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How to Make Chicken Broth

Go Gingham How to Make Chicken Broth

Remember when I told you that if you roast a chicken at home you can feed your family 3 times? The first night, you enjoy the homemade oven roasted chicken. The next night, you dine on a simple curry chicken salad. Then, you make homemade chicken broth and use the broth in a soup. Or, you can use this tasty broth and make flavorful brown rice or quinoa. The possibilities are endless.

The best way to start is to roast the chicken carcass first, just like I did for our Thanksgiving turkey. For the record, I rarely take the time to roast the carcass first when making homemade chicken broth, but it still tastes great. I’m usually in a hurry (or is it that I’m lazy?) in the kitchen. If you have extra time, roast it. If you’re like me and simply would rather not buy chicken broth at the grocery store, read on!

The nice thing about following this method for making homemade chicken broth is that you can do this with chicken you’ve oven roasted yourself at home by following the directions HERE or you can make broth from a store bought roasted chicken. Either version works fine. This is more of a method and less of a recipe.

I keep a plastic bag filled with vegetable scraps in my kitchen freezer. Anytime I’m chopping onions, cutting off carrot tops or celery ends, I toss them in this bag and keep it stored in the freezer until I’m ready to make broth. This keeping of vegetable scraps ready to go into broth is also an easy way to make a vegetarian broth as well.

Vegetable scraps from freezer
Freezer bag filled with veggie scraps makes for good broth!

Sometimes I add chicken bones or the carcass to the freezer bag and wait until I’ve got a big batch before I make broth. Or, I make it when I need it for a recipe. Or, I do it when I feel like.

I also toss in cheese rinds to the freezer bag. They add a nice flavor to the broth. .

Vegetable scraps
Cheese rinds can get tossed into the broth, too.

Once I’m ready to make broth, I empty the vegetable scraps and chicken bones into a large stock-pot.

Vegetables in large pot

Next, I fill the pot with water and completely cover the vegetables and bones with water.

To the pot filled with water, I add pepper, red pepper flakes, Tabasco (couple shakes), Old Bay, thyme (fresh or dried) and maybe a little salt. You can also add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.

Go Gingham How to Make Chicken Broth

Cover it with a lid and bring the pot to a boil. After it’s boiling, turn the stove down to low and let it simmer, with the lid on, for 2 or more hours.

After 2 or so hours, let it cool until you can pour it without burning yourself.

Congratulations, you have now made chicken broth!

Simmered chicken broth

After the pot has cooled, I pour it through a sieve to get the big pieces out. It helps to do this pouring in the sink because it can splash and be rather messy. I’ll either pour it directly into the jars for storing or, first, into a large (4 cup +) measuring cup, then into the storing containers.

If you live in Portland or other areas that allow you to compost food scraps, the scraps get placed directly into my yard debris composting bin collected by our garbage hauler.

Homemade chicken broth

Next, I pour the broth into jars. Make sure to leave plenty of head space at the top of the jars. When liquids freeze, they expand and glass jars can break.

Chicken broth into jars
Pouring the broth into jars can be messy.

And label the jars. When I don’t label the jars, I’m always annoyed with myself. I brought a gift of homemade applesauce to our friends recently and had to say, “This is either applesauce or chicken broth.” When it’s frozen, they look the same.

Go Gingham Homemade chicken broth

Then, I freeze the jars and have them on hand to quickly cook with. When I need broth, I take the broth out of the freezer a day or two ahead of time so it can thaw completely.

How to Make Chicken Broth
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 cups
By just stashing vegetable scraps and holding onto your chicken bones or carcass, you can make delicious homemade chicken broth with your leftovers!
  • 1 chicken carcass or bones frozen and saved for making broth
  • vegetable scraps – carrot tops, onion skins, celery ends, herbs
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • Tabasco (couple shakes)
  • Old Bay
  • thyme (fresh or dried)
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  1. Toss all of the ingredients into a large pot and fill with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  3. Cook for about 2 hours.
  4. Cool completely and strain.
  5. Pour into glass jars and refrigerate.
This broth can be frozen, too, but make sure to leave plenty of ‘head space’ in the jar. When liquids freeze they expand and jars can crack. This happens to us too often and it’s a waste of glass jars and yummy broth.

By just stashing vegetable scraps and holding onto your chicken bones or carcass, you can make delicious homemade chicken broth with your leftovers! It’s easy, good for you, and costs a lot less than buying broth at the grocery store.

Do you make your own broth? Inspired to try it at home?

Go Gingham related links:

New to cooking at home? Fear not!
How we keep food waste to a minimum
Confessions of a leftover food lover – that would be me!

One final note:

When I do purchase chicken broth, I like to use Pacific Foods brand chicken broth or Costco’s version Kirkland Signature chicken broth (I have a love/hate thing with Costco).

17 thoughts on “How to Make Chicken Broth

  1. My batch is simmering on the stove as I type this! I cut up some fresh ginger and put it in with everything else this time and it smells awesome.


    1. Great job, Jason! I love the sounds of the ginger being added, too. I forgot to add that green carrot tops from organic or farm fresh carrots can get tossed into the broth as well.
      Thanks, Jason. I always appreciate your comments!


  2. I notice you don’t mention skimming the fat off the top of the broth. After straining into a large container, I refrigerate my broth overnight to allow the fat to rise to the top. Then I scrape it off before pouring into containers.

    One question about freezing in jars: I currently freeze in plastic containers. I rinse the outside of the frozen container with warm water and plunk the block into a pot to thaw it quickly on the stovetop. Can you do this with canning jars too? They would have to be straight-sided jars, like the Adams Peanut Butter jars, but are there any issues with applying warm water to the outside of a frozen glass jar?


    1. Hi Liana,
      I don’t skim the fat because I hardly have any. This may be because the chickens are organic? I’m not sure. I do skim the fat when I’ve made broth from a ham bone.
      The jars with straight sides are easier to get the broth out of. You really have to be careful with cold jars and warm water. If I take the jar of the freezer and let it sit on the counter (with a cloth underneath) for several hours, I can pour the contents into a pot for warming.
      The peanut butter jars hold 4 cups of liquid and with a double batch of quinoa or rice, I simply pour the contents in with the grain and “thaw” it in the pan I’m cooking my quinoa or rice with. Lazy – yes – but one fewer pot to clean! 🙂
      Thanks, Liana!


  3. I love this! Around Valentine’s day, I made a recipe that had instructions on using the veggie scraps to make the broth needed for the recipe, but I have never thought to keep my scraps from other meals and freeze them to make the broth… I’ve always resorted to buying the canned broth at the store when a recipe calls for it. Now I know another way to fill up my deep freeze, and reuse food that otherwise would be thrown away AND save a few more bucks on groceries! Thank you so much for the helpful advice!


    1. Shawna, you are so welcome! I’m so glad it will work out for you. Honestly, store bought works fine but once you make your own, you realize how watery and taste-less the store bought broth is. OH! And I forgot to add filled with sodium!
      Can’t wait to hear the rave reviews at your house!
      Thanks, Shawna. 🙂


  4. I’d love to do this! It’s just that I have an itty bitty freezer, when it comes to storing all the jars. Hmmm… But I do not like the waste from store bought stock cubes, or worse, the cartons (so much more waste to literage, I find). I shall ponder this some more…


    1. Sarah, you could make it on a day when you’re going to use the broth in a recipe or to make rice with. That way, you’re using the broth and not saving as much….
      You could make less broth by simply adding less water or cooking it down. So many possibilities.
      Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with.


      1. another suggestion would be to pour the broth in to zip-top freezer bags. Then, to freeze them, lay them flat. You’d be surprised how much more efficient that can be for freezer space. Kind of a drag using a plastic product, though.


  5. What a weird coincidence! We had roast chicken for dinner tonight and my husband announced he was making a batch of chicken stock out of the carcass! The yummy smell is wafting out of the kitchen as I type this comment. Great minds think alike!


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  7. This is great timing, doing a roast chicken this weekend and I never know what to do with the carcass, really looking forward to having my own broth stored away.


    1. Amy, you’ll be so happy to reuse the carcass and you’ll never want to buy broth again. I don’t.
      On days when we’re cooking brown rice or quinoa for dinner with the homemade broth, our kids will walk in the door and say, “What’s for dinner? It smells great!” Honestly, it’s nothing special but once the broth is in the pot cooking, the house smells wonderful!
      Good luck!! Thanks, Amy.


  8. On my list to do tonight! I’ve got 2 carcasses in the fridge I need to use up, along with some sad celery, lol.

    I made your Curry Chicken Salad yesterday & it was delicious – thanks for posting it!


    1. Kris,
      So glad you made the chicken curry salad AND that you liked it! YAY! Also, there is no better use for rubbery celery – into the broth it goes.
      Thanks for leaving a comment! I hope your broth turned out well. 🙂


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