Make Ahead

Zesty Herbed Chicken Broth

March  1, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes 3 quarts
Author Notes

This broth was born out of the leftovers of my Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter, the recipe for which I have posted on this site. I like it because it is simple, satisfying, and can usually be made with the ingredients I have on hand. If you roast two chickens for dinner on Sunday, you can make a soup that will provide you with lunches for days! My "secret ingredient" to add a little zip is two dried chipotle peppers, which simmer in the broth to add a slight heat, but are strained out and removed before making a soup. This broth can be made into an easy chicken noodle soup (posted on my blog, or can be frozen and stored for later use in risottos, soups, and polentas. —lechef

Test Kitchen Notes

Zesty is the perfect adjective to describe this rich, savory broth. We were initially skeptical of lechef’s direction to add two entire dried chipotles to the stock, but the resulting spice is balanced and leaves you wanting another bite rather than mopping your brow. The broth takes on a russet hue from the dried chilis, and the veggies and herbs add layers to the intense chicken flavor. Lechef says to use a teaspoon or two of black pepper – rather than grinding a pile of pepper we used a teaspoon of whole peppercorns, which worked nicely. -A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 roasted chicken carcasses, preferably from my Roasted Chicken with Herbed butter recipe (but any chicken carcass will work)
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh rosemary spears
  • 2 dried chipotle chili peppers
  • 2-3 tablespoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons black pepper
  1. Place the chicken carcasses in a 2-gallon stock pot and cover with water
  2. Bring to a boil, and add the celery, carrots, onion, cilantro, herbs, chilies, 1 T of salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Be sure to add water to keep the chicken covered.
  3. Once chicken is cooked, and falling off the bone, strain the broth. Reserve the chicken to make chicken noodle soup!
  4. Return the broth to the pot and taste. Adjust salt and pepper to taste (you will probably need at least 1 more T of salt, but your tastebuds will tell you).
  5. Use the broth in your favorite dish, or boil to reduce by half and freeze. To use, defrost and dilute with an equal part of water.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lechef
  • MegB
  • Janneke Verheij
    Janneke Verheij
  • mrslarkin
  • lastnightsdinner

11 Reviews

Nica January 13, 2012
This is an easy and tasty recipe to use for stew, pasta, and more! You might also like to check other chicken broth recipes at
lechef October 13, 2011
Hi Everyone, there have been a lot of questions about using chicken "carcasses" in the recipe. What I mean by this is to use the leftover chicken body from a roasted chicken recipe. Typically when I make stock I first make a roasted chicken for dinner and use what's left for stock. This is the recipe I started with for the broth:
From there, use whatever is left on the body of the chicken (there should be lots of nice little scraps left) to make your stock. Hope that answers some questions!
JORJ January 3, 2012
I always mean to make stock from the leftover carcass from making roast chicken... this is a great idea!
MegB October 13, 2011
At the risk of sounding ignorant, when we say "start with two carcasses"... is that after you've eaten everything you wanted to eat off the chicken? Should there still be meat on it?
GreenChef March 15, 2010
Your photo totally intrigued me. Well done, you have truly captured the essence of a perfect chicken stock.
lechef March 12, 2010
Thanks for the comments, Janneke! All very good pointers. The only reason I suggest boiling to reduce the stock by half if you're not using it within a few days is to save on freezer space. But you're right, final seasoning has to be done in the dish itself, and the only way to "remove" salt is to dilute the broth, which also dilutes the flavor. I'm honored to be a finalist!
Janneke V. March 12, 2010
Just some things about stock. I don't have a recipe for it, I throw in the pot what I have at hand but it usually does have the ingredients you use in it plus bay leafs and coriander seeds, these are good basics. I put in the veggies and onion with peel and all, it adds to the flavor and the color of the stock. Preferably I like to simmer it much longer, up to a day or so. If you like to freeze the stock to use later, you better not add any salt yet. I add salt only when I start using the stock for a dish because if you reduce the stock to freeze it, it will become more salty and it is hard to measure the right amount of salt. This way you can decide later if you like to use a stronger or a less strong version of the stock depending on the dish you are using it for. Congratulations and good luck in the finals.
mrslarkin March 11, 2010
This sounds lovely, and different!
lastnightsdinner March 11, 2010
What a lovely, rich color! I'm going to have to give this a try.
lechef March 7, 2010
Hey Biffbourgeois,

I totally forgot to put it in the ingredients list, but I threw in about 1 T of fresh chopped cilantro. It mostly gets strained out, but I think it works well with the chipotle and the herbs. Hope you like it!
Stephanie B. March 7, 2010
Just wondering, how much cilantro do you recommend?