Easy Homemade Chicken Broth (2022)
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Written by: Andrea Memon, RDN, CD, LD
Photo Credit: Andrea Memon
Recipe Modified From: "Chicken Broth" in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, Revised Edition
If you want an easy, collagen rich, delicious, warm winter meal that you can make in advance, this is it! It's nutrient dense and delicious. You can't go wrong here! The broth can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Recipes Makes: 2.5 quarts and 3 cups chicken meat
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hour
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds of chicken drumsticks, with skin
3 bay leaves
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1. Select the widest pan with a lid that you own. A pan with the most surface area on the bottom is best, so the chicken isn't piled on top of it's self when browning. The pan I used is the All-Clad 5-Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan (pictured below), but it is discontinued and cannot be purchased.
A similar pan is: All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saute Pan, 5-Quart
2. Turn the stove onto medium heat. Let the pan heat up. Pour the olive oil into the pan. If 3 tablespoons doesn't coat the bottom of the pan, then add a little more! Don't be shy. I'm generous with oil when cooking!
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Let the pan heat up before adding the oil to reduce sticking in All-Clad pans.
3. Prepare the chicken. Do this by cutting one drumstick into 3 pieces. Repeat for each drumstick. The best knife to use is a meat cleaver. Alternatively, when buying the chicken, you can ask the butcher to cut it into pieces. You'll be happy if you do - it saves a lot of time! Nutritionally, cutting into the bone is a major win. It helps the nutrients from inside of the bone (collagen, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium) enter into the broth faster. This allows you to cook a collagen rich, mineral rich, delicious bone broth in a fraction of the time!
4 pounds of drumsticks, with skin, chopped
4. Add the chicken to the pan and brown. This takes about 10 minutes. Actively stir the chicken, so all sides cook equally. If your pan is not wide, then brown half of the chicken at one time. If the chicken is stacked on top of its self in the pan, it will steam instead of brown.
Stir to brown all side evenly
5. After the chicken is browned (pictured below), turn the heat to low. Remove the fat that was released when cooking and dispose. Use your cooking spoon to do this by slightly tilting the pan, so the oil is pooled on one side. Collect what you can with the spoon, remove and dispose of the liquid fat.
Chicken will look like this when browned
6. Peel and cut one white onion in half and place it in the pan. Also place 3 bay leaves in the pan.
1 white onion, peeled and cut in half
3 Bay Leaves
Browned chicken with bay leaves and onion
7. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, so the juices from the chicken release.
8. Remove the lid. Stir in 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a simmer.
Add 2 quarts of water
Add 1 tablespoon of salt
9. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. The cooking temperature is important. The liquid should be simmering, which looks like a few air bubbles coming to the surface intermittently. Too high of heat will destroy the collagen.
10. After 20 minutes, turn off the stove. Strain to separate the chicken from the broth. Let the broth stand for 10 minutes and skim the fat. Separate the chicken from the bones and skin. Add the chicken back into the broth or save it for sandwiches. Dispose the bones and skin. Taste the broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bon Appétit!
After refrigerating, the broth should turn into a bouncy gel. This is desirable. It indicates the broth is rich in protein and gelatin (the cooked form of collagen).