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Looking for a foolproof chicken broth recipe to get you through the fall and winter? Learn how to make chicken broth in just eight easy steps.
Chicken broth goes by many other names: chicken stock, chicken bone broth, etc. No matter what you call it–a good chicken broth recipe is an absolute essential for every kitchen!
As an urban homesteader, I love the practice of making your own chicken broth at home for many reasons.Jump to Recipe
Why Make Chicken Broth?
First, it is a great way to use leftover chicken bones and limit the food waste you produce in the kitchen. In my house, we roast a whole chicken once a week and save the carcass in the freezer for when it’s time to make bone broth.
You can also collect vegetable scraps from throughout the week to throw in the stock. Trimmings from onions, carrots, herbs, etc. are good candidates for this.
Second, chicken broth is absolutely delicious and very good for you. Chicken stock is high in vitamins and minerals, including calcium. It also contains gelatin, which is nourishing for the hair, skins, nails, and gut mucosa. Plus, sipping bone broth is an excellent remedy when you are sick.
Where to Get Chicken Bones?
The star ingredient of chicken broth is of course, chicken bones! But where do you get them?
The easiest (and most delicious) way to score chicken bones is to cook some bone-in chicken and then save the bones! As I mentioned, we roast a chicken every week and save the carcass in the freezer until it’s time to make chicken stock.
You can easily store any bones (backbone, thigh, leg, etc.) in the freezer until it’s time to make your broth.
Alternatively, you could visit your local butcher to see if they have any leftover chicken scraps. They will often have chicken carcasses or backbones for you to purchase.
Chicken Stock Equipment
To be honest, making chicken broth is a pretty low-tech operation, but there are a few essentials you’ll need to make your own at home with ease.
You’ll need a good stock pot to make chicken broth. I like this 12-quart stainless steel stock pot from All-Clad because it comes with a perforated insert to easily strain the bits from your chicken broth when it’s done.
You’ll also want a ladle to portion your broth out into containers if you’re storing in the fridge or freezer.
This Soup Sock is optional, but I love this handy tool for those of you that don’t have a stock pot with a built in strainer (like myself). I usually keep loose ingredients (like carrots, celery, bay leaves, etc.) in this mesh bag or “Soup Sock” to make straining and clean-up easier.
Hi, I’m Leslie!
My name is Leslie, and I’m the founder of PunkMed! On my blog, I and my team share info, experiences, and recommendations in the area of sustainability, urban homesteading, and the occasional recipe. Our goal is to help you slow down and savor the small joys in life through sustainable practices (including making bone broth!)
In today’s post, I’m sharing my favorite foolproof chicken broth recipe for those chilly winter nights (or anytime really!) I’ve been making this chicken stock for the past 10 years, and it never fails.
I pretty much sip on this broth just straight almost every day throughout the fall and winter here in New England! It’s so good for you–and I swear it can kick a cold!
Let’s get into it!
This post is all about how to make chicken broth.
- 1 12-quart stock pot
- 1.5 lb chicken bones carcass, backbones, leg, thigh bones, etc.
- 1 gallon water water to cover ingredients
- 1 yellow onion halved, skin on
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 stalks celery roughly chopped
- 4 carrots roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorn
- 1/4 cup acid apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
- 1 bunch herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, etc.) optional
- 2 tbsp cooking oil extra virgin olive oil, ghee, etc.
- 1 tbsp salt
- Cut the onion in half leaving the skin on. Onion skin will lend a yellow hue to the broth. Add the onion skin side down to a stock pot with the cooking oil and cook over medium heat until browned.
- Smash the garlic cloves on the countertop, removing skin. Add to the stockpot and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add chicken bones to the stock pot. Optional: cook bones until browned. Browning the bones will lend a nice color and flavor. If the bones have already been cooked, do not bother.
- Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorn, salt, herbs, and other optional add-ins to the stock pot.
- Cover ingredients by 4 inches of water, at least 1 gallon.
- Add vinegar or other acid to stock pot.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Place a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer over a low flame for at least 4-6 hours.
How to Make Chicken Broth – Step by Step Photos
Step #1 – Cut the onion in half leaving the skin on. Onion skin will lend a yellow hue to the broth. Add the onion skin side down to a stock pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil and cook over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
Step #2 – Smash the garlic cloves on the countertop, and remove the skin this time. Add the smashed garlic cloves to the stockpot and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Step #3 – Add chicken bones to the stock pot. It is optional to cook the bones until browned. Browning the bones will lend a nice color and flavor. If the bones have already been cooked (e.g. you’re using leftover bones from a roast chicken) do not bother.
Step #4 – Roughly chop the carrots and celery. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorn, salt, herbs, and other optional add-ins to the stock pot. It’s helpful to put the add-ins in a mesh bag or “Soup Sock”, or other type of strainer, to make straining out your stock easier later.
Step #5 – Cover ingredients by 4 inches of water. This should be about a gallon, but the exact volume of water necessary will depend on the shape of your pot, the volume of the ingredients, etc. This does not need to be exact.
Step #6 – Add 1/4 cup of vinegar or other acid to stock pot. Acid is essential to the nutritive value of bone broth, as it is the acid that breaks down the bones and pulls out minerals as the broth cooks.
Step #7 – Turn heat on high and being the broth to a boil.
Step #8 – Reduce heat to low. Place a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer over a low flame for at least 4-6 hours.
How to Make Chicken Broth in a Crock Pot
Again, this recipe is super flexible and can easily be adapted for a crock pot.
In fact, using a crock pot is one of my favorite ways to make bone broth because it allows for a longer cook time, extracting the most nutrients from the bones.
To make chicken broth in a crock pot, simply throw all of the ingredients above in a crock pot and cover well with water. You won’t be able to brown the onions and bones in the crock pot, but that’s okay.
Let simmer on low for up to 1-2 days, but at least 4-hours.
How to Store Chicken Stock
For the most part, this recipe will produce large enough batch of chicken broth that you will need to store some for later.
Chicken broth can be refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for 2-3 months.
Wait until your chicken stock has cooled and transfer it to glass or plastic quart containers. Be aware that the liquid broth will expand when frozen, which may cause the glass to crack. I prefer to use plastic containers in the freezer for that reason.
This post was all about how to make chicken broth.