Whew – this post. ALL THE RESEARCH went into this post. All the questions I wanted to know about why and how to make chicken broth is in here. I hope this becomes your one stop guide for broth.
Ever since stepping into the kitchen and starting to learn a little bit more about cooking I have heard the same thing over and over, “Make your own chicken broth.”
Make your own chicken broth.
Make your own chicken broth.
At first I was like, “YES! MAKE ALL THE CHICKEN BROTH.” And then somehow that never happened and then I would have the best intentions to do it one day and I’d start to prep everything and somehow end up on the couch with a snack and a book. Many a great book has been read by me because of this 🙂
I was getting way too intimidated by this homemade broth business. And how much time do I have to make broth – right?! RIGHT.
But, I found that if I have a plan it makes all the difference. And this really is a very easy homemade chicken broth recipe.
Easy Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe
First of all, chicken broth takes chicken bones. I have found two easy ways to do this. This past weekend I went the whole chicken route. At Fresh Market they generally have a deal on whole roasted chickens for $5 – my friend actually got hers at Whole Foods this past weekend for the same price! So, pick up two roasted chickens.
As soon as I got home I took the chicken off the bones. Just pulled it off and put it in two separate containers. This shredded chicken is now part of my meal plan for the week. I’m going to use one batch of the chicken to make this white chicken chili tonight and I’ll use the second batch of chicken on Wednesday for this paleo chicken curry! This pre-cooked and pre-shredded chicken makes meal prep so easy.
And can we just stop to say this may be one of my favorite comments on my chicken curry post, because, you know, they know the real thing:
I made this curry last night. It’s more of a Malay style curry than Indian but it’s incredible! Has that amazing satay taste. My husband’s Mother is Malaysian and he absolutely loved this.
Kristie – thank you!!
Ok, so once I remove the chicken I’m left with two chicken carcasses, which are going to be used for the broth. Do you know how hard it is to make a chicken carcass pretty for a photograph? I’m all, “Ooh, your right side is not your good side. Let’s try your left si..huh…never mind.”
But I wanted to show you a picture. As you can see I leave a little bit of chicken on the carcass for some added chicken flavor.
Ina Garten likes to use three chicken carcasses and I found some people actually use chicken drumsticks. In fact, one article I read said to keep the bones of your chicken drumsticks after you have served them for a meal and put them in a freezer-safe plastic baggie and freeze until you have enough bones for broth, about 8 -12 drumsticks. Another article used four drumstick bones and four raw chicken drumsticks (meat still on, uncooked). I am going to try this next time and I will report back!
Here’s the thing, if you strip your chicken carcass and you’re like – no time to make broth! Then throw the carcasses in the freezer for up to one month. All better now!
But, the game plan. I wanted to make my broth in my stockpot on the stove. It takes about 6 hours simmering so Beau and I just declared this past Saturday was movie evening/night. We felt quite accomplished after we stored our shredded chicken and threw together our broth. Once it was all simmering we watched a movie and played some games and BAM! The broth is done.
Well, we first had to acquire some games and Target was having a sale on what they called retro games:
It is also great to make broth on the weekend with your upcoming meals in mind. For example, I plan to make Chicken Zoodle soup this week too so I know how much of my broth I can put in the freezer and how much to save in the refrigerator.
Chicken zoodle soup with homemade broth:
How Long Will Broth Last?
The broth will only last in your refrigerator for one week but it will last in the freezer for up to three months! So as long as you freeze this big batch and thaw as you need then you are golden.
Broth really is SO easy because you are basically throwing everything into a huge pot with little to mess with – for example:
- just cut one bulb of garlic in half (no need to peel) and throw it in the pot
- no need to peel the carrots (but do scrub them off)
- no need to chop the celery (be sure to leave the celery leaves on! So much flavor in the leaves)
So basically, scrub veggies, throw in pot.
You also can get creative and use what is on hand. For example I know a lot of people like parsley in their broth but I did not have parsley in my herb garden. I have thyme and dill. So that is what I used.
Ready for the BONUS?! You can make this in a crockpot! I put the directions in the recipe card below.
The magic ingredient? Apple cider vinegar. I have not added this to my broth in the past but one of my dear friends told me about it just a few weeks ago. The vinegar works to pull out all the nutrients from the chicken bones. It basically makes your broth a super food! I found that the best amount is about 1 TBS per pound of chicken bones.
And where are my savory people?! Last winter the Washington Post called bone broth Winter’s “new miracle drink!” I heard about places serving steaming hot cups of broth in NYC, just like you would serve a hot cup of coffee. That sounds unbelievably delicious to me. Sometimes I just want something hot and savory as a snack and a steaming hot cup of broth or chicken stock always seems to do the trick, not to mention it is so great for you if you get sick.
If you get a chance, read this article as it lists out all the benefits of bone broth.
Storing and Thawing your Broth
My recipe makes about 15 cups of broth. To freeze my broth, I use these! They are freezer and dishwasher safe and they are a great size. I usually put in 3 cups of broth per container so I know exactly how much I have on hand.They are also perfect for storing soups and other sauces (for example, I freeze big batches of my pizza sauce in these containers).
Or, if you have mason jars you can get these lids which are freezer safe, leak proof, dishwasher safe and they have a special top which you can write your expiration date on! I just ordered some of them 🙂
When you are ready to use some of the broth, remove the amount needed from the freezer. You can thaw it out overnight in the refrigerator. Or if you need it thawed faster, put hot water in a bowl and then put your stock in the bowl so the stock thaws enough that it can be dumped into a sauce pot and heat on low until it is thawed.
So, we have a game plan?! We can do this!
Easy Homemade Chicken Broth
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 15 1x
- 4–5 carrots, washed and unpeeled
- 4 celery stalks, washed with leaves on
- 1 small onion peeled and cut in half
- 1 bunch thyme (about 10–15 sprigs)
- 1 bunch parsley (optional)
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 bulb garlic unpeeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 1/4 cup apple cider (or 1TBS for every pound of chicken bones)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 7 quarts of water (28 cups)
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
For Stock Pot on Stove:
- Throw everything into the stock pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Keep simmering on the stove, uncovered for 5-8 hours. Afterwards, cool the stock slightly. Place a colander in a bowl and pour the broth through, reserving the liquid. Some people then like to put their broth through a cheesecloth but this is optional. Skim off any fat on the surface of the stock and then store as needed (see post about how to freeze and thaw broth).
For Crock Pot
- Add all ingredients to crock pot. For the crock pot you only need about 2 to 3 quarts of water. Cover and cook on low for 12 hours. Place a colander in a bowl and pour the broth through, reserving the liquid.