The most decadent and flavorful homemade chicken broth is made from a slow-simmered whole chicken. This recipe takes 5 minutes of hands-on time, then slow-simmers over 2.5 to 3 hours. Not only will you have rich and delicious broth, but you also have tender, falling-off-the-bone chicken meat.
Homemade chicken broth is very easy to make and, in my opinion, tastes much better than store-bought carton chicken broth. It's also easy to make low-sodium chicken broth from scratch.
If this is your first time making chicken broth using a whole chicken, I promise you it's straightforward. Give it a try at least once!
I use this recipe all the time, at least over 100 times. Hands down, it's my favorite way to have chicken broth (and a rotisserie-style chicken on hand).
What You'll Love
This recipe makes great-tasting chicken broth from scratch, and you can use the chicken afterward (like you would for any rotisserie chicken recipe). The hands-on time is 5 minutes, which means it takes less active time than driving to the store.
The base ingredients for this recipe are simple: a whole chicken, onion, salt, and bay leaves.
- Whole chicken: Use a whole chicken with bones, skin, and meat. Alternatively, use an entire chicken cut-up.
- Medium onion: Any onion can be used.
- 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
- Optional ingredients: Experiment with different flavor makers for your broth. I've recently added garlic cloves, cardamom pods, and coriander seeds. Another great flavor maker is fresh herbs, like fresh rosemary, fresh oregano, and fresh thyme. Or add different spices, like cinnamon and cloves.
How To Make Homemade Chicken Broth
Add the peeled quartered onion, whole chicken, bay leaf, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Include any additional flavor makers of choice.
Pour filtered water, completely covering the whole chicken.
Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce to low temperature and cover. Cook slowly for about 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat falls off the bones.
Strain the chicken from the broth. The easiest way I've found to do this is by using two slotted spoons and removing the whole chicken and pieces from the broth.
Pour the homemade chicken broth through a fine mesh strainer for a smooth broth.
- Make sure to have the correct water ratio. If the water ratio is incorrect, the broth will be watered down or too rich. You need 10 cups of water for a 3.5 lb whole chicken. Add a cup of water for every additional 8 ounces (226 grams) of chicken.
- Use a whole chicken. You can also use a whole chicken that's cut up into pieces. However, make sure the entire cut-up chicken is with bone, skin, and meat. That's what gives this broth flavor.
- Adjust the salt to your preference. If you want to make this low-sodium, then adjust the salt quantity.
- Cook on low for a long time (2.5 to 3 hours). A rapid boil cooks the chicken faster and doesn't give the broth the time it needs to form a rich and flavorful taste.
- 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.
- Use a whole duck instead of a whole chicken. Duck is fattier, so the broth is richer. Duck broth is excellent for an Egyptian recipe known as mahshi crumb.
Ways to Use Chicken Broth
Use this broth for Middle Eastern recipes like taro root stew, khobiza, mahshi crumb, mulukhiyah, or rice-making. Or turn this recipe into homemade chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie with biscuits, or crustless chicken noodle soup.
How to Freeze Chicken Broth
Make sure the chicken broth has cooled to room temperature. Pour the chicken broth into a freezer-friendly storage bag (quart or gallon size). Fill the bag half to two-thirds full. Seal the bag tightly.
Tip: Use a second freezer-friendly storage bag to ensure no leaks in the freezer. This is a fail-safe for no leaking liquid!
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.
- 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.
Chicken broth can be frozen for up to 4 months in the freezer. A freezer stash is a great way to have homemade broth on demand. Freeze the broth by storing it in freezer-friendly Ziploc bags.
Pour chicken broth into an airtight container. Place it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Homemade chicken broth may be slightly gelatinous, which is normal. Once it gets reheated, it becomes a liquid again.
Chicken Broth Recipes
- Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Khobiza Mallow Leaf Soup
- Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
- Egyptian Minced Molokhia with Roasted Chicken
- Whole Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch
- Fresh Mulukhiyah with Roz (Jute Leaf Stew)
- Egyptian Kolkas - Taro Root Stew
- Lebanese Dried Molokhia With Chicken and Toasted Pita Bread
Join the Tribe
How To Simmer a Whole Chicken and Make Chicken Broth
- 3½ lb whole chicken or cut up a whole chicken (with the bones) 3 to 4 lbs
- 10 cups water
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cardamom pods optional
- 4 garlic cloves optional
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds optional
Other Flavor Makers
- 1 carrot optional
- 1 celery optional
- fresh herbs optional
- Chop the onion into chunks.
- Add the water, chicken, onion, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to a large stovetop pot. Also add any other flavor makers you wish.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low heat. Cover and cook on low for 2.5 to 3 hours.
- The whole chicken should be falling off the bones tender. Strain the broth.
- To store in the freezer: allow the broth to cool to room temperature. Pour the broth in a freezer-friendly bag.
- 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 must handle it carefully.
- Add 1 cup of water for every 8 ounces (226 grams) of added chicken weight.
- The nutrition facts do not account for added salt.