I call homemade chicken broth “liquid gold” in my kitchen. It’s so much more flavorful than anything you can buy in the store. You can adjust the flavors and the salt. Plus, it has all wholesome ingredients, none of the weird stuff that you can’t even pronounce or recognize on the back of the store containers. It is the base of so many of my recipes, so I have some chicken broth on hand at all times. I make a giant batch of broth and keep it stored in my freezer. Every few months I replenish my supplies. It really is one of the best foundations for my “flavor factory”.
1 whole chicken
2 large onions, quartered
1 garlic head
2 fresh or dry bay leaves black peppercorns
1/2 Tablespoon black peppercorns
2-4 celery stalks
First of all, I put all the vegetables and herbs into the stockpot and move on to the chicken. This way, I can limit touching everything with my raw “chickeny” hands. I use very basic ingredients in my broth, but you can add other ingredients too, such as parsnips, celery root, leeks, mushrooms, other vegetables, and fresh herbs, like dill, parsley, thyme, rosemary. It totally depends on your taste preference.
I also keep a ziptop bag in my freezer to which I add odds and ends from vegetables that I get when I’m meal prepping. I add those to the broth as well. If I have any chicken pieces that I don’t use when I’m making other meals, such as the chicken backbone, chicken wings tips, chicken breast bone, I store those pieces in ziptop bags in the freezer and add those to chicken broth too.
Remove as much of the skin and large fat pockets of the chicken as you can. This is completely optional, but I don’t like chicken broth to be too greasy, so I choose to do this extra step.
You can also save chicken parts, freeze them and then use them to make chicken broth when you have the equivalent of one chicken, about 3-4 lbs.
I also cut off the chicken breast and the chicken tenderloins and save them to be used in other recipes. Chicken breast cooks so quickly that by the time the chicken broth would be cooked, the breast and tenderloin will be completely dry and leathery. If you want to use the chicken breast meat, I would remove it after 20 minutes from the broth, so that it’s gently poached and still juicy. Keep the rest of the broth cooking longer.
Place the prepared whole chicken, the vegetables, and the herbs into a large stockpot. I use a 16-quart pot, but if your stockpot is smaller, you can still use the same amount of ingredients, your broth will just be more concentrated. However, if you use a smaller stockpot, you can also halve the ingredient amounts.
Fill it to the top with water. (By the way, it’s important to use good filtered water. If your tap water tastes funny, so will your broth:).
Cover the stockpot with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Skim off the foam from the top of the chicken broth as it is cooking.
Season with salt to taste. Don’t salt it too much though; if you’ll be using this broth for a sauce that needs to reduce, it will be too salty
Keeping it at a low simmer will give you a clear broth. If you cook the broth on high heat the whole time, the broth will be cloudy.
Line a strainer with paper towels, cheesecloth or a coffee filter and strain.
The paper towel will trap all the food particles and fat, leaving you with a beautiful, clear broth.
Reserve the chicken meat and use in chicken salad, savory crepes or any other recipes that call for cooked chicken.
I cool the broth to room temperature and then pour a small portion of it into glass mason jars to be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. The rest I pour into plastic storage containers to be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. They can probably be stored longer, but chicken broth never lasts longer than that at my house, so I can’t vouch for the time period with certainty.
My favorite storage containers for the freezer are the Ziploc Twist and Loc containers. I’ve been using these for a few years now and they work very well. (This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m just sharing the products that I use myself and have had a good experience with. However, the amazon link is an affiliate link, which will give me a small commission if you buy it using this link.)
It’s so convenient to have chicken broth on hand all the time. Every time I reach into the depth of my freezer it seems to magically appear.