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Harvesting Homestead Flavor: A Recipe for Homemade Chicken Broth

In the heart of our cherished homestead, where the sun sets over acres of lush greenery and the air is filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers, lies our humble kitchen—a sanctuary where tradition and flavor intertwine. Here, amidst the rhythm of nature and the gentle hum of daily life, we find solace in the age-old practice of crafting homemade chicken broth.

As the seasons transition and the bounty of our land evolves, there's a sense of connection to our roots that permeates every aspect of our homesteading journey. In our kitchen, we honor this connection by embracing the time-honored tradition of making chicken broth from scratch—a practice passed down through generations, steeped in the rich tapestry of our family history.

With each simmering pot of broth, we pay homage to the land that sustains us, infusing our meals with the essence of homegrown goodness and the warmth of a lovingly tended hearth. From the humble beginnings of a whole chicken to the fragrant aromas that waft through our home, every step of the process is a labor of love—a testament to the nourishing power of homestead cooking.

In the quiet moments spent tending to the simmering broth, we find solace in the simplicity of homestead living and the magic of transforming basic ingredients into culinary delights. As we ladle spoonfuls of golden broth into our bowls, we're reminded that the true essence of homesteading lies not just in the food we eat, but in the moments shared around the table—a celebration of family, flavor, and the timeless traditions that shape our lives.

Why I Love This Recipe:

1. Nourishment from Scratch: There's something deeply satisfying about creating food from scratch, and this homemade chicken broth recipe embodies that sentiment perfectly. From the simple ingredients to the slow simmering process, every step feels like a labor of love.

2. Homestead Connection: As a homesteader, I value the connection to the land and the food we grow and raise. Making chicken broth from a whole chicken feels like a true homage to our homestead, honoring the bounty it provides and the traditions passed down through generations.

3. Versatility and Flavor: Homemade chicken broth is not just a staple ingredient; it's a flavor powerhouse that enhances countless dishes. Whether used as a base for soups, stews, or sauces, or sipped on its own for a comforting boost, this broth adds depth and richness to every meal.

4. Nutritional Benefits: Beyond its delicious flavor, homemade chicken broth is also incredibly nutritious. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and collagen from the bones, it's a nourishing elixir that supports overall health and well-being.

5. Sustainability and Zero Waste: Using a whole chicken to make broth is a sustainable and economical choice that minimizes food waste. By utilizing every part of the chicken, from the meat to the bones and aromatics, we're making the most of our resources and reducing our environmental footprint.

Overall, this recipe embodies everything I love about homesteading: simplicity, connection to the land, sustainability, and, of course, delicious flavor. It's a true testament to the joys of homemade cooking and the magic of life on the homestead.


Whole Chicken: The main ingredient, providing flavor, richness, and nutrients to the broth. The meat adds depth of flavor, while the bones release collagen, gelatin, and minerals during simmering, resulting in a rich and nourishing broth.

Cold Water: Acts as the base for the broth, allowing the flavors of the chicken and aromatics to infuse into the liquid.

Onion: Adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the broth, enhancing its overall taste and aroma.

Carrot: Contributes sweetness and a hint of earthiness to the broth, while also providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Adds a subtle herbal note and depth of flavor to the broth, complementing the other ingredients.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the broth, balancing the sweetness of the vegetables and adding depth to the overall taste.

Parsley Stems: Impart herbal notes and subtle freshness to the broth, enhancing its complexity.

Thyme: Adds earthy and floral undertones to the broth, contributing to its aromatic profile.

Garlic: Provides depth of flavor and a hint of pungency to the broth, enhancing its savory notes.

Bay Leaf: Adds a subtle, aromatic flavor to the broth, enhancing its overall complexity.

Whole Black Peppercorns: Contribute warmth and a hint of spiciness to the broth, balancing its flavors.

Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating a flavorful and aromatic chicken broth, resulting in a nourishing base for soups, stews, and other dishes.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Homemade Chicken Broth:

Prepare the Chicken: Rinse a 4 to 5-pound whole chicken under cold water and remove any giblets.

Start the Broth: Place the chicken in a Dutch oven or large stockpot and cover with cold water, about 12 cups.

Bring to a Boil: Over medium-high heat, bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.

Skim the Foam: As the broth simmers, foam may rise to the surface. Use a spoon to skim off any foam or impurities that accumulate, ensuring a clear broth.

5. Add Aromatics: Add 1 halved medium onion, coarsely chopped carrots, celery rib, 1 tablespoon of salt, parsley stems, thyme sprig, garlic cloves, bay leaf, and whole black peppercorns to the pot.

6. Simmer: Allow the broth to simmer gently, with bubbles barely breaking the surface at irregular intervals. Simmer for at least 1 hour, up to 5 hours, to develop rich flavor. After 1 hour, remove the chicken breasts to prevent overcooking.

7. Remove Chicken: Once the broth is flavorful and the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken pieces from the pot. Set them aside to cool.

8. Strain the Broth: Using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the broth to remove any solids and impurities. Discard the vegetables and aromatics.

9. Chill the Broth: Transfer the strained broth to a large bowl and chill it covered in the refrigerator overnight. This allows any fat to solidify on the surface for easy removal.

10. Remove Fat: The next day, skim off any accumulated fat from the surface of the chilled broth using a spoon or ladle. Discard the fat.

11. Portion and Store: Divide the clarified broth into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. Label the containers with the date and contents, then freeze for future use. Alternatively, refrigerate the broth and use it within 4 days.

12. Enjoy: Use the homemade chicken broth as a flavorful base for soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes, adding depth and richness to your culinary creations.

Following these step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process of creating delicious homemade chicken broth, perfect for adding flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes.


How To Make Chicken Broth

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour (minimum) to 5 hours (maximum)

Cool Time: Overnight Servings: Varies, approximately 8 cups of broth

Tools Needed:

- Dutch oven or large stock pot (Amazon)

- Fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth (Amazon)

- Rimmed baking sheet or large bowl (Amazon)

- Freezer-safe containers (Amazon)


- 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, giblets removed

- Cold water, about 12 cups

- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved

- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

- 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped

- 1 tablespoon salt

- 6 fresh parsley stems

- 1 sprig fresh thyme

- 2 cloves garlic

- 1 bay leaf

- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


1. Place the whole chicken in a Dutch oven (Amazin) or large stock pot (Amazon) and cover with cold water.

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and skim off any foam from the surface.

3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, parsley stems, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns to the pot.

4. Simmer gently for at least 1 hour or up to 5 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is flavorful.

5. Remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones, and set aside the chicken meat.

6. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer (Amazon) or cheesecloth (Amazon) into a large bowl. (Amazon) Chill covered overnight in the refrigerator.

7. The next day, skim off any accumulated fat from the top of the broth and discard.

8. Divide the broth into freezer-safe containers,(Amazon) leaving room for expansion, and label. Freeze for future use, or refrigerate and use within 4 days.

Tips for Making Homemade Chicken Broth:

1. Quality Ingredients: Start with a high-quality whole chicken and fresh vegetables for the best flavor and results.

2. Skim the Foam: Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface of the broth during cooking to achieve a clear and clean broth.

3. Gentle Simmer: Maintain a gentle simmer throughout the cooking process to extract maximum flavor from the chicken and aromatics without boiling vigorously.

5. Strain Thoroughly: Use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the broth thoroughly, removing any solids and impurities for a smooth and clear broth.

6. Chill Overnight: Allow the strained broth to chill covered in the refrigerator overnight. This step helps to solidify any fat on the surface, making it easier to remove.

7. Remove Fat Skim: Use a spoon or ladle to skim off any accumulated fat from the surface of the chilled broth before portioning and storing.

By following these tips, you'll be able to create homemade chicken broth that's rich in flavor and perfect for enhancing your favorite recipes.

Nutrition Information (per 1-cup serving):

- Calories: 15

- Total Fat: 0g

- Saturated Fat: 0g

- Cholesterol: 0mg

- Sodium: 590mg

- Total Carbohydrate: 0g

- Dietary Fiber: 0g

- Sugars: 0g

- Protein: 0g

Please note that the nutrition information provided is approximate and may vary based on factors such as the specific ingredients used and any additions or substitutions made.

Homemade chicken broth is not only a staple in our kitchen but also a testament to the simple joys of homesteading. From nurturing the land to nurturing our bodies, this recipe embodies the spirit of wholesome living on the homestead. Enjoy the rich flavors and nourishing goodness of this timeless tradition.

Happy Baking!

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