Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Chicken Broth

One of my very favorite things to make in my Crock Pot is a whole chicken because it’s easy and economical. After cooking a whole chicken in the Crock Pot, we get enough meat for 4 or 5 meals plus the added bonus of over 70 ounces of chicken broth!

Making your own broth just takes a little time and the end result is a flavorful, less salty, and healthier-for-you stock to be used in later meals.

Here’s how we make homemade chicken broth…

Start off by cooking your chicken in the Crock Pot. Our favorite method for doing this is:
  1. Start by chopping your veggies. I usually quarter two small or medium onions and throw half in the bottom of my Crock Pot. I chop about 3 stalks of celery into thirds and throw half of those in the bottom of the Crock, too. And then I chop about 3 medium carrots into thirds and throw half of those in the bottom too.
  2. Rinse your whole chicken under cool water, remove innards. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay your bird on top of your veggies inside your Crock Pot.
  3. Place remaining veggies on top/around your chicken.
  4. Close the lid, and set your Crock Pot on LOW for about 8 ½ - 9 hours (until your thermometer on your chicken pops out, or until it reaches the recommended temperature found on the cooking instructions.)

Chicken Broth – The Atwoods

Once your bird is done cooking, let it cool off a while before cutting into it (about 20 minutes).

After it’s cooled down a bit, go ahead and pull all your desired chicken off the bones – we don’t usually prefer a lot of dark meat or the skin, so I leave all that in the Crock Pot.

At this point, I bag my shredded cooked chicken up into Ziploc bags (I usually put about 2 cups of chicken in each, and then these go into the freezer for later meals that are quick to pull together!)

I leave all veggies, bones, juices, skin and most of the dark meat in the Crock Pot and add in 7 cups of water.

Then I close the lid and cook it on HIGH for about 4 or 5 hours. Your house will start to smell sooo good! 

Once it’s done cooking, strain your broth to remove all bones, veggies, skins, etc.

And then pour broth into freezer safe containers (leftover ricotta, yogurt, or sour cream containers make great ones!) and place them in the fridge overnight (this allows the fat to rise to the top so that you can skim it off before putting into the freezer.)

The next day, pull your containers out of the fridge and skim fat from the top.

You might notice that your broth is a jelly-like consistency. 

Don’t worry! This just means you’ve made wonderful broth! The jelly-like consistency is from the gelatin in your chicken bones…this usually means your broth is packed with all the good-for-you minerals from your hearty chicken bones!

Once the fat is skimmed, you can place your containers in the freezer for later use…this makes roughly 70 ounces of broth, so I freeze some in larger containers (for meals that require 2 cans of broth) and then I freeze some in smaller containers for other meals.

**I also read in a magazine recently that you can freeze your broth in muffin tins and then when they’re frozen, pop them into Ziploc bags – this equals ½ cup of broth in each muffin tin – a great tip!

So what about you? Have you ever tried your hand at homemade broths? If so, what’s your method? I’d love to hear! 


  1. Just think of all the money you are saving (and time) by doing this - you're a smart cookie!

  2. how very barefoot contessa of you!

  3. YUM! I'm going to try your version this time (we're making a chicken tomorrow).


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