How To Make Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth

I can’t decide which part of home-made chicken broth I like better: That it’s so freakin’ good, or that it’s basically free when you make chicken for another meal.

This one is made from the leftovers of a rotisserie chicken from Costco. Some people actually buy chicken wings just to make broth, and I’m sure it comes out fine, but like I said … free.

Directions

After you’ve picked all the chicken you want off the carcass, throw everything that’s left in a big pot, Dutch oven or slow cooker. Everything. Including trimmings, drippings, bones, skin. Every. Thing.

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Add enough water to cover the carcass, and set the heat just high enough to bubble gently.

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Cover, and walk away for 8-10 hours. Overnight is fine if you aren’t worried about your stove randomly exploding. The longer you go, the more goodness you’ll extract from the bones. (Have you heard everyone online talking about bone broth for the last year or so? If you haven’t started making you own yet, click that link to check out what you’ve been missing.)

Do check after it’s been covered for a while that it’s still gently bubbling. Once you put the lid on, it could get hotter and start boiling. You don’t want that.

Now to filter it. Put a colander in a large bowl, and put a paper towel or a piece of cheesecloth in the bottom.

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Scoop all the solids into the colander with a slotted spoon, then pour the broth in.

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Lift the colander out slowly, and you’ll have a bowl full of broth.

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Toss the bits and pieces that were left behind. No matter how much your dog begs, don’t give it to him. Chicken bones shatter and present a choking hazard.

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Let the broth cool a little and transfer to a container that seals tightly. Refrigerate until using … which better be soon.

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And that’s it.

PS: This makes a killer egg drop soup. Click that link for the recipe.

PPS: A note about “free”. The chicken I made this from cost $4.99 at Costco, already cooked. It made 8 cups of broth. Walmart sells organic chicken broth for $2.88 for 4 cups. (As of today on their website.) In other words I could buy the chicken, throw out most of the meat and use the carcass to make broth, and it would still cost less than buying this much broth at Walmart.

Comments

  1. Great post Drew. I discovered home made broth a few years ago and now there isn’t a chicken, pork, turkey or beef bone that leaves the house before it is turned into stock!! Adding onions, celery, carrots, etc. enhances the flavor even more.

    • I’ve been talking a co-worker through making her first broth. She added onion to hers, but decided it was getting too onion-ey and fished it out. I prefer doing it “naked” and add the flavor later once I know what I’m going to make with it.

  2. Would this work if I put it in a slow cooker on low. If so how long?

    • I co-worker of mine (see my reply to Joe) just did some in a slow cooker. She put it in at 7 in the morning before going to work and took it out between 8 and 9 that night. As of the last time I talked to her she hadn’t used it yet, but said it tasted great.

  3. Dave Aldrich-Thorpe says:

    Drew – another way to keep the cost of making your own stock down is to save the parts cut off of carrots, celery, asparagus ends – collect in a container, freeze and as you peel carrots or any other veggies – even small onions – throw into freezer and keep until you are going to make a bucket of fresh homemade broth – makes this even less expensive since you are using the veggie pieces instead of fresh veggies.

    • I’ve got a friend who keeps a two-gallon container in the freezer that he throws all the scraps in. When it’s full, he makes stock. With a family of five, I can’t spare the freezer space, but I like the idea.

  4. I would suggest using a pressure cooker, adding a couple carrots, onion with skin on and the top of a stalk of celery, and pinch of salt. It only takes 15 minutes.

  5. I make chicken broth in my crockpot all the time. I’ll save chicken bones/carcasses in a container in the freezer until I have enough to fill my biggest crockpot. Let it cook for 10 hours or so. I usually start it on high for the first 1 – 2 hours to get it simmering quickly then turn to low. After it’s cooled, pour into mason jars and tuck into the freezer until I need it.

  6. I confess that I have always stayed away from making chicken broth – I thought it was too complicated! This recipe is going to be tried today, with a chicken from Safeway. Hopefully, this will end my purchasing the ready made broth. Thanks all for the ideas. Didn’t know I could freeze.

  7. I add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and a little ACV or lemon – sometimes ginger – as well – but keep in mind my grandmother never bought pre made chickens from Costco – it’s pretty simple to roast one in the oven or on the grill. Nutritionally speaking, the quality of the chicken does matter – and as you correctly pointed it out – such a great way to stretch a dollar – how spending $14 for a pasture raised chicken can work in a family – boxed broths are expensive and no where near the flavor/nutrition you get from this – this makes soups amazing and incredibly nutritious. With good quality – the nutrition is better than any flu shots! Use real salt too – for lots of great minerals and flavor without the hazards of regular salt. I enjoy your posts!

    • You just reminded me, one of these days I have to write about ingredient sourcing vs. overall dietary choices.

      • I would love to see that one. I think your blog is great for newbies who would find it overwhelming to make too many changes in the kitchen all at once. Going from all takeout/storebought meals to homemade really is hard for anyone, much less changing out all the cookware and sourcing things one has hardly heard about. So happy there is widespread chamge going on here these days!

  8. The bone broth method suggests 24 hours which I do, after which the bones are crushable and do go to my dogs. Fresh meat is used in finished soups with meat, and why not give something nutritious to the dogs. Better than dog food, and they always know when I am “sorting soup”

  9. I just made my first bone broth a couple weeks ago, and just finished my second batch today. I have canned it so I don’t have to worry about using it before it goes bad.
    I boiled the bones three different times, about 24 hrs each time, for three batches of broth, then put them all together to can. After this much cooking, the bones can almost be broken by hand. I put them in my dehydrator and will grind them up to use in my garden.
    The bits and pieces (small pieces of meat and knuckles) I put in my Ninja, and blended together to add to my dogs food.
    Waste not want not :)

    • The way I look at it, if I weren’t making the broth the whole carcass would just be waste anyway. Getting the broth is essentially free to me, so salvaging the little bit of meat that I didn’t get off already isn’t worth it to me.

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