Basic Chicken Broth |

Updated November 09, 2017

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Broth is fundamental to many sauces, soups, and stews. Without question, the secret to great chicken broth is a good stewing hen, not too much water in the pot, parsnips, dill, and slow simmering. Boiling will result in a cloudy broth and a confused taste. Keep plenty of broth on hand.


Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Textureherby, rich, savory

Type of Dishchicken soup, soup, stock


  • 1 soup chicken (5½ to 6 pounds), preferably a stewing hen
  • 2 onions, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 ribs celery with leaves, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 2 parsnips, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled, lightly crushed
  • 1 large ripe tomato, halved and seeded
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coarse or kosher salt


  1. Remove the giblets from the chicken and reserve for another use. Rinse the chicken well and trim off all excess fat. Cut the chicken into 6 pieces and place them in a large soup pot.

  2. Stud the onions with the cloves and place them in the pot, along with all the remaining ingredients. Add 12 cups water.

  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.

  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot. If it is not a stewing hen, which would be tough, reserve the meat for another use. Discard the large vegetables and strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Allow the broth to cool to room temperature.

  5. If the broth is to be used immediately, allow the fat to rise to the surface; then degrease the broth by skimming off the fat with a metal spoon or by pouring the broth through a gravy separator. If it is not for immediate use, transfer the broth to a storage container and refrigerate it, covered, until the layer of fat has solidified on top, 4 hours or overnight. Remove the fat before using. Refrigerated, the broth will keep for up to 4 days; frozen, for up to 3 months.


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