dont want to waste them necessarily...
I waste them because all the vitamins and flavor a go into the broth. I think you could use them in soup but they do really over cook.
IF you have a compost pile. Then use them there, along with coffee grounds egg shells potato peelings etc.
Yes!! I have seen that trick, great idea. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much for this recipe. I am on a restricted diet now and I can only have liquid foods ..... when I looked at the sodium content of the box broth I wanted to cry ? ....But with your recipe, I can control my sodium content. Thank you so much I'm making it now and it smells terrific!
So funny, I was on a diet for some time and it really helped me stay on diet. I am glad you loved it 🙂
How can I use your homemade broth to incorporate it with this recipe. Do I omit the onions and just rely on the onions in the broth?
Run through a drainer lined with a paper towel. After that you should have clear broth that you can use in recipes.
I mostly add it to soups, my husband likes when i cook bulgur with broth and pieces of pork in the rice cooker it becomes double cooked meat :), or i cook buckwheat in broth, make any kind vegetable stir fry and top it with pieces of meat,
Great ideas, thank you for your time!!!
Its the most delicious broth, i have been making it for years and not only with chicken but with pork too, i always add pepercorns to it for a great aroma
Hey Lana, What do you do with the cooked pork? I love the pork idea. Thanks for the tip.
Hi Natalya - I use pork and pork broth to make a pork, white bean and kale soup. It also goes well with mushrooms like in a cream of mushroom soup or even risotto.
Hey Greg, that sounds incredibly delicious!
I also add celery to mine. This is the prefect time of the year to make it
I have been thinking to on adding celery, but I really dont like the smell of it. That keeps me wondering if the smell is too powerful.
No,actually smell of the cooked selery very good, not too powerful .
Hi, thank you for the tip. I'll try it next time!
Did you know if you "can" the broth, it can last up to a month, maybe more?? Best trick I ever heard. You just have to do the whole process of sterilizing the cans, getting the broth up to a boil, and then putting it in the jars upside down so they seal and wait until they cool to put in the fridge. Great tasting broth like it was made yesterday!
To can you should put the filled jars in a water bath and process them.
I would use a pressure cooker to process them.
Thank you so much for this wonderful tip. I think this will help many.
Sorry sterilizing the jars I mean:)
Thanks for sharing this tip on canning the broth. I will have to try it on the day I make too much broth.
Please address how big of a
Pot your using and how much broth turns out at then end. Thank you 🙂
I started with 8 quarts of water, in the end I had 3-4 quarts of broth