a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Oct, 2008

How to make a fine chicken broth that will make your mother proud

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

When I was sick, nothing made me feel better than (a) garlic toast and (b) Tylenol Cold and Flu meds (c) tea with honey and lemon and (d) chicken broth.

I have never been the sort of gal to whip up a batch of chicken broth. In fact, I didn’t even have a tested chicken broth recipe (or chicken stock, as some may call it), but I was so desperate that I forced myself to make a batch, even though I had to drag my sick, sorry, self to the kitchen to do it.
Fortunately, I knew this day was going to come. So I was ready. More or less.

This recipe uses carcasses of already-roasted chickens, the kind that we buy at the grocery store. I had two of them in the freezer, just waiting for this day. Back when we’d eaten our fill of the chicken I just wrapped it up in a bag and tossed it in there. Thank god I did because the leftovers were the basis of my:

Easiest Chicken broth recipe, ever.

  1. 1. Take the leftover bodies of two roasted chickens (even if they’re frozen) and put them in a large pot. Cover with cold water.
  2. 2. Add whatever you have in your crisper, just chop everything into large pieces. (Sloppy chopping is perfectly acceptable here. You will not be using these veggies again. You’re just going to boil the crap out of them. ) I used half a red onion, garlic cloves, chunks of carrot, celery, potato, and parsnip. In terms of herbs and spices I added a couple of bay leaves, some chopped fresh parsley, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt and five or six peppercorns.
  3. 3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for several hours (three or four will do). Bits of meat and fat will float off the chicken bones. You might want to skim the “foam” while it’s simmering.
    Strain. Throw out the bones and soggy veggies.
  4. 4. Freeze the extra for future cold and flu emergencies.

If you want to remove some of the fat, let it cool and skim the stuff off the top. Voila! You just made yourself some really satisfying homemade chicken stock.

My kids like chicken soup but there cannot be a shred of chicken in it, nor a single visible vegetable. I took some of the stock, boiled some circular-shaped pasta in it, and served it up for lunch (as pictured in this previous post). I don’t know if chicken soup is the most effective cold remedy out there, but every little bit helps, right?


16 Responses to "How to make a fine chicken broth that will make your mother proud"

1 | porter

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:57 am


That’s exactly how I make my broth. I love to make turkeys during the year and I never ever toss the carcass, you can make alot of turkey broth from one carcass! There is always homemade broth in my freezer, I use it in my cooking often.

2 | porter

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:57 am


That’s exactly how I make my broth. I love to make turkeys during the year and I never ever toss the carcass, you can make alot of turkey broth from one carcass! There is always homemade broth in my freezer, I use it in my cooking often.

3 | Rosie : )

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:25 am


That is pretty easy. :)

The way I’ve made any soup is from a roast. So, chicken, beef, pork, turkey, whatever… Since I don’t thicken the juices while it’s cooking, there is alot of juices at the bottom of the roast pan. I just grab that, put it in a pot and add water.

You can add any veggies, spices you want. Although, my kids love veggies in general {except onions ~ those have to be hidden}, so I can throw in all kinds of veggies in the soup.

It’s another way my mom made soup, and I adopted the same ways, I guess. :)

4 | Natalie

October 22nd, 2008 at 12:15 pm


That’s funny because I just put a chicken carcass in a crock pot, i don’t bother with veggies. I just let it sit for however long it takes, one day, two? remove the carcass and voila! Chicken stock.

5 | Freakazojd

October 22nd, 2008 at 2:47 pm


Mmm, how lovely – we always roast chicken and use the leftovers for sandwiches, but I’ve never actually thought to freeze the carcass for soup – genius! :)
Saw this today and thought of you: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13650149
*Sigh* – I love etsy.

6 | Zhu

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:30 pm


We do that at home too, especially when it’s getting cold like now. We don’t usually add veggies though.

7 | porter

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:50 pm


oh my gosh, i love the clothes pin bag/birdhouse whatever that freakazojd linked to….i love it!

neat to read what other people do to make their broth.

i remember martha stewart saying that you should always leave the onion skins on when making broth to get a deep rich colour from the skins…i’ve done that too and it works.

8 | ashlan

November 28th, 2008 at 10:47 pm


preety simple

I have chicken broth Swanson and
beef.And a crook pot cook slow.You
can put any veggie you would like.

10 | Leelee

October 6th, 2009 at 12:09 pm


I had been freezing those carcasses for like, months. Italians don’t throw anything away. I had an inkling this would work, and was thrilled to find your recipe – boiling away as we speak!

I also save tiger prawn shells and am looking forward to making a good fish stock soon with them…


11 | check

January 2nd, 2010 at 2:51 am


I like to buy the roasted chickens pre-cooked at the store now and again. It is too much food for my household and always am trying new things. My sister buys them and eats a bit an then throws the leftovers out. I like to take the time and cut it in half and freeze one half for a quick bake from frozen state meal. I keep trying new recipes and chicken broth is mentioned a lot. I bought a tetra pack but started thinking about how it was made.

Left over chicken is simmering with whatever I had on hand and the smell is ridiculous.

Ice cube tray’s work well for freezing stock and then transfer over to a ziplock or glass storage.

Now, I think I left a pair somewhere.

12 | Taking stock >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 11th, 2010 at 2:06 pm


[…] no expert – I just started making my own chicken stock – but this looked simple enough. Based on the (very short) instructions all I had to do was drop […]

14 | Soup soup soup >> a peek inside the fishbowl

October 23rd, 2011 at 9:31 am


[…] I baked them in the oven for dinner, after which I was left with five drumsticks will all kinds of meat still left on the bone. So I dumped them in a big pot, covered them with cold water and cleaned out the veggie drawer and put THAT in the pot too. (In all seriousness, I added carrot chunks and a cut up leek and some salt and pepper. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, you might want to check out this past post about making your own chicken broth.) […]

15 | Crystal

November 11th, 2011 at 8:19 pm


I add a couple of table spoons of vinegar which is supposed to pull some of the calcium out of the bones. I also put the pot in the fridge overnight after boiling and then in the morning you can scrape/skim off all of the fat.

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