Homemade Chicken Broth
Use our easy recipe to make the best homemade chicken broth and add amazing flavor to soups and sauces.
- Serves: 16 persons
- 4pounds chicken (fresh bone-in and/or chicken bones; necks, backs, wings, and legs are best)
- 2medium onions (or leeks )
- 2stalks celery
- 1medium carrot (optional)
- 8black peppercorns (optional)
- 2sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
- 2sprigs fresh parsley (optional)
- 2bay leaves (optional)
- 1teaspoon salt (sea salt, finely ground)
Step 1Put the chicken pieces in a large pot and cover with 6 quarts of cold water. Bring just barely to a boil. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface (there may be quite a bit).
Step 2While the chicken comes to a boil, peel the onions and/or trim the leeks (you can leave the peels on the onions, but they will turn the broth a noticeably darker, less golden color).
Step 3Add the remaining ingredients (onions or leeks, celery, and salt; carrot, peppercorns, thyme, parsley , and bay leaves if using) and return just to a boil. Again, skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady gentle simmer (excessive boiling will make a cloudy broth), removing any foam as it forms, until the broth is wonderfully flavorful, at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Step 4Let the broth cool in the pot to warm room temperature. Strain and discard the solids (use tongs to remove bigger pieces, then pour the broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a large bowl or second pot). Keep chilled and use, or freeze the broth, within a few days.
Step 5Frozen broth will keep for months. You can freeze broth in 1- and 4-cup containers to use whenever recipes call for broth or stock. Defrost and bring to a boil before using. Note: Many recipes for stock do not call for salt, and even warn against adding salt to stock with horror stories of overly-salted dishes arising from salty stock. The teaspoon of salt called for in this recipe adds just a tiny note of brightness to the broth and helps draw flavors out of the ingredients; it is not enough to fully season the broth or any resulting dish. If you use the broth as a base for soup, you will need to add more salt to taste.