Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth is so rich, flavorful and very simple to make. It’s very nourishing, comforting and delicious. You only need a few simple ingredients, there’s endless ways to use broth in varieties of recipes and it’s so budget friendly too.

Homemade Chicken Broth in jars

I call homemade chicken broth “liquid gold” in my kitchen. It’s so much more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. You can adjust how much salt you use and the flavor by adding a variety of vegetables that you like. Plus, it has all wholesome ingredients, none of the weird stuff that you can’t even pronounce or recognize on the ingredients list of the store bought broth. Most store bought chicken broths have only a slight whiff of chicken in the broth. With homemade broth, you will have so much chicken in the broth, which will make it really concentrated and comforting.

Chicken broth is the base of so many of my recipes, so I have some chicken broth on hand at all times. It freezes really well, so 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”.        

There are endless ways that you can use chicken broth and it will make a big difference in the flavor of the meal that you’re cooking when you use delicious homemade broth. I also have amazing recipes for both Vegetable Broth and Beef Broth too.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth Video:

Ingredients For Homemade Chicken Broth:

  • 1 whole chicken, or chicken parts, such as chicken wings or chicken drumsticks, 3-5 lbs total
  • Vegetables and fresh herbs: onions, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme/dill
  • bay leaves and black peppercorns
  • salt
  • water

Chicken Broth vs. Chicken Stock

Both chicken broth and chicken stock are made by cooking chicken and other aromatic ingredients to make a flavorful liquid that is used in soup and many other recipes.

Chicken broth is cooked with chicken meat but not necessarily chicken bones. Chicken stock is made with chicken bones and sometimes meat. Technically, this recipe is chicken stock, because I always use bones in addition to meat, but since I call it chicken broth and use this as a foundational ingredient in many other recipes, I am choosing to call it Chicken Broth.

What Chicken is Best to Use For Chicken Broth?

You can either use a whole chicken or use the equivalent of chicken parts, like using 3-5 pound of chicken wings, chicken drumsticks, and other chicken bones, such as the backbone. For the best flavor, texture and color, use both bones and some meat.

I also like to 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 will still have plenty of richness and fat in the chicken broth, even after removing all the skin and fat.

Another thing I like to do is to 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 is cooked, the breast and tenderloin will be completely dry and leathery. If you want to use the chicken breast meat, I would still cut it off and cook it in the broth for only 20-25 minutes after the broth comes to a boil, so that it’s gently poached and still juicy. Keep the rest of the broth cooking longer.

How To Cook Homemade Chicken Broth From Scratch:

  • Place the prepared whole chicken or chicken pieces, the vegetables, black peppercorns, bay leaves and 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, leaving some room at the top, so that the broth doesn’t boil over when it is simmering.
  • 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
  • Line a fine mesh sieve with a cheesecloth, coffee filter and strain to get the clearest broth possible. The paper towel will trap all the food particles and fat, leaving you with a beautiful, clear broth.

Helpful Tips:

Vegetables to use in chicken broth: 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.

Use good tasting, filtered water for broth. If your tap water tastes funny, so will your broth:).

Save veggie scraps and add to broth: I keep a ziptop bag in my freezer to which I add veggie scraps from vegetables while I am cooking or meal prepping, such as onion peels, celery tops, leek tops, carrot peels, etc. I add those to the broth as well. They add flavor to the broth and it’s a great way to make the most of your produce.

Use the onions with the peels and even add additional onion peels to the broth. They will give the broth a lovely golden color.

Save chicken wing tips and other chicken parts, such as the backbone of the chicken or chicken breast bone, when you are cutting it up when preparing it for other recipes, and save them in your freezer to be used the next time you make broth. I store those pieces in my ziptop freezer as well and add those to chicken broth too. The bones still have a lot of nutrients and will give the broth a richer flavor because of the gelatin that’s released when simmered for a long time.

Cook the broth at a low simmer to have clear broth. Bring it to a boil, but reduce the heat to low and cook it on low the whole time. This will make your broth clear. Cooking it on high heat will make the broth cloudy.

You can use both fresh or frozen chicken meat for broth. Sometimes when I make a smaller batch, I’ll cook the broth using chicken drumsticks and I’ll add the chicken completely frozen to the pot.

What to do with the cooked chicken from the broth: Use the chicken in any chicken soup and any recipes that call for cooked chicken. Add the chicken to pasta and rice dishes. Here are some of our favorite recipes:

How to Store Chicken Broth and How to Freeze It:

Store the chicken broth in glass mason jars or plastic containers in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Chicken broth freezes really well. Pour the chicken broth that you’ll be freezing into plastic storage containers, leaving room at the top for the broth to expand when it freezes. Freeze for up to 3 months. It 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.)

How to store and freeze chicken broth

Recipes To Use Your Chicken Broth:

Print

Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth is so rich, flavorful and very simple to make. It’s one of those things that is absolutely worth making from scratch because it makes a big difference in flavor. Not only is it wonderful to make your own chicken broth when you make Chicken Soup, but there’s an endless possibility of ways that you can use the chicken broth in so many recipes where it will really bump up the flavor.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 610 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soups

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 chicken, skinned and breast meat and tenderloins removed
  • 12 large onions, quartered, with the skin
  • 12 carrots, chopped coarsely
  • 24 celery stalks, chopped coarsely
  • 1 garlic head, cut in half
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • handful of fresh herbs, like parsley, thyme, dill, etc.
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a large stockpot, at least 8 quarts and up to 16 quarts.
  2. Fill it to the top with good filtered water.
  3. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 -1 1/2 hours. Every once in a while, skim off the foam from the top of the chicken broth using a slotted spoon. Discard the foam.
  5. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth, paper towels, or a coffee filter and strain the broth.
  6. Store the broth in the refrigerator for about 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Keywords: homemade chicken broth, how to make homemade chicken broth

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42 Comments

  • Lana

    Made this the other day and it turned out awesome!! Thank You Olga! Also where do you get those plastic containers?? I cant find them anywhere!

    • Olga K.

      Lana,
      Those are quart size take-out contatiners. I buy them in a restaurant supply store. If you don’t have one in your area, you can buy them online. They are very inexpensive.

      • Tanya

        Hi Olga! Do you use store bought chicken, or do you buy homegrown/organic ones? I just dont really use cooked meat in anything, and i would feel sad if i had discard so much of homegrown meat.

        • olgak7

          I buy organic chicken from Costco. You certainly don’t need to throw the chicken out, Tanya. That’s the reason that I don’t use the chicken breast – which would be horribly dry and rubbery in the time that it takes for the broth to cook. I like making crepes with the rest of the cooked chicken – Here’s the recipe: Savory Crepes

          • Tanya

            Thank you so much for your quick reply 🙂 ill give the crepes a try. Im just not a big fan of the cooked meat texture.

  • VIKTORIYA

    THREE QUESTIONS… WHAT IS PEPPER CORN, WHERE DO I GET IT.. AND WOULD IT MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IF I OMITTED IT FROM THE RECIPIES?
    PS. LOVE ALL ALL THE EFFORT YOU PUT INTO EXPLAINING ALL THE STEPS!!!

    • olgak7

      Pepper corn is dry whole black peppers, most often used in recipes ground up as ground black pepper. It’s used in almost every recipe, salt and pepper. Whole black pepper corns as great in broths, pickling recipes, etc. You can buy it in every store. If you don’t like using it, you can omit it, of course. I always add it to broths.

  • Angie

    What an awesome idea!
    This way, you can almost always have chicken broth on hand. Very smart!
    I want to try it, but I’m not quite sure how to use it.
    When you want to use some for a recipe, do you use the frozen broth and just scoop some out with a spoon or ice cream scoop??
    I don’t know how much I would need for a recipe, if I would need to thaw it first, etc.
    Please let me know! Thank you 🙂

    • olgak7

      Hi Angie,
      You would have to thaw it first. I usually keep a quart of chicken broth in the refrigerator and every time I need more, I thaw another container.

  • Saskatoon, Canada

    I don’t discard the skin before cooking. I skim the fat after it rises to the top of the broth overnight and use it in bread and buns.

    • olgak7

      I usually make a lot of broth at the same time, 3 huge pots, it would take many hours for the broth to cool off and then I wouldn’t have enough room in the refrigerator to store it all. When I make a small batch, I store it in the refrigerator, and skim off the fat later. I rarely ever use chicken fat, though. Good use of it, Good for you.

  • Oksana

    I have some questions for you Olga! How long does the broth last in the freezer? Also, if I needed the broth to make soup, would I add it in frozen and then defrost it in the pot or bring it to room temperature in the fridge prior to cooking? Lastly, if this recipe makes 6 quarts of broth, when you triple this recipe, do you get 18 quart size containers of broth?

    • olgak7

      I use my broth A LOT, so it lasts me for a few months only. You can safely leave it in there for at least 3 months.
      I usually defrost it on the counter or in the refrigerator. I always have a container of Chicken Broth in the refrigerator and as soon as I see that it’s starting to run low, I take out another container from the freezer.
      Sometimes, I forget though. A quick way to defrost it, hold the closed container under hot running water just enough so it will come out of the container. Dump it out into a small pot and cook it until the chicken broth defrosts.
      One of my pots is a little smaller than the other 2 large ones that I have, so I have a little bit less that 18 quarts, but it’s very close to it:). Like I said, I use chicken broth A LOT.

  • Oksana

    You always answer so thoroughly! I appreciate it!! 🙂 I just ordered the 32 ounce containers so I will start making my first Chicken Broth next week! Also, do you use a whole chicken per pot? If so, any ideas what to do with the left over chicken?

  • Vera

    Hi Olga, I never made chicken broth before. But, since I had bunch of chicken bone from thighs left over with a little meat, I decided to use them to make the broth instead of trashing them. I haven’t tasted it yet because it’s still hot. But can you pretty much use any bones from the chicken to make the broth? Or it’s better to use the whole chicken? Thanks!

  • Alina

    Hi Olga! I want to make chicken broth. What containers could I use for it?
    And what will I do with the meat leftover? I have to use the meat right away or use the cooked meat the next and I’m not sure what chicken to use to make the broth…

    • olgak7

      The chicken will be completely cooked through at this point, so that is why I only cook broth for an hour to an hour and a half. I also like to use the cooked chicken in other recipes, so that is another reason why I don’t like to cook it too long. The longer you cook it, the more flavorful your broth will be, but the chicken will be dry and flavorless. You can cook it much longer than that, since the flavors of the broth will only get more concentrated. It’s a personal preference of mine, Tatyana.

      • Tatyana

        Oh I see. I cook mine for 12 hours in order to get most of the nutrient out, but I usually just use bones and feet so I don’t feel bad throwing them out lol. But I do agree that overcooking the broth if you’re using a whole chicken is not good.
        Thank you for the reply!

    • olgak7

      Yes, you can use chicken breast, Dina. Did you read the complete recipe? I have a chicken breast option written also.
      If you use chicken breast, the broth will not be as flavorful, you will need to cook it for much less time and use more meat than if you use dark meat and bones.
      Also, the cooked meat will be tough and rubbery, so I wouldn’t recommend using it in any other recipes.

  • Alex Rustikov

    Olga, just came across your awesome website after my wife, who is an American, found this recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/oladi-528732. They turned out great!

    As I looked through more recipes on your site I came across this one. Please don’t take this as a criticism, I am just trying to share my experiences. Your can call me a health freak, I guess, as I definitely pay attention to the ingredients we use in our cooking and I cook a lot myself, I mentioned that my wife is not Russian 😉 Anyway, I wanted to caution you and others that pouring hot liquids in a plastic containers causes those to leach bisphenol A (BPA) hormone that you will later consume with the broth. I personally don’t even trust BPA free plastics, only use glass and stainless steel – you can also call me paranoid, lol. A good solution is probably to wait till the broth is completely cool before using plastic containers.

    The other thing is paper towels, most of those are bleached nowadays for whiteness and probably also not a very good option for food preparation. Not exactly sure what an alternative for this one would be.

    Again, thanks for all the recipes and keep up the GREAT work! Огромное спасибо!!!

    • Norbert Sulik

      Hi Alex, I use double folded piece of muslin in a sieve for straining the broth. It can be re-used over and over again provided it gets a good wash after each use. Good comment regarding the use of plastic containers with hot food.
      Nice website Olga, it is refreshing to see some good East European cooking.

      • olgak7

        That’s a great idea, Norbert, about the muslin. I often use a cheesecloth as well.
        I cool off the broth before pouring it into the plastic containers. I like using plastic containers to freeze broth because glass containers can break.

  • Barb

    Hi Olga
    Have tried many broths and this by far is number one. It is has been staying around the “zero” mark in temperature at nights and this allowed the broth to cool and allow me to scum off the top before placing it containers. Keep up the great work.

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