Brown Chicken Broth

by Scott

In my continuing endeavor of making as many different recipes of chicken broth possible, I came across a recipe for “Brown Chicken Stock” in Bon Appetit magazine.   As you know, I’m a fan of very simple chicken broth recipes since I believe that a nice basic, rich flavor lends itself to more creativity and breadth than a heavily flavored broth.  But, since we are on a mission to bring you everything chicken broth related, here is my slight adaptation of the brown chicken stock recipe.

The brown color in this broth comes from additional roasting of the bones and vegetables along with the addition of tomato paste.  While I appreciate the attempt to balance flavors in the broth, another reality of this recipe is that it takes a LONG time to prepare.


  • 5 lb uncooked chicken – I use a whole chicken broken down
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion (white onions have a better flavor for broth)
  • 2 carrots, roughly cut
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 10 black peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 1 handful of flat parsley, roughly chopped
  • 5-7 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


For the chicken, I always recommend a nice combination of about 70% bony to 30% meaty chicken parts.  For the bony parts you can use feet, wings or drumsticks.  Ideally, you would use a whole chicken and break it down into pieces (legs, wings, rib cage).  Always cut the breasts off of a whole chicken and save them for later – they don’t add much to the broth and you can save a ton of money on boneless-skinless breasts by taking this route.   Also, if you can find chicken backs and necks at your grocery store, they are a GREAT addition as they contain a lot of bone and are usually quite cheap.  Whatever route you take on the chicken, make sure you have right around 5 pounds.

Once you’ve got all of your chicken parts ready, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet (foil is helpful to keep the pan clean).  Bake the chicken at 450 for about an hour until the meat and bones are brown and the pan is full of fat and juices.

Slide the chicken into a 6-8 quart pot (I love this one) and scrape all of the extra bits of chicken from the pan into the pot.

In another pan, place the carrots and onion in the oven for about 20 minutes at 450.  Remove the veggies from the oven, stir in the tomato paste and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Give the vegetables another stir and add them to the pot with the chicken.

Add everything else to the pot and 4 quarts of water.

Slowly bring the pot to a simmer and skim off any gray foam that forms over the first 15 minutes or so.

Continue to cook uncovered for 2-3 hours at a low boil until the volume of liquid has reduced by about 1/3.

At this point its time to get the seasoning right.  Ladle out a bit of broth into a bowl, let cool for a minute and taste.  If it needs salt, add 1 tablespoon at a time to the big pot, stir and wait 2-3 minutes (you want to make sure the salt gets evenly distributed).  Stir again and repeat the process until the seasoning is just right.

Finally, if you’re not going to use the broth right away, put it into ziploc bags 2 cups at a time and store in the freezer until you need it.

As you can see, this broth is a much darker color than our typical chicken broth – this is due to the roasting of the meat and the tomato sauce.


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