Hello! This recipe is what we start with for every other recipe on the site. Over the years, we’ve found that a very simple base, without a lot of vegetables is the key to an amazing, clean and flavorful broth that is easily adapted for many other uses. We started with Rick Bayless’ recipe which has it’s roots in Mexico and modified it slightly to create this amazing base. Feel free to comment below on what you think and if you made any changes – we’d love to hear from you!
The Master Chicken Broth Recipe
- 3-4 lbs. whole chicken split with organs removed (you can also use chicken parts, but try to keep a good amount of bonier pieces such as wings and feet in the mix – if you only use leg and breast meat, it won’t be as flavorful)
- 1 medium white onion – peeled, halved and sliced thin
- 1 head of garlic – cut in half width-wise (see pictures below)
- fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 1.5 T salt
To get started with the broth, separate the chicken into the body, legs and wings. I usually cut off the breast meat and save it for another recipe – you don’t need that much flesh to get great tasting broth.
Fill a 6 qt pot about 3/4 full with hot water and place each piece of chicken into the pot. Adjust the water level so that you have about 2 inches of free space to the top of the pot.
Put the pot on the stove over medium heat and let the water heat up slowly – you don’t want a vigorous boil. As the water approaches a boil, skim off any gray foam that forms on the top – if you don’t see any, wait a bit, it will come. At first the foam will be in small patches on the surface but will eventually take over the pot.
While you’re waiting for the water to heat, peel, halve and slice the white onion and cut the garlic in half as shown below:
After the foam has subsided, add the salt, onions and all of the garlic. Set the temperature so that you have a very low boil. You want to see a few bubbles bursting on the surface but not agitating the water too much. Let this simmer for about two hours stirring every 30 minutes or so.
As time goes on the broth will get more and more cloudy as the flavor gets richer and richer. See the pictures below for an example of what the broth should look like after one hour and two hours.
Once you’ve let the broth reduce for two hours you get to play with seasoning. I’ve found that the amount of salt that people like in their broth varies widely so at this point, give the pot a good stir and use a small bowl to ladle out a taste test. Give the broth a minute to cool (boiling broth is HOT) and give it a taste. It depends on the chicken and your heat settings whether you’ll need to add more salt. If you do add salt, add it 1/2 teaspoon at a time and wait 1-2 minutes (and a good stir) before tasting again to make sure the salt has a chance to mix in. Once the flavor is to your liking, its time to strain.
Use a medium mesh strainer over a large bowl to strain out all of the solids. You’ll get a beautiful golden broth in the bowl with a nice layer of fat on top.
I like to keep all the fat because it adds amazing flavor, but if you’re going for a lower fat broth, you can skim some of it off once the broth has cooled a bit.
The broth is now ready for use. If you’ve got another recipe to use it in, get started – otherwise I like to store the broth 2 cups at a time in plastic storage bags.