How To Make An Easy Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe

A homemade chicken broth recipe is a kitchen essential. It is a valuable staple ingredient that every home cook should always have at their fingertips.

freshly made chicken broth in a mason jar on a table

You can pick up chicken broth in the soup isle of any grocery store. But it’s quality and flavor won’t even begin to compare with the rich flavor of a batch made in your own kitchen.

Today, I’m going to share a basic chicken broth recipe with you that will serve you well for many years to come. It is my favorite method for making this tasty, golden elixir. And it’s so easy to do.

This is not a homemade chicken stock. That is made with leftover bones. This is chicken broth, which is made with the meat of the bird.

It does not have as much flavor as chicken stock. But it is a very flavorful broth, and it can be made at any time. As opposed to stock, which can only be made when you have accumulated enough bones for a batch.

Ingredients Needed To Make This Recipe

There are not a lot of ingredients involved in making this dish. Quite honestly, there are no steadfast rules about exactly what you put in the pot when you’re making a batch of broth.

ingredients for a basic chicken broth recipe on a cutting board

I’ll give you a list of what I’m going to use in my broth today for reference. I’m using simple ingredients, that have traditionally been used over the years, for this recipe. I more often use whatever I have on hand.

  • CHICKEN – As I mentioned earlier, broth is made with meat not bones. However, all of the flavor from the meat is extracted into the liquid during the cooking process. This leaves it unsuitable for any other purpose in the kitchen. It will be thrown away. So, I generally pick up the least expensive cuts I can find to make my broth. And, most often, they are bone-in pieces. I’ve used both a whole chicken and chicken parts. Today, I’ll be using chicken thighs. Don’t choose a skinless cut. The skin will impart a great deal of flavor to the broth and should be left on.
  • CARROTS – Use organic carrots if you can. They have much better flavor than commercially produced carrots. And flavor is the name of the game here.
  • CELERY – Making homemade broth is a great way to put the tops of celery to good use. They are often thrown in the trash. But they are all that you need to flavor a pot of broth. I’m not using them today because I just used all of mine up for a batch of beef broth.
  • ONIONS – I used a medium size yellow onion to make the recipe for this post. If you want a stronger onion flavor you can use a large onion.
  • SPICES – Salt and pepper are all you need to make a batch of broth. I always add garlic, because I use it in most dishes that I make. And I add a bay leaf as well. It imparts a delicious, yet neutral enough, flavor to the broth that I like. There are other options for spices suggested in the next section of this post. You can flavor your broth according to your own tastes.
  • WATER – Use the purest water possible to make your broth. I use well water. I have lived in places where the water from my tap was treated. I always picked up spring water at the store to make my broth when that was the case.

Choosing Spices For Chicken Broth

One of the great things about making your own batch of broth is that you can season it any way you like. If you are able to use fresh herbs, it’s a really great way to go. Fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and fresh dill are just a few of my favorites for this dish.

spices for a basic chicken broth recipe on a cutting board

But in the colder months, when they are not readily available, dried herbs and spices work very well. Be sure to consider what you’ll be using your broth for when you’re choosing the seasonings you want to put in it. Once you’ve flavored it with herbs and spices their flavor will be imparted to the dishes you cook with it.

For this reason, I keep the seasonings in my broth pretty basic. I almost always use sea salt, black pepper, garlic, and maybe a bay leaf or two.

Here are a few choices for you to consider if you want to change the flavor of your own broth recipe …

  • DILL

Choosing A Cooking Method For Chicken Broth

A good chicken broth can be cooked in several different ways. In the end, the cooking process doesn’t have much of an overall effect on the final product.

cooking equipment for a basic chicken broth recipe on a counter

At different times in the past, when I’ve had big kitchens, I used to make my broth in a crock pot. But, I’ll be honest, I don’t really miss using that method much. The pot is a bit cumbersome to me. And just not really necessary in the long run.

You can use a slow cooker or an instant pot if you like to cook with them. They will both make a nice batch of broth.

I prefer to use a stockpot to make my broth. I don’t have to drag anything out of the back of a cupboard. Clean up is easier. And that makes the whole process feel more pleasant to me.

How To Make A Basic Chicken Broth Recipe

I’m going to sear the chicken and the vegetables for this recipe today. Doing this starts the caramelization process and that promotes a deeper flavor in the final dish.

If you want to sear your ingredients before you use them to make your broth, that will have to be done on the stovetop. If you are using a cooking vessel other than a large pot, you can sear them and then add them to that vessel.

This is another reason that I find using a large stockpot works best. It can all be done in one pot. Heat a little bit of olive oil in the pot, add the chicken pieces and the remaining ingredients to the pot, and allow them to brown.

overview of chicken and vegetables in a pot

When they are fully seared, add cold water, and bring it all to a very low simmer. 

Place a lid on top of the pot and allow it to cook for at least 6 hours. Check it occasionally, to be sure that there is enough liquid in the pot. But, that should not be an issue if it is cooking on a very low heat.

An extended cooking time is absolutely necessary to make a good chicken broth. So, plan to be at home for the day, while your broth simmers on the stove.

After the broth is fully cooked, remove it from the stove and allow it to come to room temperature. At this point, every other recipe I’ve seen out there on the big ‘ol interweb advises you to strain the broth and either use it or store it. 

overview of chicken and vegetables in a pot of broth

I’m going to suggest that you put it in the refrigerator just as it is, with all of the ingredients still in the broth, and allow it to sit there overnight. I leave mine right in the pot and just stick it in the fridge.

The chilling process that it undergoes in the refrigerator pulls additional flavor from the chicken and vegetables into the liquid. And when you take it out of the refrigerator in the morning, you can easily scrape any fat that accrued on the top of the broth with a spoon.

Then place it back on the stove and warm it through, remove it from the stove and allow it to cool again, and then pour it through a fine mesh strainer sitting over a large bowl to catch the broth.

chicken and vegetables in a strainer on top of a bowl

This simple extra step will exponentially amp up the flavor of your broth. It is more than worth the time and effort it takes.

The cooked chicken and vegetables that you have strained from the broth are flavorless. There is really no point in trying to use them for anything else. I see that many bloggers are suggesting that they can be used in other recipes. 

One of the more common suggestions is to use them to make chicken salad. I wouldn’t want to eat that chicken salad, it would be just awful. 

If you have animals that can eat them, that’s a great choice. When I had my homestead, I used to feed them to the pigs. Depending on what vegetables you used in them, they would be great for your dog as well.

But dogs can’t eat many vegetables. And onions are one of them. So, be sure that the veggies you used to make the broth are canine friendly before you give them to your beloved pooch.

How To Use Chicken Broth

Delicious homemade broth can be used in so many ways in the kitchen. The most obvious way is to use it to make soups and stews. And everybody loves a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, right?!?!

overview of a mason jar of homemade chicken broth

Chicken stew is pretty great too, by the way. I find that I use this broth in other dishes, more often than I use it in soups and stews though. It is really handy to have in the kitchen.

It makes great gravy. And it can be used in a variety of pan sauces. It is perfect for butter/oil based sauces. And it makes a great addition to cream sauces as well.

If you use it to cook rice, pasta, or any other grain, instead of plain water, it really enhances the flavor of any dish you make with them. And when you want to boost the flavor of a vegetable side dish, just cook the veggies in a little chicken broth.

How To Store Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth will last in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I rarely have mine in there for that long. I usually make a batch of broth specifically for the freezer.

two mason jars of homemade chicken broth on a counter

It is an ingredient that I like to keep on hand. So, a long term storage method makes more sense to me. Chicken broth will last in the freezer for at least 6 months.

It can be store in any airtight container. It can even be stored in mason jars if you prefer. It is important to make sure that you leave a little room in the container for the broth to expand as it freezes.

Broth also freezes well in plastic freezer bags. That is not my preferred method of freezing broth, as it doesn’t serve the environment, but it works. And if you freeze your broth in smaller portions before you put it in the bags it makes it easier to use in your kitchen.

pinnable image for basic chicken broth recipe

If you try this recipe and love it, please give it 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dish.

freshly made chicken broth in a mason jar on a table
Yield: 8 cups

Basic Chicken Broth Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 6 hours 15 minutes

This basic chicken broth recipe is easy to make. It tastes fantastic and can be used so many ways in the kitchen.


  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut
  • 3 celery stalks, cut
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 c pure water


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot.
  2. Place the remaining ingredients, apart fromt the water, in the pot.
  3. Turn the heat to low and allow the ingredients to sear.
  4. Add the water.
  5. Cover and bring to a low simmer.
  6. Allow to simmer for 4-6 hours.
  7. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.
  8. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. Remove from the fridge.
  10. Scrape any fat that settled on the top of the pot away with a spoon and discard it.
  11. Return the pot to the stove and bring to a low simmer again.
  12. Remove from the heat and allow to return to room temperature.
  13. Strain the solid ingredients from the broth.
  14. ENJOY!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/30/2024. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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