Homemade chicken broth is very easy to make and in my opinion, tastes much better than store-bought carton chicken broth. It's very easy to make low-sodium chicken broth as well when you are making it from scratch.
What I Love About This Recipe
Not only does this recipe make great-tasting chicken broth, but I can also use the chicken afterward. This recipe makes the most flavorful chicken broth with just a few ingredients: a whole chicken, bay leaf, onion, and some cardamom pods for flavor. The best part is this chicken broth can be frozen and thawed for use when needed.
- Whole chicken: Use a whole chicken with bones, skin, and meat. Alternatively, use a whole chicken cut up. For every additional 4 ounces (113 grams) of chicken, add an extra cup of water.
- Medium onion: Any onion can be used.
- Whole cardamom pods: You can find whole dried cardamom pods in the spice section of the grocery store.
- Bay leaf
- Water: I like to use filtered or distilled water for my broth. Tap water throws the taste off a bit.
- Salt and pepper to taste
How To Make Homemade Chicken Broth
In a large pot, add the peeled quartered onion, whole chicken, cardamom pods, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water.
Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to low temperature and cover. Cook low and slow for 2 hours or until the meat falls off the bones.
Strain the chicken from the broth using a strainer sitting on top of a bowl (to collect the chicken broth).
- Make sure to have the right water ratio. The broth will be watered down or too rich if the water ratio is incorrect.
- Use a whole chicken. You can also use a whole chicken that's cut up into pieces. However, make sure the whole cut-up chicken is with bone, skin, and meat.
- Adjust the salt to your preference. If you want to make this low-sodium, then adjust the salt quantity.
- Cook on medium-high for the first half, then medium-low for the second half. I don't know why this makes the broth so tasty, but I've noticed a difference using a lower temperature for the second half of cooking.
- Strain the broth. This filters out all of the pieces floating about.
Make this chicken broth low sodium by reducing the added salt to the recipe.
Make sure the chicken broth has cooled to room temperature. Using a freezer-friendly storage bag (either quart or gallon size), add the chicken broth. Fill the bag half to two-thirds full. Seal the bag tightly. Use a second freezer-friendly storage bag to make sure there are no leaks in the freezer.
Thawing Frozen Chicken Broth
Remove the frozen chicken broth from the freezer and place the freezer bag in a bowl with water. The broth will partially thaw making it easy to remove from the plastic bag. Sometimes I cut the bag with scissors to speed up the process.
- Chef's knife and cutting board
- Large stovetop pot
Yes, homemade chicken broth and chicken stock are gluten-free. If buying from the store, double-check the ingredient label.
Yes, chicken broth can be frozen for up to 4 months in the freezer. Having a freezer stash is a great way to have homemade broth on demand. Freeze the broth by storing it in freezer-friendly Ziploc bags.
Recipes With Chicken Broth
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Homemade Chicken Broth
- 3½ lb whole chicken or cut up a whole chicken (with the bones) 3 to 4 lbs
- 10 cups water
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the onion into chunks.
- Add the water, chicken, cardamom pods, onion chunks, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to a large stovetop pot.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
- The whole chicken should be falling off the bones tender. Strain the broth from the chicken, onions, bay leaf, and cardamom pods.
- The chicken meat can be removed from the bone and used in another recipe like curry chicken salad, chicken and vegetable soup, or shredded chicken enchiladas.
- The whole chicken can be roasted in the oven after the broth is made. Mix 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, the juice from half a lime, salt, and pepper. Spread this sauce all over the chicken. Bake the chicken at 425 F (220 C). The chicken might be falling apart, so you might have to handle it carefully.
- Add an extra 1 cup of water for every 4 ounces (113 grams) of added chicken weight.
- The nutrition facts do not account for added salt.