How to Make Chicken Broth (Classic Recipe)

Jump to Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Making chicken broth at home is so easy! Place a whole chicken, veggies and herbs into a pot with water, and set it and forget it on the stove. You’ll end up with 3-4 quarts of homemade chicken broth that you can use right away or freeze for later!

Not only will you have quarts of delicious, homemade chicken broth, but you’ll also have a whole chicken that’s been slow cooked to pulled chicken perfection for Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Chicken Tacos, Chicken Pesto Pasta, or Chicken Noodle Soup! And don’t forget the veggies from the broth that you can serve too!

Chicken broth is the best set it and forget it recipe. Simply throw everything in a big pot and let it simmer, untouched, for 2 hours. Strain everything out and you’ll have several servings of chicken broth to use or freeze for later, a beautifully cooked whole chicken, and veggies for the whole crew! Chicken broth is a meal planning dream; and did I mention it’s SO much better than store bought?

You’ll even want to sip on this stuff alone. It truly warms the body, heart and soul!

Chicken Broth Vs. Chicken Stock

Chicken broth is typically made with meat and sometimes bones, along with veggies, herbs and seasonings. It has a lighter taste and consistency than stock, because it is usually simmered for 1-2 hours instead of 4-6 hours.

Chicken stock, on the other hand, has an intense flavor from cooking chicken bones and carcasses, along with veggies and aromatics for several hours. The resulting stock is richer and more gelatinous in texture.

This recipe is for chicken broth, made with a whole chicken (meat, bones, skin and carcass) along with vegetables and herbs, for deliciously light but flavorful broth for any soup, sauce, stew or gravy! It’s the best base for Chicken and Rice Soup, of course!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Whole chicken – a whole chicken creates the most flavorful broth, since it includes white and dark meat, bones and skin. You’ll need a 4-5 pound whole chicken.
  • Cold water – lots of water makes the broth! I like to use filtered water so the taste of the water is as pure as possible.
  • Celery stalks – celery adds a touch of sweetness and richness.
  • Carrots – carrots create a touch of sweetness and richness too.
  • Yellow onion – yellow onion adds the slightest bit of astringency, complementing the taste of the chicken.
  • Garlic – garlic…because garlic!
  • Fresh thyme – thyme adds a bit of earthiness.
  • Bay leaves – bay leaves add that classic soup/broth flavor.
  • Black peppercorns – black peppercorns create aromatic earthiness.
  • Salt – salt enhance the flavor of the broth.
Chicken broth recipe ingredients

Variations

Looking to change up classic chicken broth? Here are some variations on this classic recipe!

  • Different herbs: rosemary, parsley, oregano, cilantro, basil, dill or sage
  • Different chicken cuts: use thighs, breasts, drumsticks, or remove the skin
  • Add spices: star anise, cumin, cinnamon red pepper flakes, or turmeric
  • Add sauces or juices: soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, or white wine
  • Add other veggies or fruit: pumpkin, butternut squash, apples, or serrano peppers

How to Make Chicken Broth

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Add chicken.

    Add chicken to a large pot.

  2. Add others.

    Add everything but the salt and water.Add everything to the large pot but the salt and water.

  3. Pour.

    Add enough cold water so that the chicken is completely submerged in water, about 2 inches about the top of the chicken.

  4. Heat.

    Cover pot, and bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  5. Simmer.

    Once simmering, turn to medium-low heat and let simmer for 2 hours, covered. Halfway through, skim off any foam.Let chicken broth simmer for 2 hours.

  6. Remove.

    At 2 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove all of the vegetables, herbs, and peppercorns. Use tongs to remove the chicken and bones.

  7. Season.

    Add desired amount of salt. Stir.

  8. Strain.

    Pour broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large, heatproof bowl or other pot.

  9. Cool.

    Let cool completely before covering. Fat solids will rise to the top once chilled. Skim them off before storing/freezing.Let cool completely before skimming off any fat solids on top of the chicken broth.

Recipe Tips

Here are some pro tips for making the best, classic chicken broth:

  • You can remove the skin from the chicken if preferred, but keep in mind skin adds flavor!
  • You can substitute other veggies or herbs depending on your preference; the ingredients listed in this recipe are for classic chicken broth.
  • Simmer the broth for longer, for a richer, more intense broth. Simmer up to 6 hours. Keep in mind the chicken itself will start to dry out over time.
  • I recommend using a large, fine mesh sieve to strain chicken broth. You can use cheese cloth but it’s harder to work with.
  • Once the broth has cooled completely, you can skim any excess fat solids off the top of the chicken broth.

Leftovers and Storage

To store: after the chicken broth has cooled for 90 minutes at room temperature, place in the fridge, uncovered, with a hot pad underneath it. Once cooled completely, skim off any fat solids. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.

To freeze. Freeze completely cooled chicken broth in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays. Use within 4-5 months for optimal flavor.

To reheat: Reheat broth on the stovetop over medium heat, or in the microwave. From frozen, it’s best to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating unless you need it in a pinch!

Recipes Using Chicken Broth

A base for soups, stews, sauces, rice, grains, braised meats, or veggies, the uses for homemade chicken broth go on and on! Here are a handful of my favorite ways to use chicken broth:

How to Make Chicken Broth (Classic Recipe)

Making chicken broth at home is so easy! Place a whole chicken, veggies and herbs into a pot with water, and set it and forget it on the stove. You’ll end up with 3-4 quarts of homemade chicken broth that you can use right away or freeze for later!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Soup, tips & tricks
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: fall, winter
Servings: 12 cups (3-4 quarts)
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Fine mesh sieve (recommended) or cheese cloth for straining

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds in weight) giblets removed
  • 12-16 cups cold water
  • 3 celery stalks cut into rough chunks
  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut into rough chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add the whole chicken.
  • Then add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme.
  • Add enough cold water so that the chicken is completely submerged in water, about 2 inches about the top of the chicken (about 12-16 cups depending on the size of your pot).
  • Cover pot, and bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Avoid boiling water which can cause cloudy broth.
  • Once simmering, turn to medium-low heat and let simmer for 2 hours, covered. Halfway through, skim off any foam/impurities and push down the chicken if it starts to float.
  • At 2 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove all of the vegetables, herbs, and peppercorns. Use tongs to remove the chicken and bones (it will fall apart into chunks). Set those aside to use however you’d like!
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until dissolved. Taste and add ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon more salt if desired, depending on your preference.
  • Pour broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large, heatproof bowl or other pot.
  • Use broth right away or let cool at room temperature for 90 minutes before refrigerating, uncovered, until completely cooled. Fat solids will rise to the top once chilled. Skim them off before storing or freezing.

Video

Notes

  • You can remove the skin from the chicken if preferred, but keep in mind the skin adds flavor to the broth!
  • You can substitute other veggies or herbs depending on your preference; the above ingredients are often used in classic chicken broth.
  • Simmer the broth for longer, for a richer, more intense broth. Keep in mind the chicken meat itself will start to dry out with longer cook times.
  • Once the broth has chilled, you can skim any excess fat solids off the top of the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup (just broth) | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 203mg | Sugar: 0.3g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
picture of grace eating

Never Miss A Recipe?

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST RECIPES FROM GRACE, PLUS SOME EXCLUSIVE UPDATES ONLY SHARED WITH SUBSCRIBERS!

We don’t spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info.

Follow:
Share:
5 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Featured On:


Looking for Something?