This homemade chicken broth is easy to make and is great for drinking or as a base for soups. Instead of spending money on canned broth, save some money and make your own. It’s easy!
Related: Simple Sourdough Boule Bread Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links; I'll earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.
My mother would no sooner toss out a roasted chicken carcass than she would rob a bank. Consequently, neither would I. But I’m shocked at the number of roast chicken carcasses I’ve seen go in the trash over the years (mind you, I’ve rescued some, too). Is it because the cooks don’t know how to make chicken stock? Or because they think it is too much work?
Reader Favorites from Attainable Sustainable
People, listen. Even if it’s a store bought roasted chicken that came home with you in one of those end-of-the-day-what-will-I-feed-my-family moments of panic, you can use it to make homemade chicken broth.
And I promise it’s easy.
Homemade chicken stock is better for the environment, too
Making chicken stock at home also eliminates the cans or boxes that store-bought stock comes in, along with questionable ingredients. Not to mention the environmental issues that come with purchasing a product that may have been shipped halfway around the world.
Related: Sausage Lentil Soup Recipe
You can make chicken broth with just a chicken carcass or chicken bones, but you’ll add flavor if you add some veggies to the pot. These can be leftover veggies, they can be wilted veggies salvaged from your produce drawer, or — get this — they can be trimmed ends! That’s right, the ends of carrots, celery, and onions that you cut off when you’re cooking? Toss them into a container [like this] as you trim and stockpile them in the freezer. When you’re ready to make a batch of homemade chicken stock, add those for extra flavor.
Homemade chicken broth, two ways
You can make homemade chicken broth on the stovetop in a large stockpot. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low. Keep the lid on the pot and cook for 24-48 hours. Or you can set it to low in your slow cooker, again cooking for 24-48 hours. Personally, I prefer the slow cooker method, since I’m a bit nervous about leaving the stove top on overnight.
Adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water will help draw all the nutritional goodness out of the bones.
★ Did you make this homemade chicken broth? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
Homemade Chicken Broth
- 1-2 roasted chicken carcasses
- 2-4 handfuls of vegetables, roughly chopped* (or vegetable trimmings)
The stovetop version:
- Place the chicken carcasses in a stock pot along with the vegetables. Fill the pot with water to within 3" of the top. Bring to a low boil, then simmer (with the lid on, of course). How long, you ask? My mom always simmered for 2-3 hours to get a nice chicken stock, but more and more, I've been letting mine go for a lot longer. I don't like to do this on the stovetop, though, so I make it in my slow cooker.
The slow cooker version:
- If you have a slow cooker, you have the freedom to let your stock cook for a day or two without having to worry about leaving a burner on for that long. Cooking for this long draws out all the goodness of those bones and makes a nice, gelatinous broth.
- To make it this way, simply toss your ingredients in, cover with water, and let it cook on low heat for 24 to 48 hours to create a rich bone broth.
- Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken bones and vegetables. If you want pristine broth, you can strain it, but I rarely do.
- Ladle up a cup and enjoy! Divide excess into the freezer container of your choice (mind the headspace if you're using glass) and freeze for later use. I use this homemade broth when I make polenta, risotto, and soups or simply for drinking.