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Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe, Easy and Delicious

Home­made Chick­en Broth is scrump­tious chicken‑y good­ness with added fla­vor from veg­gies and herbs. It’s healthy, deli­cious and it’s easy to make. 

Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter.  The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers
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My home­made chick­en broth recipe is unlike any­thing you will ever buy in a can or carton. 

This is a whole food, real food recipe. I grew up on recipes where this recipe was the begin­ning of cre­at­ing anoth­er dish, like creamy home­made chick­en and noo­dles or jalapeno chick­en corn chow­der. It’s nat­u­ral­ly gluten and dairy free.

Home­made Chick­en Broth tastes amaz­ing! It’s cer­tain­ly fla­vor­ful and per­fect as an ingre­di­ent in oth­er recipes. But, it’s also one of the few chick­en broths that I’ve ever expe­ri­enced that is scrump­tious on it’s own. 

A steam­ing mug of this chick­en broth has soothed many a sore throat or warmed a win­ter-weary body at our house.

For me, home­made chick­en broth is the alpha recipe. It’s great on it’s own, but it’s also the begin­ning of dozens and dozens of com­fort­ing, home­style recipes that make fam­i­ly and friends feel sat­is­fied, loved and welcome.

You’re gonna love it!

The Ingredients

  • Split Chick­en Breasts (bone-in, skin-on) or a whole chicken
  • Large Onions, any color
  • Car­rots
  • Cel­ery
  • Fresh Pars­ley
  • Gar­lic
  • Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Broth vs Stock vs Bone Broth

We often use these terms almost inter­change­ably. So, is there real­ly any sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between the three? Yes. And, as usu­al, mine does­n’t fol­low any one spe­cif­ic method. lol It’s sort of a com­bi­na­tion of the broth and stock descrip­tions rather than one or the other. 

Chicken Broth

What is Chick­en Broth?

Chick­en broth is made by cook­ing chick­en (usu­al­ly bone in, skin on) in water with veg­eta­bles, herbs, salt and pep­per. It is a thin­ner liq­uid that is well suit­ed to mak­ing soups and stews. Chick­en broth is also great for cook­ing rice, pota­toes or pas­ta. Chick­en broth does­n’t take as long to make as stock, requir­ing only 1 to 2 hours of sim­mer time. Chick­en broth tastes good, just on its own.

Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter. The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers

Chicken Stock

What is Chick­en Stock?

It takes longer to cook chick­en stock than it takes to make chick­en broth. It needs to sim­mer at least 4 hours, and even up to 6. Home­made Chick­en Stock is typ­i­cal­ly made by sim­mer­ing chick­en bones with veg­eta­bles and per­haps a small amount of herbs and sea­son­ing. It is not sea­soned as intense­ly as chick­en broth and on it’s own may taste bland or flat. Stock is usu­al­ly thick­er than chick­en broth, too, as the longer sim­mer time allows the collagen/gelatin to be extract­ed from the bones. Chick­en stock is great for mak­ing gravy and sauces because of its silky tex­ture and the fact that it’s light sea­son­ing com­ple­ments, rather than over­pow­ers, the dish­es it’s used in. 

homemade chicken Stock in a clear glass bowl on a concrete counter, next to a turquoise and white striped tea towel

Bone Broth

What is Bone Broth?

It’s odd, real­ly, that we call it broth. Bone broth is actu­al­ly a type of stock. Chick­en bone broth is made almost exclu­sive­ly from bones. Not always, but usu­al­ly. The bones can be cooked with veg­eta­bles, but it’s not typ­i­cal. Espe­cial­ly when using com­mer­cial bone broth, my per­son­al opin­ion is that the fla­vor is usu­al­ly not great. It’s very easy to go OVER when mak­ing bone broth. It can be sim­mered any­where from 12–48 hours. How­ev­er, the longer it cooks and the more the bones break down, the more bit­ter the fla­vor can become. If you want a tru­ly excel­lent fla­vored chick­en bone broth, you would be bet­ter served to make one from scratch and care­ful­ly watch the tim­ing, tast­ing as you go.

FAQs about Making Chicken Broth

What is the white foam that forms on the top of the pot when boil­ing chick­en?

It’s the water sol­u­ble pro­teins being released from the chick­en as it cooks. They mix with the fats being ren­dered from the skin and with the water the chick­en is being cooked in and that mix­ture floats. It’s per­fect­ly safe. The foam may even turn brown or gray­ish as the chick­en cooks. And as a mat­ter of fact, it hap­pens with any meat you boil at a high tem­per­a­ture. For the pur­pos­es of our chick­en broth recipe, it will all be gone when the broth is strained at the end.

Prepping the Vegetables

Making Chicken Broth - add carrots, celery, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to stock pot with chicken pieces and onion

I want­ed to add a quick note about the rough and ready method I use for prep­ping veg­gies for the stock pot. My method is to lit­er­al­ly scrub them and chunk them up to toss in the pot. 

Peel­ing the car­rots, isn’t some­thing I both­er with. Nor do I peel my onions. I quar­ter them and toss them in the chick­en broth pot. On many occa­sions, you’ll also find the entire bot­tom half of a cel­ery plant in my soup ket­tle — not chopped at all. 

Veg­etable skins have nutri­ents. They also add gor­geous col­or, espe­cial­ly onion skins.

At the end of the day, we are cook­ing these veg­gies to get every last ounce of fla­vor and nutri­tion from them into our home­made chick­en broth. The left­over veg­etable pulp will all be strained out when the broth is done, so save your­self the extra work. Wash your veg­eta­bles, chop them coarse­ly and toss them in the chick­en broth pot.

Because you’re cook­ing them until they with­er away to noth­ing­ness, this is also a great time to use the old­er, less than opti­mal veg­gies at the back of the crisper draw­er. Use them for some­thing deli­cious and avoid the waste of just throw­ing them out.

Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter. The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers

Possible Variations and Substitutions

Different Chicken Parts

You could use chick­en legs, thighs or even wings instead of the split chick­en breasts that we choose. We sim­ply pre­fer the tex­ture and fla­vor of white meat and so that is what I cook. 

But, any chick­en part works for mak­ing broth. If you enjoy the fla­vor and tex­ture of dark meat, or both white and dark, you can use a whole chick­en or oth­er chick­en parts. 

I have also been known to save the back­bone from spatch­cock­ing a whole chick­en and freeze it to add to a chick­en broth stock pot, lat­er on.

a red pot with falling vegetables, herebs and seasonings hovering above the pot and the pot lid above the vegetables

Different Vegetables

Can I use dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles in my chick­en stock?

Of course. There is a dis­tinc­tive fla­vor that comes from the com­bi­na­tion of car­rots, onion and cel­ery. And they are a clas­sic base for many, many broths and soups. I would­n’t leave those out, but I do often add to them. So, if I have a zuc­chi­ni on it’s last legs or the end piece of an jalapeno, I may very well throw them in. I have used bell pep­per ends and pieces, too, as well as green onions, spinach, kale and parsnips. If you have oth­er veg­gies on hand, that need to be used up they can only add more fla­vor to your broth. How can more fla­vor be wrong? Right?

fresh herbs on a wooden cutting board

Different Seasonings

I tend to keep my sea­son­ings very basic and tra­di­tion­al, because I use this chick­en broth in so many recipes that will already have their own sea­son­ing profiles. 

But, if you real­ly love a spe­cif­ic herb or spice and think it would mar­ry well with the dish you’ll use the home­made chick­en broth in, you should add some. 

Pos­si­bil­i­ties that work well in chick­en broth are: poul­try sea­son­ing, rose­mary, thyme, sage, oregano, mar­jo­ram and tar­ragon. There are cer­tain­ly oth­ers, but that’s a great list to start with.

Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter. The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers

How to Use Homemade Chicken Broth

Home­made chick­en broth is the nat­ur­al choice for cre­at­ing soups and stews. But, it’s also fab­u­lous to use for cook­ing rice, quinoa, dry beans and even pasta. 

You can use chick­en stock to mash pota­toes, too, if you need to keep your diet dairy free. And, a warm mug of fla­vor­ful chick­en broth can clear stuffy heads and soothe sore throats.

Try using home­made chick­en broth in any of these deli­cious recipes!

How to Use and Store the Meat

Anoth­er ben­e­fit of mak­ing Home­made Chick­en Stock is the pre-cooked chick­en you’ll have on hand to use in your favorite recipes. 

The chick­en can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Be sure con­tain­ers or bags have as much air removed as pos­si­ble and are sealed securely.

This chick­en can be used in tacos, bur­ri­tos and que­sadil­las. Chop it and use the pre-cooked chick­en in sal­ads, casseroles or rice bowls. It will be great in stir fry or in chick­en fried rice. You can also use it to make scrump­tious chick­en sal­ad or Buf­fa­lo Ranch Chick­en Melts.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Melts on a white plate sitting on a concrete countertop. Sandwiches are served with spinach and apple salad.

How to Store Homemade Chicken Broth

If you won’t be using your Home­made Chick­en stock right away, you have a few options for stor­ing it.

While can­ning is cer­tain­ly one of those options, it’s not one I am pro­fi­cient in and so I can’t ade­quate­ly teach you to do that.

My pre­ferred stor­age meth­ods are in the refrig­er­a­tor or in the freezer.

Chick­en Broth can be stored in the refrig­er­a­tor up to four days. Be sure it’s in an air-tight container.

Home­made Chick­en Stock can also be frozen and I do this fre­quent­ly. I like to freeze in my can­ning jars because I have an upright freez­er and the jars sit neat­ly on the shelves.

The most impor­tant thing to remem­ber about freez­ing in jars is that liq­uids expand. Leave at least 1/2″ of head room at the top of your jar. Place filled jars in the freez­er WITHOUT their lids until the chick­en broth is frozen. Then screw on the lids.

You can also freeze chick­en broth in zip-top bags. Remove as much air as pos­si­ble from the bag and store them flat until frozen. Then you can stand them on end like files in a fil­ing cab­i­net to save freez­er space. 

Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter. The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth

Stage 1:

  1. Add the chick­en pieces or a whole chick­en to the bot­tom of your stock pot.  I use a 12 quart stock pot for this recipe and it gets filled almost com­plete­ly.  So, I would­n’t use any­thing small­er than a 12 quart stock pot or you won’t be able to get enough liq­uid in.  (Cut the recipe in half if your pot is smaller.)
  2. On top of the chick­en, add all the quar­tered onion pieces.
  3. Then, add the car­rots, cel­ery, gar­lic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  4. Car­ry the stock pot over to the sink and fill it with water until the chick­en and all the veg­eta­bles are cov­ered by about 1‑inch.  Some things are gonna float, of course, but you want enough water to ful­ly cov­er every­thing if you were to press them into the bot­tom of the pot.
  5. Once the pot is filled with water, set it on the largest burn­er on your stove top and set the burn­er to high.
  6. Bring the pot to a full rolling boil and then reduce the heat to medi­um.  On my range, that’s about 5 or 6 (on a 1–10 scale).
  7. Let the pot con­tin­ue to sim­mer on medi­um for 30 minutes. 
Making chicken stock - add water to stock pot with chicken pieces, onion, carrots, celery, minced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper

Stage 2:

  1. After 30 min­utes, I check to make sure the chick­en is cooked through (160° to 165° inter­nal tem­per­a­ture).  I leave the pot cook­ing on the stove, but remove the chick­en breasts to a plat­ter or cut­ting board. 
  2. I remove the skin and bones from the chick­en and put them back in the stock pot with all the veg­eta­bles.  This step is to pre­vent the chick­en from becom­ing dry, tough and over­cooked or stringy, while still being able to get all the fla­vor and col­la­gen from the skin and bones into my home­made chick­en broth. 
  3. While your home­made chick­en broth con­tin­ues to cook, cool the chick­en meat and pack­age for the fridge or freez­er or to use in a recipe for dinner.
  4. After the bones and skin are added back to the pot, con­tin­ue to cook for 2 1/2 hours.  The veg­eta­bles will become soft and often break into small­er pieces.  The chick­en broth will have tak­en on col­or from the veg­eta­bles and from the lit­tle bit of fat in the skin.
  5. After 2 1/2 hours, remove the chick­en broth from the heat. 
  6. Use a strain­er over a large bowl or anoth­er stock pot to strain all the bones, skin and spent veg­eta­bles out of your chick­en broth.  All the fla­vor and nutri­tion from those ingre­di­ents is in your lus­cious chick­en broth, now, so the strained out parts can be discarded.
  7. This is the final oppor­tu­ni­ty, before cool­ing and stor­ing, to check your chick­en broth for sea­son­ing.  I almost always need to add a lit­tle extra salt and pep­per at the very end.  Taste and sea­son accordingly.
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Homemade Chicken Broth on a concrete counter. The broth is in 2 quart jars and 2 pint jars sitting in front of an arrangement of sunflowers

Homemade Chicken Broth


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Home­made Chick­en Broth is silky and fla­vor­ful. It’s chicken‑y good­ness with notes of fla­vor from veg­gies and herbs. It’s healthy, deli­cious and easy to make. It’s nat­u­ral­ly gluten free and dairy free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 split chick­en breasts (or a whole chicken)
  • 2 large (or 3 medi­um) onions, any color
  • 5 or 6 medi­um carrots
  • 4 or 5 ribs of celery
  • 1 bunch of fresh pars­ley, leaves and stems
  • 2 Table­spoons minced garlic
  • 2 Table­spoons salt
  • 1 Table­spoon black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Add the chick­en pieces or a whole chick­en to the bot­tom of your stock pot.  I use a 12 quart stock pot for this recipe and it gets filled almost com­plete­ly.  So, I would­n’t use any­thing small­er than a 12 quart stock pot or you won’t be able to get enough liq­uid in.  (Cut the recipe in half if your pot is smaller.)
  2. On top of the chick­en, add all the quar­tered onion pieces.
  3. Then, add the car­rots, cel­ery, gar­lic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  4. Car­ry the stock pot over to the sink and fill it with water until the chick­en and all the veg­eta­bles are cov­ered by about 1‑inch.  Some things are gonna float, of course, but you want enough water to ful­ly cov­er every­thing if you were to press them into the bot­tom of the pot.
  5. Once the pot is filled with water, set it on the largest burn­er on your stove top and set the burn­er to high.
  6. Bring the pot to a full rolling boil and then reduce the heat to medi­um.  On my range, that’s about 5or 6 (on a 1–10 scale).
  7. Let the pot con­tin­ue to sim­mer on medi­um for 1 hour. 
  8. After 30 min­utes, I check to make sure the chick­en is cooked through (160° to 165° inter­nal tem­per­a­ture).  I leave the pot cook­ing on the stove, but remove the chick­en breasts to a plat­ter or cut­ting board. 
  9. I remove the skin and bones from the chick­en and put them back in the stock pot with all the veg­eta­bles.  This step is to pre­vent the chick­en from becom­ing dry, tough and over­cooked or stringy, while still being able to get all the fla­vor and col­la­gen from the skin and bones into my home­made chick­en broth. 
  10. While your home­made chick­en broth con­tin­ues to cook, cool the chick­en meat and pack­age for the fridge or freez­er or to use in a recipe for dinner.
  11. After the bones and skin are added back to the pot, con­tin­ue to cook for 2 1/2 hours.  The veg­eta­bles will become soft and often break into small­er pieces.  The chick­en broth will have tak­en on col­or from the veg­eta­bles and from the lit­tle bit of fat in the skin.
  12. After 2 1/2 hours, remove the chick­en broth from the heat. 
  13. Use a strain­er over a large bowl or anoth­er stock pot to strain all the bones, skin and spent veg­eta­bles out of your chick­en broth.  All the fla­vor and nutri­tion from those ingre­di­ents is in your lus­cious chick­en broth, now, so the strained out parts can be discarded.
  14. This is the final oppor­tu­ni­ty, before cool­ing and stor­ing, to check your chick­en broth for sea­son­ing.  I almost always need to add a lit­tle extra salt and pep­per at the very end.  Taste and sea­son accordingly.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

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12 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe, Easy and Delicious”

  1. So excit­ed it’s final­ly soup sea­son! This broth came out per­fect­ly — deli­cious, savory, with lit­tle notes of sweet­ness from the veg­gies. I’ll def­i­nite­ly be mak­ing this broth again!

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