Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is technically a reduction of liquid from the various meaty parts of a chicken that are simmered in water. Vegetables are often added to increase flavor. The breasts and/or legs and thighs are removed after approximately three hours of cooking and used in other dishes.

Broth tends to be more liquid and lower in fat, especially when allowed to cool and the top layer is skimmed. At this stage, a thin broth can be strained, seasoned, and consumed as soup.


  • Homemade broth has better flavor than commercially canned products.
  • Canned and carton broths are convenient and will keep for a very long time unopened. Reduced sodium and organic versions are available.
  • Bouillon cubes and granules (also available in reduced sodium) are handy and have an even longer shelf life.

Buying Tips

  • Look for “stewing” hens for making broth (as opposed to roasters).

Storage Tips

  • Fresh broth can be kept in the refrigerator for about three days. It is easily frozen and will keep for several months.
  • Freeze in small quantities that can be thawed – as needed - slowly in the microwave.

Usage Tips

  • To keep fresh broth clear, bring the chicken parts and water to a boil and reduce the heat. For about twenty minutes, continuously skim the surface to remove proteins.
  • If it does cloud, simmer for a few minutes with an egg white and strain to turn it into a clear consommé.
  • Broth – fresh or canned – can be substituted for water when cooking rice.
  • When making broth, do not include the heart or liver, which will darken the liquid. Also, use seasonings and other additives sparingly; these can be included when the broth is used in a recipe.
  • Because broth is lighter than stock, it can be used as a partial water substitute in many milder recipes.
  • To tenderize and add flavor to a tough onion, chop and simmer for two hours in a saucepan filled with broth. Strain and reuse the broth at a later time.

Substitution Tips

  • Chicken stock with water added.

Try one of our favorite chicken broth recipes: