How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth

A chicken soup is often made with raw chicken bones and meat, but it can also be made with a mix of raw and cooked chicken parts. Whenever we roast a chicken, we save the “bag” from inside the cavity and we save the leftover carcasses after the chicken is cooked and carved – all in the freezer. Whenever we want to make a broth, we combine the leftover bones, raw innards, water and vegetables and simmer slowly for several hours until we have a flavorful broth.

Lately, we have been grilling a lot of chicken. When we do, we save the innards and carcasses, which still have a lot of (mostly dark) meat on them. Another time saver is to keep a bag in the freezer containing vegetable scraps: leftover pieces of onions, garlic, celery, carrots, or whatever.

This how-to produces broth using chicken and vegetables pieces that are on hand. The broth is then strained and refrigerated/frozen and used to make a soup. The soup pictured here is a Southwestern Chicken: containing onions, garlic, bell peppers, yellow squash, chiles, fresh corn rounds, broth and chicken and is garnished with cilantro, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños and cheese.

Servings and Times

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours

Tools and Appliances

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We start by placing the roasted carcasses and the rinsed contents of the bags of innards (discarding the livers), into a large pot. We wash our hands well and then cover the contents with water and bring to a boil. We then lower the heat on the pot so the mixture barely simmers and cook for 15 minutes. We skim the “foam” onto a small plate with our skimmer and then add the frozen/fresh vegetables. We continue to skim as necessary, stirring occasionally to ensure that the bones are covered with the liquid. We cook for as long as possible—at least 2 hours. We want to broth to be as flavorful as possible.

We strain the soup into a few large bowls, attempting to cool the hot liquid as quickly as possible (it is preferred to put the bowls into ice-water baths to chill quickly). We pick through the strainer for pieces of chicken which we remove with tongs to a resealable plastic container. We refrigerate the broth and chicken after 30 minutes or so, then cover the broth containers after an hour in the fridge.

The next day, we either freeze or remove the fat layer from the broth and make a yummy, comforting, soup with homemade broth.

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