This homemade chicken broth is rich in umami flavor, seasoned with herbs, and is so much better than store-bought chicken broth.
When I was a kid, I was just used to eating from the kitchen and not knowing essential things like chicken broth. This healthy tonic has been a comforting beverage for many people since childhood.
Every sip reminds them of how chicken broth made them better whenever they were sick because it was always what their mothers gave them.
Well, I, too, experienced the healing powers of chicken broth. It was hot, so it opened up my air passages and relieved the congestion I felt. It also kept me hydrated when I couldn't drink anything else.
While it's not a miracle cure for all types of viral infections, chicken broth remains its reputation intact in a balanced and healthy diet.
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I only tasted homemade bone broth when my grandmother made it or when mom had the time to make it. Life has made me an honest person.
That is why I am telling you that homemade bone broth tastes nothing like the store-bought variety. I never bought the boxed bone broth since I learned how to make the real deal. You will probably do the same thing.
It is fair to say that no one will ever turn down a cup of hot, delicious chicken stock.
Whenever I have one, my mood improves. It's a good thing to keep in the freezer if you feel sick. You just heat it and let it cure you.
If you follow this recipe, you can also get chicken meat. With just a small budget, you can get several meals. It certainly is a win-win, wouldn't you agree?
Through the years, I have been trying out different methods to maximize the flavors that come out of chicken bones. I've discovered that the longer you boil chicken bones, the more they break down.
This means more magnesium, glycine, calcium, phosphorous, and proline you get from your chicken broth. Learn more about the benefits of bone broth.
I make chicken broth with my Instant Pot using the "slow cook setting" for 48 hours. After two days of boiling, the chicken bones virtually disintegrate.
Remember that hot chicken broth may only ease your cold symptoms. It is not a cure. If you want to lose weight, chicken broth can help because it's low-calorie and curb your appetite.
What is chicken broth?
Chicken broth is simple enough. In fact, it's so simple that no one would even think to ask what it truly is. Well, curiosity has always helped me understand things, especially things associated with cooking.
To make something good in the kitchen, you should know what it is first.
The Culinary Institute of America defines chicken broth as a simmered combination of aromatic vegetables, chicken parts, spices, and herbs.
Your goal is to make a clear, clean soup; you can sip on its own.
Bone broth. While bone broth is a savory concoction that results from simmering connective tissue and bones in water for a prolonged period.
Most bone broth recipes include spices, vegetables, and a little apple cider vinegar.
Some form of acid releases nutrients from the bones as they cook.
Although the term "stock" or regular broth and "bone broth" are used the same way, they are different when it comes to simmering time.
Bone broth simmers for about 12 to 24 hours. This length of time is enough for the bones to release amino acids, bone marrow, and collagen while you can make stock in just two hours.
The bone broth gets its nutrients from bones. The vegetable broth gets its nutrients from water and vegetables.
While it's true that vegetable broth can be healthy, it doesn't contain nutrients like amino acids or collagen that you can find in bone broth.
What goes into homemade chicken broth
This recipe requires bones from 2 whole chickens and their carcasses. If you're on a tight budget, you can only use about two to four chicken backs.
Take note that this is not the kind of chicken broth that coagulates. If you want that type of broth, you should use at least ten chicken feet (or more) to get a lot of cartilage. Your local farmer, Whole Foods store, and Asian stores have them.
Chicken broth nutrition
It's simple to make your very own chicken broth. Doing so is a great way to control the balance of your ingredients. Many go for the boxed chicken broth at the local grocery because you just grab it and go.
The downside of this convenient ingredient is that it has high amounts of sodium. Even if you buy the low-sodium kind, you're not sure how much sodium it contains.
The ingredients you choose make up the nutrients your chicken broth will contain. Online recipes usually serve as good guides.
After browsing through the recipes, you can make a chicken broth that's low in sodium and calories.
A boxed chicken broth can serve as a guide for you regarding the nutrition information you need for your homemade version.
A cup of ready-made chicken broth contains:
- 0.5 grams of fat
- 15 calories
- 1 gram of carbohydrate
- 2 grams of protein
- 5 milligrams of cholesterol
The USDA says that boxed chicken broth is not a good source of healthy nutrients aside from 11% of riboflavin's recommended daily allowance.
This type of broth has a minimal amount of copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and niacin. For every cup, you also get 923 milligrams of sodium.
According to the American Heart Association, you should not consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium in one day. A cup of boxed chicken broth gives you at least 40% of sodium's recommended daily allowance.
How long does store-bought chicken broth last?
Well, it can last for five to 6 days in the fridge because of the sodium alone.
Reading labels is fine because it shows you the sodium content of the boxed broth. But, to be certain that you control your broth's sodium content, it is best to make chicken broth at home.
|( Opened )||Fridge|
|Homemade Chicken Broth lasts for||5 to 6 days|
|Store-bought Chicken Broth lasts for||5 to 6 days|
|Chicken Broth lasts for||1 year|
|Chicken bullion cubes last for||6 to 12 months|
How to store chicken broth
It's best to use wide-mouthed mason jars. Remember not to overfill them. Doing so will make the glass crack. As you know, water expands when it freezes.
Leaving some space in the mason jar gives room for the broth to expand. If you are using mason jars with shoulders, fill the jar below the shoulder or even lower.
Do not put the warm or hot broth into the freezer. This will decrease the likelihood of your glass jar cracking. Subjecting a hot or warm liquid to a frigid environment is not good at all.
- Leave your broth at room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours before putting it in the refrigerator overnight. When you check it and see a layer of fat on top of the broth, it's perfectly alright. You can just use a spoon to scrape it off if you don't like it. Freeze the broth after.
- Freeze the cooled broth into various containers such as ice cube trays or in containers that can freeze the broth by cups—½ cup, 1 cup, 2 cups, or 6 to 8 cups.
- Remember not to fill the containers to the top.
- You can also freeze the broth in resealable freezer bags (or in disposable ice cube bags). Remove as much air as you can from the freezer bags before sealing the broth in them. Lay them flat as they freeze. Once frozen, you can stack them for efficient storage.
Note about freezing stock in bags:
- Remember that when you freeze the stock in a freezer bag, it is highly likely to leak when it defrosts. You can double up the freezer bags just in case. Also, avoid overfilling the bags.
- Just place 2 to 4 cups of stock for every quart and 6 to 8 cups for every gallon capacity.
- Doing so will allow the broth to defrost quickly and not stress the resealable seams.
- Take note that you should defrost in a rimmed pan to catch possible leaks from the bag. Don't be tempted to use a bowl of water to defrost the stock, or your stock will be diluted.
Benefits for sickness
The characterization of chicken broth as a cure for sickness is one of the main reasons for finding this dish soothing. It may even be your ideal food solution if you are not feeling too well.
Studies show that chicken soup has always been seen as a cold remedy since the 12th century. Warmed-up chicken broth can clear up the congestion and your other symptoms temporarily.
When you're sick, drinking chicken broth is a good way to keep you well-hydrated. Though it may not make your cold better, you can digest it easily and is part of the recommended clear liquid diet when you have problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
Drinking broth is essential when you experience these kinds of digestive problems, as it is a rich source of electrolytes that you badly need.
Benefits for weight loss
There are myriad ways to lose weight. Have you tried a few of them already? If you want to follow a low-calorie diet, you often find yourself always hungry. Usually, you have little snacks here and there, making it impossible to stick to your diet plan.
Drinking chicken broth keeps you feel full. Even if you have a cup several times a day, you won't feel guilty at all. Aside from being a good diet food, it helps you stop craving fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods.
According to some reviews, when you consume low-energy-density meals, like chicken broth, before your main meal, you can eat less. Each cup of this broth only has 15 calories. Feel free to have a cup whenever you crave for a snack to help curb your appetite.
What about bone broth?
Many people believe that bone broth can help improve your skin and overall health. This has been passed down from one generation to another, yet there is still no scientific proof of such benefits.
Bone broth may help clear your congestion, just like chicken broth. The heat from the fumes and the liquid will dilate your air passages, making you breathe better.
Some also believe that the broth may also reduce inflammation, even if there is still limited evidence.
You can drink bone broth because every cup has 12 grams of protein. Just remember that it's not a miracle cure. To me, it's a type of superfood that can help you gain better health.
Get these ingredients
- Chicken (bones + chicken feet & other carcasses) - The chicken broth is rich in calcium, phosphor, and magnesium. You can extract these goodnesses when slow cooking the bones and the carcasses as they get weak and crumbly while those minerals are getting absorbed into the fluid.
- Rosemary (fresh)
- thyme (fresh)
- Dried Kelp or Kombu (this adds the umami flavor) - optional
- bay leaf
- Apple cider vinegar
Step by step instructions
Arrange the chicken bones and carcasses to your instant pot then add all the vegetables.
Add apple cider vinegar, kombu or kelp, and spices, and fill with water until it reaches the full line.
Close your instant pot ensuring the pressure valve is in the closed position. Press the "slow cook" setting and set it for 24 hours or more. I did mine for 48 hours (optional).
After it is done cooking, open your Instant Pot. Put a colander over a large mixing bowl and pour the chicken broth into it. Lift the colander to strain out all the solids and discard them.
If you added some chicken feet, there may have some chicken fat in your broth or stock. If you don’t want the fat, you can wait until it cools and spoon off the fat from the top.
Let the broth cool down before transferring to glass containers or mason jars (I used 28 oz). Fill up to the top if storing in the refrigerator. Fill up to just below the neck if storing in the freezer.
The broth will be kept in the fridge for about 5 to 6 days (just check for spoilage), or 6 months if store in the freezer.
1.) If using a crockpot or slow cooker: Cook on LOW for 24 hours.
2.) Stove Top Instructions: Simmer in your largest stockpot on low for 24 hours.
3.) Substitute 3 to 4 chicken backs if you don’t have chicken carcasses and bones.
4.) You can add dried kelp or kombu to add the umami flavor but this is optional.
Frequently asked questions:
How long can it last in the fridge?
You can store homemade chicken stock in your fridge for 5 to 6 days and in your freezer for 6 to 9 months. It can also last pressure-canned for a year.
Can you freeze it?
Of course. This is important for those who want to prepare meals ahead of time and to further their shelf life.
Speaking from experience, I suggest that you freeze your broth in two-cup containers considering this is a standard measure for most recipes. This way, you won't have to defrost the entire batch to get just a tiny amount.
My chicken stock is all lumpy and congealed after it comes out of the fridge.
This is completely normal. The congealed consistency will disappear when you heat your broth.
Is this technically bone broth?
I do consider chicken broth to be bone broth. You boil down chicken bones after all.
There was a time when I placed homemade chicken stock in a mug. I warmed it up in my microwave and then sipped it slowly. It made me feel so much better.
Can you make this in the slow cooker or Instant Pot?
Yes. You can use either one. The slow cooker will bring out that rich, deep, concentrated flavor you want. But if you have Instant Pot, as I do, set it to "slow cook" and run it for a day. I did mine for 48 hours.
Recipes that use chicken broth:
Homemade Chicken Broth (Recipe)
- Instant Pot or slow cooker
- 3 lbs Chicken (bones +chicken feet)
- 2 carrots cut in half
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 onion (cut in half)
- 1 head garlic (cut in half)
- 4 sprigs rosemary (fresh)
- 4 sprigs thyme (fresh)
- 1 sheet Dried Kelp or Kombu (this adds the umami flavor) - optional
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoon peppercorns
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- Enough water to fill full line on Instant Pot (about 10 cups)
- If you added some chicken feet, there may have some chicken fat in your broth or stock. If you don’t want the fat, you can wait until it cools and spoon off the fat from the top.
- Let the broth cool down before transferring to glass containers or mason jars (I used 28 oz). Fill up to the top if storing in the refrigerator. Fill up to just below the neck if storing in the freezer.
- The broth will be kept in the fridge for about 5 to 6 days (just check for spoilage), or 6 months if store in the freezer.
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Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.