Making your own broth is not only cheaper, but it is also healthier. Here I will show you how to make chicken broth from bones and vegetables as well as explain the difference between using a young store-bought chicken vs. an old chicken from a homestead.
Ingredients for Best Chicken Broth
- 1 whole chicken – I used an old chicken so it is much skinnier. If you are using a store-bought bird, you might want to increase the number of veggies you use!
- 1 onion – you can use more for more flavor!
- 1 celery rib – you can also use the leaves if you have them!
- a few garlic cloves – I used three, but it is totally up to your taste.
- 1 big carrot
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar – to help the bones break down faster.
- Oil for browning the veggies – I use olive oil, but you are free to use any other oil as well.
How to Make Best Chicken Broth (VIDEO)
Step By Step Recipe
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Then take the chicken apart if using a whole chicken. Cut the legs, wings, and breasts off from the carcass.
Place all the parts onto a sheet pan and put into the oven for about 20 minutes until the chicken becomes brown.
Chop up the veggies, and don’t worry about getting them the right size – after boiling they will be no good for food anyway, so you will discard them at the end. You can even place a whole onion into the pot if you want!
But I like to at least cut them in half so that they can get a bit brown. The same goes for carrots and celery – I find that they create more flavor if cut in pieces versus placed in whole.
Preheat a pot and add a bit of oil to the bottom. I use a dutch oven, but you don’t have to if you don’t have one! Place the veggies in the pot and let them brown. Avoid the temptation to stir constantly – if you stir too much, your veggies won’t caramelize.
Add the chicken to the pot, deglaze the sheet pan with some hot water and add that to the pot. Pour additional water to almost cover all the veggies and chicken. Bring to a simmer and leave for 3-24 hours!
Strain your broth with a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 6 months! But make sure your broth has cooled down completely before placing it into the refrigerator.
Tips and Tricks
- Use herbs to deepen the flavor. You can add any herbs you like! Basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc.
- Roast your bird and the veggies before adding water. Roasting will add that brown color which brings so much more delicious flavor with it!
- Old chicken gives better results.
- You can add soy sauce or seaweed to give it an Asian spin.
- Don’t add salt. This way you can control the salt levels in the dishes you make with your broth.
- Drink the broth on its own with some salt for an immunity boost in winter!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to make an old chicken tender?
You might be wondering what I mean by an old chicken. No, it is not the chicken that has been sitting in your fridge for a week! An old chicken is the one that lived for a year or more before it moved to your fridge.
When I tried making an old chicken it turned out so rubbery that I was wondering whether I am actually chewing on a bone. Old chickens have totally different meat and you need to treat them differently to get good-tasting meat.
If you have chickens or you bought a chicken from a neighbor who does (like I did), you need to know that those chickens are not the same as store-bought. There are plenty of methods of making an old chicken tender. But, basically, you first want to let your chicken sit in a fridge for a couple of days before cooking, so that the muscles loosen up a bit.
Then you want to brine your chicken in salt water for a few hours in the fridge, and only then you are ready to cook or roast your chicken… ALL DAY LONG. Doesn’t that sound like a fun recipe? It sure did not to me! So, should you just get rid of an old chicken altogether?
Actually, no! There is one thing that turns out BETTER with an old chicken – homemade chicken broth (or stock)! Using an old chicken will bring your chicken broth to a whole new level, and during the long simmering process the meat will also have more time to break down and will get softer than if you just fried it on its own.
How to Know if Chicken is Bad?
If you look online, you will read that yellow fat in a chicken means it’s gone bad. But, actually, yellow fat in an old chicken is totally normal. However, you do want to watch for strange smells and the gray color of meat.
If your chicken smells even a little bit unpleasant, the chances are it started going bad. When you see that the meat has grayish color then it is your second sign that this chicken is not doing that well anymore.
If you suspect that your chicken is bad, it is safer to get rid of it altogether.
How to Tell if Chicken Broth is Bad?
If you notice a sour taste and smell, cloudy appearance, and change in texture your broth has gone bad. Don’t use broth or stock that has gone bad, because you can potentially get sick and ruin the entire dish you made with it!
How to Handle Raw Chicken?
You want to make sure that you wash your hands for 30 seconds after each time you handled raw chicken. Don’t touch other things until you wash your hands. If raw chicken touched a cutting board, a table surface, a knife, or anything else, all of the objects need to be washed before the next use.
Raw chicken has bacteria that can make you really sick, so it is better to be extra careful!
How Long to Boil Broth for?
Your best bet is at least 3 hours. The longer you simmer your stock the more health benefits and flavor profile it will give you.
What Can Be Used for Chicken Broth?
You can use any leftover veggies and create your custom chicken broth! But I like to add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and herbs. This creates a basic chicken broth (or stock). However, you are free to experiment. Roasting your veggies first as well as slightly roasting the chicken gives your broth a deeper flavor.
Chicken Broth vs Chicken Stock
What is the difference between chicken broth and chicken stock? Basically, the stock is made with bones while the broth is made with meat. Bone broth is made from bones and connective tissue but is simmered for 12-20 hours and has a jelly-like texture because of the long cooking time. There is no great difference between the three!
Is It Healthy to Drink Chicken Broth?
Chicken broth is a great immunity booster during winter times when we are prone to catching all kinds of viruses. Check out this article for more health benefits information!
How to Make Broth with Boneless Chicken Breast?
You can make broth without bones if you just use chicken breasts. This recipe explains how to do it step by step!
How to Make Broth without Chicken?
You can use chicken broth substitutes! Here is a list of different substitutes you can use in place of chicken broth.
How to Make Broth in a Slow Cooker?
The process is the same, place all the ingredients into your slow cooker and leave the setting on low for a few hours. You can go for up to 24 hours and the longer you cook your broth the better it gets. But try to aim for at least 3 hours.
If you made this chicken broth, let me know how it turned out! What kinds of veggies did you add to your recipe? Let’s stay in touch! You can subscribe to my newsletter if you would like to learn tips and tricks on how to take your cooking to the next level.
Try this tomato basil soup recipe using your homemade chicken broth!