Homemade Chicken Broth has rich chicken flavor and is very easy to make. It gives a richer flavor to soups, stews and other recipes calling for broth.
Delicious homemade broth takes a couple hours but is so worth it. It gives a whole new depth of flavor to homemade chicken soup recipes.
Only a handful of wholesome simple ingredients are needed to create the great flavor. It’s nourishing, satisfying and definitely a recipe to keep on hand.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Chicken. You’ll use a whole raw chicken (around a 4 pound chicken) for this recipe. Use a good quality chicken. The giblets can also be added if desired but do not use the liver. You can also swap in the equivalent in chicken pieces as we did in our Homemade Chicken Soup recipe.
Vegetables. Use fresh vegetables (some like to use vegetable scraps). Scrubbed or peeled carrots, scrubbed ribs of celery (aka celery stalks), peeled halved large onion. The can be left whole or cut into large chunks. Some people like to leave the onion peel on to deepen the color of the broth!
Fresh Herbs and Seasoning. Fresh rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley along with bay leaves, whole peppercorns (this is the round form of pepper before it has been ground) and kosher salt give the broth a wonderful flavor.
We start the stock with one tablespoon of salt. More can be added after it has cooked if needed. Because it condenses starting with too much can make it too salty.
Water. Always start with cold water. This helps keep the stock from becoming cloudy. If your tap water doesn’t taste great, use filtered water. The water flavor definitely effects the broth flavor.
Difference between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock
The basic difference between homemade chicken stock and broth is that when making stock only the bones are used along with vegetables and herbs. Chicken broth uses meat and bones, vegetables and herbs.
They can be used interchangeably in recipes though using the meat additional flavor and nutrients.
How to make homemade chicken broth – Step-by-Step
Detailed printable instructions in the recipe card below.
STEP 1. Combine ingredients
In a large Dutch oven or large stock pot combine the whole chicken (or chicken parts if using), onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves (photo 1).
Fill the pot with cold water (filtered if possible), enough water to fully cover the ingredients (photo 2). Add the herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, fresh parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt (photo 3).
STEP 2. Simmer
Bring to a low simmer and allow to very gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is fully cooked (longer cooking time will increase the richness of the flavor). Skim off and discard any foam that develops during cooking (photo 4).
STEP 3. Strain
When the chicken is cooked remove it along with the spices. The chicken can be set aside to use (see section below). Discard the chicken carcass, any leftover bones and the cooked vegetables.
Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer or sieve or cheesecloth. Place in jars and refrigerate overnight. Skim off any fat layer that is present the next day (if desired).
How to use the cooked chicken
When the broth is done, remove the chicken from the pot. Separate the meat from the skin and bones. It can be shredded or cut into small pieces depending on the recipe you’ll use it in.
The cooked chicken is great in soups or even in recipes like chicken salad (or use shredded chicken ON salads or in Mexican dishes). Here are some recipe ideas:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Enchilada Skillet recipe
- Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe
- Easy Mexican Chicken Casserole
Cook the stock at a very low simmer. This makes a difference in the overall cloudiness of the final stock.
Start with cold water. This too will affect the cloudiness of the stock.
Cook it long and low. The longer the stock cooks the richer stock you’ll end up with. It needs to cook at least long enough to cook the chicken but can be cooked longer.
Yield. The amount of stock you’ll end up with will depend on how long you cook it (evaporation) and the amount of water and ingredients. You should expect at least 4-6 cups of stock at the end.
Remove the chicken breasts. If you plan to use the cooked chicken meat removing the breast meat when the chicken has cooked (even if you’ll keep simmering the stock) ensures it won’t overcook and become tasteless. You can leave the rest of the chicken to simmer.
How to Store
The broth can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to Freeze
Once the broth has cooled place in airtight freezer-safe containers (like these) leaving 1/2-3/4 inch room on top for expansion. I love using this freezer block maker to freeze the soup in bags. It’s a mold that forms in the bag and after it’s frozen you have easily stackable bags of soup!
Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before using.
The broth can also be frozen in ice cube trays! After it has cooled allow it to freeze in the trays. When solid remove the cubes and store in a freezer bag. This is convenient when using smaller amounts or just making a cup of broth to sip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! It will take longer but the results will be great. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. You can check this using an instant read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast.
You can. Technically that makes it chicken stock instead of broth. Follow the same instructions and use the flavor as your guide to when it’s done instead of the chicken meat being cooked. Be sure to strain well to remove all the small bones after cooking.
Yes! We recommend using the equivalent amount of a whole chicken. So depending on the size 4 large bone-in skin-on breasts would work great.
More recipes you’ll love!
Homemade Chicken Broth
- 1 3-5 pound whole chicken giblets removed (can be used, discard liver)
- 4 medium celery stalks
- 2 large carrots peeled
- 1 large onion halved
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 6-8* cups cold filtered water *enough water to cover all the ingredients
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 3 Italian parsley stems
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 ablespoons kosher salt
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot combine the whole chicken, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Add enough cold filtered water to cover all the ingredients plus an extra 1-2 inches..
- Add in fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt.
- Bring the stock to a very gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked. NOTE: the chicken broth can continue to simmer for multiple hours for a richer flavor.
- When desired flavor is achieved, remove the chicken and strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer (sieve) or cheesecloth. The chicken can be removed from the skin and bones and used in other recipes.Discard the vegetables and herbs. See NOTES below for storing instructions.