Not having any luck finding a canned chicken broth without fillers, additives, or other allergens? Make your own. We make about three batches a month; this recipe requires little attention, comes out tastier than any packaged broth I've tried, and leaves you with a perfectly cooked poached chicken as a bonus. Use whatever vegetables, herbs, and seasonings among the ingredients you can tolerate and have on hand (or wish to use); the only non-negotiables are chicken and water. You can also add wings, necks, or backs if you have them. Chicken stock can be used interchangeably with broth in any recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- 1 whole chicken, about 3-4 lb.
- 2-3 qt. water
- 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 6-10 whole peppercorns or 2 tsp. black pepper (optional)
- 1 whole carrot, scrubbed (optional)
- 1 whole onion, peeled (optional)
- 1 large stalk celery, scrubbed (optional)
- several sprigs fresh parsley and/or thyme (optional)
- Rinse chicken and remove giblets. (You may add these to the stock if you like; they'll make the stock cloudy and dark but will add a rich flavor.) Place chicken in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add water to cover.
- If using whole peppercorns, tie in cheesecloth for easy removal after cooking. You may also wish to bundle herbs and tie at the bottom with kitchen twine. Add salt, pepper, carrot, onion, celery, and herbs.
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. When water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is cooked (juices should run clear and a thermometer placed in the deepest part of the thigh should read at least 165 F). Remove chicken. Taste stock. If it's not as strong as you'd like, raise heat to high and allow to boil, uncovered, for 10 to 20 minutes to concentrate flavors.
- Remove vegetables, peppercorns, and herbs. (You can use a strainer to do this easily.) Use stock immediately in recipes or store in your refrigerator or freezer.
Makes 2 to 3 quarts.
Stock safety: As tempting as it may be to put an entire pot of hot stock in your refrigerator to cook with another day, it's not a great idea from a safety perspective. Your stock may take 24 hours to chill that way! That means a lot of time spent in the "danger zone" of 40 - 140 F, where foodborne bacteria reproduce quickly. One easy approach is to put your pan in a sink of ice water until the stock is cool enough to handle, then divide the stock into smaller containers for your refrigerator or freezer. The smaller containers will reach a safe temperature much more quickly.
Chicken stock will last for about three days in your refrigerator. If you'd like to keep it longer than that, you can reboil it and refrigerate it again, or you can freeze it. It should last in your freezer for about three months. Always bring homemade stock to a boil when you cook with it or eat it.