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How to Make Chicken Broth

Updated on May 8, 2013

Chicken Broth

plate of chicken broth ready to serve
plate of chicken broth ready to serve | Source

Chicken broth is a simple, satisfying soup that is sure to please all the family.

Very easy to make, chicken broth is packed full of goodness, with lots of anti-oxidants and vitamins necessary for good health.

Not only that, chicken broth is the perfect pick-me-up for those feeling under the weather, or for people who have been ill.

Light and easily digested, this soup has long traditionally been used to assist people in their recovery from disease or infections.

There is nothing nicer to come home to after a hard day at work, or from being out in the cold.

Winter or summer, chicken broth can be a meal on its own. Served with toast, it makes the perfect snack for a light lunch.

Cast your vote for chicken broth recipe


  • 3.5 pints/1.7 litres chicken stock
  • 4 medium carrots, 1 grated, the others peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, peeled and chopped, green leaves included
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup pudding (round grain) rice
  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped

Chicken Broth Recipe Instructions

  1. Place stock in large pan and bring to the boil
  2. Add prepared ingredients, in any order
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for half an hour
  4. Serve

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: serves 8

Chicken stock

While it is perfectly fine to use a pre-packaged chicken stock, you can make your own.

To do this, all you have to do is either boil a chicken in enough water to completely cover the bird, strain and use.

Else, cover the carcase of a roasted and stripped chicken with water and boil over a low heat for a minimum of 2/3 hours, then strain and use.

If you choose to cook the chicken in the water, then the calorie count of this recipe will rise substantially as the chicken fat is retained.

The flavour is greatly improved by the addition of chicken fat, so do not strain it off if you want a really tasty soup.

Add salt to taste.

Preparing parsley for serving

Parsley is not a requirement of chicken broth, but its addition can greatly improve the flavour.

The parsley itself is prepared as follows:

  • wash the sprig
  • break off the leaves only, discarding as much of the stems as possible
  • leave in a colander to dry
  • place in a herb mill to chop; else chop by hand with a sharp knife

The taste of parsley tends to change a day or so after being chopped up, even if it has already been added to soups or stews.

To get the best parsley flavour, only chop as much as you will need (allow a teaspoon per serving) and add to the soup after serving.

If all of your chicken soup is going to be eaten at the one sitting, add the chopped parsley to the broth while it is cooking.

Can chicken broth be frozen?

Chicken broth freezes really well. If you are making a batch, it is a great idea to make up double quantities and freeze half.

This is especially true if all the vegetables are in season.

The best idea is to freeze it in portion sized batches, so that you can always have some to hand depending on how many people you are feeding.

Left-over chicken broth

If there is any soup left over after serving, it can be chilled and re-heated the next day.

Depending on the climate you live in, freshly made chicken broth can be served daily for up to 4 days, quite safely.

If there is not enough to go round after the first day, simply add any can of shop-bought soup to the broth to stretch it out.

Traditional Scottish Chicken Broth Recipe

This recipe is traditionally Scottish, specifically the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where most homes and crofts kept chickens.

Hens were kept for their eggs primarily, and only killed and eaten when they had grown too old, and had stopped laying.

Older hens do not roast well, and so would be boiled in order to tenderize the meat.

That old range that took up a large space in Highland kitchens would be kept well-stocked up with wood to keep the fires burning.

The chicken would be boiled and removed to provide the main family meal, served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

The remaining stock would have a handful of rice added, and seasonal vegetables.

Carrots, leeks, onions and celery grow year round in Scotland, and so are always available.


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    • Nigella Cook profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigella Cook 

      5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for commenting - come back and tell me how it goes!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 

      5 years ago

      Your soup looks fantastic Nigella. I certainly must try this!

      Voted up and awesome!

      Thanks for sharing this recipe,


    • Nigella Cook profile imageAUTHOR

      Nigella Cook 

      5 years ago from UK

      You will love it, trust me! The trick is to cook just enough rice to thicken the soup but without it becoming solid.

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Mmmmmm... good ol' chicken soup. But I've never had a chicken soup with rice on it, so it would be an interesting addition. I've eaten rice porridge or gruel before so I'm sure I'm going to like this recipe. Thanks for sharing! :)


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