Nothing beats a hot bowl of homemade fresh and simple chicken broth for settling an upset stomach or providing warmth and comfort on a cold winter night.
Making your chicken broth doesn’t have to be difficult, either – with just a few simple ingredients and tools, you can quickly make your own fresh, delicious broth.
Whether you’re looking for a tried-and-true recipe to whip up regularly or want to tweak the ingredients to your taste, making chicken broth can be a fun and rewarding experience.
What Is A Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe?
Homemade Chicken Broth is always a great option to have on hand to enhance the flavor of your cooking. Not only will it add intense flavor and moisture to any dish, but it’s also healthier than store-bought broth – no added preservatives or sodium!
This basic recipe yields a light, flavorful broth that can be used in various ways. Use it as a base for soups and stews, a flavoring agent for pan sauces, or add richness to casseroles and other one-dish meals.
The traditional method simmers chicken bones and vegetables on the stovetop for three hours until all the goodness has been extracted.
History Of Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe
Chicken broth, a staple in various cultures worldwide, has a long, rich history dating back centuries. In the Middle Ages, it was often served with barley and old bread, making it a complete meal. In 12th-century Jewish tradition, it was used as a therapeutic for the ill, evolving into the iconic chicken soup.
Chinese medicine, too, has long valued it for its nutritional properties. France elevated it into haute cuisine in the 1800s by introducing consommé. Today, homemade chicken broth is a beloved cornerstone in kitchens across the globe, its timeless appeal transcending cultures and continuing to nourish generations.
Interesting Facts About Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe
- Nutrient-rich: Homemade chicken broth contains vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Simmering the chicken bones extracts gelatin and collagen, which benefit joint health and skin.
- Culinary base: The broth is a fundamental base for many dishes globally, including soups, stews, sauces, and even risotto, enhancing their flavor.
- Medicinal value: Often dubbed “Jewish penicillin,” chicken broth is traditionally used as a remedy for colds and flu due to its healing properties.
- Waste reduction: Making homemade broth utilizes chicken parts that would otherwise be discarded (bones, skin, etc.), promoting a waste-free kitchen.
- Endless variations: The recipe can be personalized with various vegetables, herbs and spices, offering unlimited variations to suit individual tastes.
- Time-honored tradition: The method of slow-cooking broth has been passed down through generations, a culinary practice linking us to our ancestors.
- Promotes hydration: It’s not just comforting food; the broth is hydrating due to its high water content and can be a tasty way to increase fluid intake.
- Digestive aid: Thanks to the gelatin, chicken broth can help promote healthy digestion and soothe a troubled gut.
What Makes Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe Special?
- Homemade chicken broth holds a unique charm that sets it apart from any store-bought counterpart.
- Its magic lies in the slow simmering process, which gently extracts the deep, rich flavors from the chicken and the aromatic vegetables.
- Homemade broth allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring a healthier, cleaner meal.
- Each batch reflects the cook’s personal touch, varying with the choice of herbs, spices, and additional ingredients.
- Plus, there’s an undeniable comfort in the soothing aroma filling the kitchen, transforming a house into a home.
|Chicken, (Or Use Parts, Such As Wings And Backs)||1-3 lb|
|Celery, (With Leaves), Trimmed And Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces||4 stalks|
|Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces||4 medium|
|Onion, Peeled And Quartered||1 medium|
|Cloves, Garlic||6 cloves, peeled|
|Fresh Parsley, Washed||1 small bunch|
|Fresh Thyme||6 sprigs or 1 tsp. dried|
|Kosher Salt||1 tsp.|
|Cold Water||4 quarts|
What Do You Need To Make This Chicken Broth?
- Vegetables play an important role in the art of cuisine and make the deliciousness of various dishes more tangible.
- It is not only consuming vegetables that can benefit us, but reusing vegetable scraps can give our frugality a boost.
- It deepens the flavor of any broth or stock, and red pepper adds extra sweetness.
- Storing up your vegetable scraps for later use is also entirely doable. Fruits and vegetables have different properties that would be worth utilizing later on, so don’t waste them by composting or throwing them away!
- Keep them in separate bags in the freezer until you are ready to use them again – adding to sauces or stocks could take dishes to another level. So next time you cook something delicious with vegetables, don’t forget those veggie scraps!
- Salt is an essential ingredient in creating delicious and flavorful recipes. A sprinkling of salt can turn an ordinary dish into a savory experience. When making chicken broth, salt is an important part of the recipe to achieve the right balance of taste.
- Though adding too much salt is never ideal, skimping could leave your recipe bland and unappealing.
- For broths like this chicken broth recipe, we recommend adding a generous amount for maximum flavor and enjoyment.
- Salt helps bring out all the flavors in the other ingredients, enhancing the aroma and creating a delightfully delicate taste that perfectly compliments the cooked poultry.
- Water is an essential component of any meal. It provides a required liquid for cooking and acts as a flavor enhancer that brings out all the distinct flavors of a dish.
- In this particular recipe, water serves as the base of this meal, in which all the flavors from the meat, vegetables, and herbs will simmer to form an unforgettable taste.
- One of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy chicken broth is with herbs and spices. Simmering the broth with just a few herbs can transform the dish’s flavor.
- Parsley, thyme, and rosemary bring out a range of earthy flavors that can elevate any meal.
- To further enhance these flavors, adding a chicken carcass, which was previously seasoned with chili powder, salt, paprika, and sugar, adds even more depth to the dish.
- Chicken: Opt for organic, free-range chicken if possible. The quality of the chicken directly impacts the flavor of the broth.
- Bones: Don’t forget to include bones in your broth. They’re rich in collagen and marrow, which provide flavor and health benefits. Roasting the bones beforehand can add depth to your broth.
- Vegetables: Classic choices include onions, carrots, and celery. Ensure they are well-cleaned, and feel free to leave the skins on for additional flavor.
- Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, and bay leaves lend a wonderful aroma. For spices, consider peppercorns, garlic, or a dash of turmeric for added health benefits.
- Water: Use filtered water if possible. The cleaner the water, the purer your broth’s taste will be.
- Acid: Adding a splash of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice can help extract more nutrients from the bones.
- Time: The longer you simmer the broth, the richer it will be. However, avoid boiling at a high temperature; a low and slow simmer is critical.
- Seasoning: Avoid adding salt until the end of the cooking process. This way, you have more control over the final taste, especially if you reduce the broth.
- Straining: Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth for a clear broth. For a rustic feel, you can leave some of the solids in.
- Storage: Homemade chicken broth can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for several months, making it a versatile ingredient when needed.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
Homemade chicken broth is incredibly adaptable to various dietary needs:
- Keto/Paleo: The basic chicken broth recipe aligns with both Keto and Paleo diets. You could add healthy fats like olive oil or ghee to increase the fat content for Keto followers.
- Gluten-Free/Whole30: The chicken broth is naturally gluten-free and Whole30 compliant. Just ensure that any added seasonings or spices are also gluten-free.
- Vegetarian/Vegan: Swap the chicken for a selection of hearty root vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweed to make a rich vegetable broth. The seaweed mimics the umami flavor usually provided by the chicken.
- Mix chicken, water, garlic, parsley, salt, carrots, onion, thyme, and celery in a large pot.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, partly cover, and let simmer for 2 hours until chicken falls apart.
- Regularly scoop foam from the surface.
- Strain broth into a large bowl and press solids to extract maximum liquid.
- Pour broth into shallow containers, cool, then loosely cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove congealed fat from the surface before serving.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Add different herbs like rosemary or tarragon for unique flavor profiles.
- Incorporate other root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips.
- For a spicy kick, include chili flakes or fresh jalapeños.
- Introduce a smoky touch with a bit of smoked paprika.
- Cooked noodles or rice can be added to a hearty chicken soup.
- Add in cooked, shredded chicken for a chunkier version.
- Toss in fresh or frozen vegetables for extra nutrition.
- Include cooked legumes like chickpeas or lentils for a protein boost.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Add a squeeze of lemon for a tangy freshness.
- Sprinkle on some grated Parmesan for a savory touch.
- Top with croutons for a delightful crunch.
- A dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream can add a creamy texture.
Scaling The Recipe
Scaling a homemade chicken broth recipe is relatively straightforward. Here are some general tips:
- Ingredients: Increase the quantity of ingredients proportionally. For example, if you’re doubling the recipe, use twice the amount of chicken, vegetables, and herbs.
- Pot Size: Ensure your pot is large enough to contain all the ingredients and allow for proper heat circulation.
- Cooking Time: You may need to increase cooking time slightly, as more ingredients can take longer to reach a simmer. However, the overall simmering time shouldn’t drastically change.
- Ingredients: Decrease the number of ingredients proportionally. If you’re halving the recipe, use half the amount of chicken, vegetables, and herbs.
- Pot Size: Use a smaller pot to ensure ingredients are well-covered by water and cooked evenly.
- Cooking Time: Cooking time might reduce slightly when you scale down, but ensure the broth is still flavorful and the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
The garnish for a homemade chicken broth can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, depending on your final dish. Here are some commonly used garnishes:
- Fresh Herbs: Parsley, thyme, dill, or cilantro can be chopped and sprinkled over the top for new flavor and color.
- Lemon Slices or Zest: A slice or a bit of lemon zest can add a bright, citrusy note to your chicken broth.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: A sprinkle of black pepper adds flavor and a visually appealing speckled appearance.
- Green Onions or Chives: These can be thinly sliced and sprinkled on top for a mild onion flavor.
- Croutons: If the broth serves as a soup, croutons can add a crunchy texture.
- Grated Parmesan: A sprinkle of cheese adds a savory, indulgent touch.
Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
Making chicken broth in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot is a convenient alternative to the traditional stovetop method.
- Place all ingredients into your slow cooker.
- Fill with water until it covers the ingredients by about an inch.
- Cover and set to low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
- Once cooking time is complete, strain the broth and allow it to cool. Store as usual.
- The slow cooker’s long, gentle cooking process is ideal for extracting flavors, making it perfect for broth.
- Add all the ingredients to your Instant Pot.
- Fill with water until it reaches the pot’s maximum fill line.
- Close the lid, ensure the vent is set to the sealing position, and pressure cook on high for 60 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally, strain the broth, and allow it to cool—store as directed.
Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
Both store-bought and homemade broths have their place in the kitchen, and the choice between them depends on factors like time, convenience, and personal preference.
- This is a convenient option when you’re short on time or need a small amount for a recipe. It’s ready to use and has a consistent flavor. However, it’s crucial to check the labels when buying; many commercial broths contain high sodium levels, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Look for organic, low-sodium versions for a healthier choice.
- When time allows, homemade broth is a fantastic option. It’s economical, especially using leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps. You have complete control over the ingredients, ensuring a cleaner, healthier broth. Plus, homemade broth’s flavor is often richer and more complex than store-bought versions.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
Yes, absolutely! One of the great things about making broth is its adaptability to various ingredients. Here’s how you can modify it:
- Meat: You can substitute chicken with turkey, beef, or pork. Remember that each type of meat will give the broth a distinct flavor and cooking times may vary.
- Fish: A fish broth, often used in seafood stews and soups, can be made with fish bones and heads. Remember that fish broth generally cooks much faster than meat broth and can develop a strong flavor if cooked too long.
- Pasta: While pasta isn’t typically added while making the broth, you can undoubtedly add cooked pasta while preparing a soup with the broth. It’s a great way to make the soup heartier.
- Vegetables: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables. Root veggies like parsnips and turnips work well; you can add some starchy potatoes. Dark leafy greens like kale or spinach could be added towards the end of cooking for a nutritional boost.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
- Save vegetable scraps (carrot ends, onion peels, celery leaves) to enhance flavor.
- Pre-cut ingredients for faster assembly.
- Use chicken bones or carcasses from previous meals to reduce waste.
- Roast bones and vegetables before simmering for a richer flavor.
- Skim off impurities and foam during the cooking process.
- Add a dash of apple cider vinegar to help extract nutrients from the bones.
- Use cheesecloth for easy straining.
Cooking Time Tips
- Simmer broth on low heat to prevent evaporation.
- Longer cooking time (4-6 hours) yields a more flavorful broth.
- Frequent stirring helps distribute flavors evenly.
- Reduce the broth to concentrate flavors, if desired.
- Allow broth to cool before refrigerating or freezing for better preservation.
- Reheat gently to retain its nutritional value and taste.
Savor the nutritional powerhouse that is homemade chicken broth. This broth delivers essential nutrients with every spoonful packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It’s low in calories yet rich in flavor, making it an excellent addition to a balanced diet. Enjoy the health benefits and taste in one comforting bowl.
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
Homemade chicken broth’s overall calorie count can change based on the exact ingredients and proportions. A typical cup (240 ml) of homemade chicken broth has between 40 and 60 calories.
However, this can change based on the amount and type of chicken used, the variety and quantity of vegetables, and any additional ingredients. For a precise count, consider the nutritional content of your specific ingredients and adjust accordingly.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Soup
Homemade chicken broth is versatile and can generally fit into most diets with a few adjustments. Here are a few considerations:
- Gluten-Free: Chicken broth is naturally gluten-free. However, if adding any sauces or flavorings, ensure they’re also gluten-free.
- Dairy-Free: The basic recipe doesn’t contain any dairy.
- Low-Sodium: You control the salt when you make homemade broth, so it can be made low-sodium by reducing or omitting it.
- Paleo/Keto: The basic broth suits Paleo and Keto diets.
- Vegetarian/Vegan: The basic chicken broth is unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, a vegetable broth could be made using the same method, substituting chicken with extra veggies or mushrooms for umami flavor.
- Allergies: The basic chicken broth is free from common allergens like nuts, eggs, and soy, but always check the ingredients if you’re catering to specific allergies.
Health Benefits Of The Soup
Homemade chicken broth comes packed with numerous health benefits:
- Boosts Immunity: Rich in vitamins and minerals, chicken broth can help strengthen your immune system and fight off illnesses.
- Aids Digestion: The gelatin derived from the bones in the broth is known to promote healthy digestion.
- Joint Health: The broth’s collagen and amino acids, like proline and glycine, can support joint health.
- Hydrating: High in water content, chicken broth can aid in maintaining hydration.
- Weight Management: Low in calories and high in protein, it can help keep you feeling full, assisting in weight management.
- Skin Health: The collagen in the broth is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin.
How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sodium?
Making a low-sodium chicken broth at home is quite simple, allowing you to control the salt content while maintaining a flavorful broth. Here are some tips:
- Limit Added Salt: This is the most straightforward way to lower sodium. You can start with a small amount, adjust to taste, or skip it entirely.
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables and herbs impart flavor without adding sodium.
- Avoid Bouillon Cubes or Broth Concentrates: These are high in sodium. If you do use them, look for low-sodium versions.
- Spice It Up: Use a variety of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor without adding salt. For example, garlic, onion, black pepper, thyme, and parsley can all contribute to a flavorful broth.
- Use No-Salt-Added Canned Tomatoes: Opt for no-salt-added versions if your recipe calls for canned tomatoes.
How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sugar?
Fortunately, traditional homemade chicken broth doesn’t typically contain added sugars. The basic recipe of water, chicken, vegetables, and herbs is inherently low in sugar. Here are a few tips to ensure it stays that way:
- Avoid Processed Ingredients: Processed or canned ingredients can often contain hidden sugars. Stick to fresh, whole ingredients as much as possible.
- Be Careful with Root Vegetables: While flavorful, root vegetables like carrots and parsnips can also add natural sugars. Limit these if you’re aiming for a very low-sugar broth.
- Mind Your Seasonings: Some pre-mixed seasonings can contain sugar. Opt for single herbs and spices and read labels carefully.
- Limit Alcohol: While not typically used in chicken broth, some recipes might suggest a splash of wine for flavor. Alcohol can contain sugars, so limit this if you’re trying to reduce sugar content.
How To Serve Homemade Chicken Broth At Its Best?
Serving homemade chicken broth can be done in a variety of ways depending on your preferences:
- As a standalone soup: Warm it up, add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a twist of black pepper, or a squeeze of lemon, and serve in a bowl or mug.
- Base for Soups and Stews: Use it as a foundation for other soups, stews, or chili. It adds depth of flavor and richness that water or store-bought broths can’t match.
- Cooking Liquid: Use it as a cooking liquid for grains like rice, quinoa, or couscous to impart more flavor.
- Sauces and Gravies: Reduce it for a more concentrated flavor to use as a base for sauces and gravies.
- Braising: It’s great for braising meats and vegetables, adding a flavor boost to your dishes.
- Steaming: You can use it to steam vegetables for a subtle flavor enhancement.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Homemade Chicken Broth
Pairing side dishes with homemade chicken broth makes it a fulfilling meal. Here are some options:
- Crusty Bread: Freshly baked bread or a toasted baguette is perfect for dipping and soaking up the rich broth.
- Salad: A light, crisp salad would complement the warm, hearty broth. Choose ingredients that balance the flavors of your broth.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A comforting side that pairs beautifully with a steaming bowl of broth.
- Steamed or Roasted Veggies: They add texture and nutrition to your meal.
- Rice or Quinoa: A small bowl of steamed rice or quinoa can add substance, making the broth a heartier meal.
- Pasta: A side of simple buttered pasta works well, especially if the broth is served as a main dish.
How Long Can We Store Homemade Chicken Broth?
Proper storage is vital to extending the life of your homemade chicken broth:
- Refrigerator: After cooling, the broth can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- Freezer: For more extended storage, you can freeze the broth. Pour it into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays, leaving some space for expansion, and it can last for up to 6 months.
Can I Make Homemade Chicken Broth In Advance?
Yes, one of the benefits of homemade chicken broth is that it can be prepared in advance. It’s an excellent way to use leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps, and having it ready to go in your fridge or freezer can save time when you’re cooking.
You can make a large batch and then freeze it in smaller portions. Use freezer-safe containers or even ice cube trays for convenience. Frozen broth can be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight or directly added to dishes like soups or stews while cooking.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
When it comes to leftover solids from a recipe, repurposing them is the way to go. After all, why would you want to waste all that cooked food?
For example, we can’t agree with some recipes when they suggest discarding the solids, including the chicken and vegetables. Instead, we always reuse them.
To do this, you first must strip any remaining meat off the chicken carcass and set it aside for later use. You can then put all the solids into a large pot or stockpot along with cold water, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
Bring this to a boil for about an hour or two over medium heat before straining through cheesecloth or a sieve into a bowl. This resultant liquid can later be used as homemade stock in soups or stews.
By doing so, you get nutritional value from your leftovers and save money in the process!
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
Preparing homemade chicken broth requires minimal and essential kitchen tools, most of which you likely already have:
- Large Stockpot or Dutch Oven: This is crucial for simmering the broth. It should be large enough to hold all the ingredients and allow for proper heat circulation.
- Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: If necessary, chop vegetables and cut the chicken.
- Measuring Spoons: Useful for measuring out salt, herbs, and spices.
- Ladle: To scoop off the foam and fat that rises to the surface of the broth during cooking.
- Strainer or Colander: Essential for separating the broth from the solids after it’s cooked.
- Large Bowl: Needed when straining the broth.
- Containers for Storage: Airtight containers or jars are best for storing broth in the refrigerator or freezer.
Homemade chicken broth is a delicious and cost-effective way to make the most out of your chicken. With just a few simple steps, you can create a flavorful stock in no time that can be used as the basis for soups, gravies, or other dishes.
For best results, it’s important to be mindful of how much water is added when pressure-cooking and to cool the broth as quickly as possible to preserve the flavor.
Additionally, store it correctly in the fridge or freezer for maximum freshness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Chicken Feet To Make Homemade Chicken Broth?
Indeed, chicken feet can be a great addition to your broth. They are rich in gelatin and can give your broth a wonderful, silky texture. Make sure they’re cleaned thoroughly before use.
My Chicken Broth Is Cloudy. Did I Do Something Wrong?
Not necessarily. Cloudy broth often results from boiling rather than simmering, which can cause the ingredients to break down more and release more sediment. While it might affect the appearance, it generally doesn’t impact the flavor. If a clear broth is desired, maintain a gentle simmer and strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
What’s So Great About Homemade Chicken Broth?
Making your chicken broth at home is a great way to add a delicious flavor to any dish. Not only is it easy and cost-effective, but you can also control the ingredients used to make it entirely from all-natural ingredients.
The beauty of making homemade chicken broth is that it takes minimal time and effort – all you need is some vegetable scraps, water, your choice of seasonings, and a large pot or slow cooker.
How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Homemade Chicken Broth?
Once your broth is prepared, you can use it in soups, stews, sauces, or any number of recipes to add flavor and depth. If you make a big batch ahead of time, you can even freeze portions for later use.
You can freeze the broth in ice cube trays to prepare individual portions when needed.
What Do You Need To Make This Chicken Broth?
Homemade chicken broth is a delicious and cost-effective way to make the most out of your chicken. You can quickly make a flavorful stock with just a few simple steps.
This recipe for chicken broth requires:
- Three pounds of raw chicken wings, or any combination of wings, backs, and raw or leftover cooked carcasses.
- Three carrots cut into 3-inch pieces,
- Three stalks of celery cut into 3-inch pieces,
- One unpeeled onion is cut into quarters.
When properly prepared, this recipe yields about 2.8 liters of flavorful homemade chicken broth that can be used as the basis for soups, gravies, or other dishes.
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