How to make homemade chicken broth?

I have made beef bone broth before using bones purchased at Whole Foods, in my slow cooker. I want to try making a chicken broth but do I have to cook the whole chicken first, remove the meat, and then use the bones for the broth? Or can I just make the broth using the whole chicken (uncooked)? And if so when do I remove the meat?

  • Posted by: STS418
  • April 11, 2016


Stephanie April 13, 2016
Clearly, everyone has their own method. In my experience, you can (pardon the pun) kill two birds with one stone -- or get two meals/uses -- from the following method.

Put the whole chicken in your slow cooker. No water, no oil but you can use any rub or seasoning you'd like. "Roast" on low for about 6-8 hours, until the meat is completely cooked through and fall off the bone tender. Carefully remove the chicken and clean the meat from the bones. (Use the chicken meat for dinner!) Put the bones back into the slow cooker and add your aromatics (veggie scraps, onion peels, etc.) and some peppercorns. Top with water and let the whole thing simmer away for as long as you like. Strain out the solids and you've got broth!
creamtea April 12, 2016
I start with cold water, 1-2 ribs celery, carrots, onion (sometimes stuck with 2 cloves, sometimes not), leeks, and sometimes parsley root, as well as cut-up raw chicken. I add a tea ball or a disposable teabag with 8-10 whole peppercorns, and a little salt. Bring to a slow boil, skim the foam as well as you can. After maybe an hour or so, I remove the chicken pieces with tongs and pull the meat off, reserving it for chicken salad, a noodle stir-fry or whatever you like. Add the bones back to the broth, simmer maybe another hour; toward the end, add celery leaves and a bunch of parsley, the latter tied together with a kitchen string that is tied at its other end to the pot handle. I always keep the cover off the soup kettle to avoid it going sour. Cool uncovered. (if it's gotten late, I let it cool a little when done, then put it in the fridge uncovered till the next morning, then skim the fat). Simmering the bones after removing the meat adds a lot of very good flavor and body,
stacy April 12, 2016
I usually roast the chicken, pick it as clean as I feel like (meaning I'm not super picky about getting every bit of meat off), then freeze it in a large zipper bag. I also freeze onion skins, carrot ends and peels, and celery scraps too (though my husband says he no longer likes it with celery, so I've started doing just onion scraps). Put the scraps in a gallon size bag in the freezer and when it's full, pull that and the frozen chicken carcass out and put in the crockpot (or pot on the stove). Cover with water and cook/simmer for however long you like it. Add more water if it gets below the level of the stuff in the pot. At some point you can strain it and keep cooking it - you can even cook it down so it's really thick, throw it in the fridge and it'll turn out like jello. I usually don't have the patience for that. Then I bought a pack of mason jars, the 12oz regular mouth jelly type jars, filled them (leaving an inch or so headroom), put the lid on, let it cool a bit, put the rings on and tighten, then put them back in the mason jar box with the little dividers, and throw it in the freezer.

This is the pretty basic recipe/method, you can play around with adding bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, herb bundles, etc.
soupcon April 11, 2016
Freeze the carcasses from roast chickens. When you have accumulated 4 to 6 carcasses, put them in a large, deep stock pot. Add 4 unpeeled onions in large dice, 2 stalks of celery cut in large dice, 2 large carrots cut in large dice, 10-12 peppercorns, a whole head of garlic halved around the equator, 1-2 bay leaves, a large sprig of thyme and water to cover. Simmer (not boil) for 10 to 12 hours. Decant, strain out the bones and spent vegetables, and leave overnight in the fridge for the fat to rise to the surface and harden. Skim the fat from the surface of the chicken stock. Clarify if desired, strain through cheesecloth to remove the bits not strained out and either can or freeze in manageable quantities (16 oz containers). I usually achieve about 5 quarts of good quality stock using this method.
ChefJune April 11, 2016
Bone broth is nothing but a fancy name for stock. And, imho an attempt to make cooks think they don't know about something. If you want a golden stock, use the whole chicken. If you want a browner stock, use wings and backs, and roast them first. and btw, for the commenter farther up the line, turkey wings won't yield chicken stock!
Susan W. April 11, 2016
First, I threw in the comment about turkey wings because it's a way to make the BONE BROTH even richer.


I want to say much more, but I'll refrain and not let you dampen my day.
Susan W. April 11, 2016
If you are looking for a strong and gelatinous stock (my clue that you are is the term "bone broth"), the best way is to use chicken wings. I find them on sale and stick them in the freezer. I get giddy when I find turkey wings. I save scraps of leeks, onions, mushroom stems and carrots.

Everything above along with a couple bay leaves, whole peppercorns, a TBS of raw apple cider vinegar (it's supposed to help draw the minerals from the bones) and a sprig or two of thyme all goes into my largest slow cooker. I like to let it go for 30 hours on low. It makes the most flavorful, golden stock ever.

I sometimes buy whole chickens and cut them up. When I do that, I set aside the backs, necks and wings for stock.

Once in a while, I crave chicken soup with a mellow broth. In that case, I use the whole chicken in a pot and remove the meat once it is tender and easy to pull off the bones. Then the bones all go back into the pot for another hour or so.
C S. April 11, 2016
You can do it however you like. You can put the whole chicken along with some onion, garlic, celery leaves, turnips or other vegetables, plus some whole spices (i.e. peppercorns, cumin) and salt to taste and then let it cook slowly. You take off the meat once it is cooked - and can use it as shredded meat in all kinds of ways.
You can also season and roast the chicken first, eat that and then put the bones, along with any juices from the roasting pan into water and let it cook into a tasty broth. The flavor of this one is richer than when you start with an uncooked chicken.
Experiment and you will figure out what yo prefer.
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