How to Make Chicken Broth

Today we’re making the homemade version of one of most beloved pantry staples: chicken broth! Just to show you how simple this homemade chicken broth recipe is to make, I decided to make a video which you can check out below:

Chicken broth is one of the most widely used ingredients for many recipes such as soups, stews, pasta, and rice dishes. Today, I’m going step by step to show you how you can make your homemade broth with simple ingredients and store it for future use.

What is Chicken Broth

A light, flavorful liquid made from simmered chicken meat, vegetables, and seasonings- it’s the go-to liquid for all things cooking and a staple ingredient in every pantry.

image: Three mason jars filled with homemade chicken broth

While purchasing chicken broth at the grocery store is convenient, nothing beats the taste of homemade broth in some of our favorite recipes. You’ll also have the advantage of controlling how much salt goes into the recipe. Store-bought chicken broth is renowned for its sodium content and additives, which is why homemade will win every time.

Is Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock the Same Thing

Chicken Stock
Stock is made from the bonier parts of the chicken and has a richer flavor and has more body due to the collagen released from the bones. It is generally unseasoned and cooked for 6 hours until it’s strained and stored for future use.

The important part; stock’s main ingredient is the bone! Just like chicken broth, you can add vegetables and herbs, but the focus is on extracting all the collagen and minerals from the bones making it a thicker liquid.

Chicken Broth
Broth is made with bones AND meat- the big difference. Unlike stock, which is mainly bone base, broth is simmered meat, vegetables, and seasonings. It’s then strained and yields a smooth and light cooking liquid.

Unlike stock, the broth isn’t simmering as long and the liquid is not as thick.

Making Chicken Broth Step-by-Step

There’s nothing fancy about making broth, and that’s one of the reasons I love it! Simple ingredients + a simple process = homemade broth that’s ready for soups, stews, pasta, and everything else!

Before we get into the step-by-step instructions, let’s do a quick run-through of the ingredients you’ll need:

image: Flat lay photo of ingredients for homemade chicken broth. Chicken thighs and legs, carrot sticks, celery sticks, bay leaves, an onion and spices.
  • Skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (legs quarters, breasts, wings)
  • Celery, quartered
  • Carrots, quartered
  • Onion, quartered
  • Bay leaves
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried thyme
  • Peppercorns
  • Coldwater

Alright, let’s make this liquid gold!

1. Combine
To a large soup pot, combine the chicken, veggies, seasonings, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.

Image: Homemade chicken broth step one combining the ingredients in the pot.

2. Remove
Once the broth is slightly thickened and golden color, remove the chicken pieces to use for another recipe and vegetables.

Image: Homemade chicken broth step two, ingredients boiling in the pot of water.

3. Strain
With a fine-mesh strainer, strain the broth into large broth jars. Allow to cool down to room temperature before sealing and storing.

Image: Homemade chicken broth step three straining broth into broth jars.

4. Freeze
Fresh homemade broth is good up to 1 week in the fridge; after that, transfer it to the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

If you’re reading this and have a half-eaten rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator, by all means, use that instead. Simply add the carcass (EW! I’ll try and never use that word again) with the veggies, seasonings, and water, and cook it for approximately 4 to 6 hours.

Instead of broth, it will be stock but still full of flavor and ready to use in any recipe that calls for broth.

How long to Cook Broth

A good rule of thumb is 3 to 4 hours; by this time, the broth will be full-flavored, and the veggies and chicken will be quite cooked. With 3 to 4 hours of cooking, the vegetables will be super tender so you can toss them or blend them into a pureed tomato soup. However, the chicken meat is perfect for a recipe like my favorite Southern Chicken Salad. 

image: Using a slotted spoon to pull out chicken thighs from stock pot.

Is Homemade Broth Healthy?

If you want the purest and rich-tasting broth homemade is your best choice. While it takes more effort than the store-bought version, you’ll have total control of what does and doesn’t go into your broth recipe.

It’s also super beneficial, by itself, a cupful of broth contains trace minerals and collagen from the chicken skin and bones, another reason to use those skin-on, bone-in cuts.

image: Three full mason jars of homemade chicken broth

Homemade Chicken Broth Benefits

Aside from being an all-purpose cooking liquid, the broth also has other benefits.

It’s relatively low in calories, about 30 per cup, and contains a small number of trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, niacin, and vitamin B12.

It’s also an excellent fluid for hydration and source of electrolytes, which can improve cold and flu symptoms.

Recipes Using Homemade Chicken Broth

I made a list of some of my favorite chicken dinner ideas with broth to get you started with your first batch. 

How to Make Chicken Broth

Everything you need to make homemade chicken broth plus delicious chicken recipes to use it in!

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (legs quarters, breasts, wings)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 2 quarts cold water

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.
  2. Remove the chicken pieces to use for another recipe and vegetables.
  3. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer the broth into jars and refrigerate for 1 week or store in heavy-duty zip bags and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 9
  • Sugar: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 928.4mg
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

3 thoughts on “How to Make Chicken Broth”

  1. Ella says:

    I used this chicken broth recipe to make broth for chicken noodle soup. It was DELICIOUS by itself! I will be making it again.

  2. Beth Sethi says:

    Hi Laura, This is how I used to make chicken broth, until I purchased an instapot. The difference in flavor and richness is night and day. I do everything you mention here (chicken, veg, herbs, plus a hefty dose of salt) but do it for 3 hours in the instapot. The result is darker, richer, and even more flavorful. I’m new to the instapot, and while I don’t love it for everything (I still love watching things cook on the stove!), it’s the only way now I make broth.

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      I have definitely heard that the InstantPot version is just as simple and delish. And with any method, the longer it simmers/cooks the richer the taste. I’m glad you use similar ingredients!

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