Chicken Bone Broth

Chicken bone broth is the best flavor-packed, nutrient-dense chicken stock recipe! This stock is made with chicken scraps and bones, vegetables, and can be easily made on the stovetop, Instant Pot, or slow cooker!

Chicken bone broth is poured into a few glass jars and topped with a lid before they are frozen.

Homemade chicken bone broth

If you have made my white wine and herb roasted whole chicken, lemon and herb chicken, or Peruvian spatchcock chicken, you likely have chicken scraps and bones. Don’t throw them out, repurpose them into a very healthy and beneficial bone broth!

Bone broth is made with chicken bones and scraps, onions, garlic, and any vegetable scraps you may have. It is super flavorful, packed with nutrients, and can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken stock.

My favorite way to use chicken bone broth is to warm it up in a mug and sip on it! It’s a warm mug full of nutrients and that makes me feel satisfied and happy!

This recipe is super versatile and is a great way to use your kitchen scraps. I really love repurposing food to cut down on waste, so this recipe is one of my favorites! My freezer is always packed with jars of chicken bone broth, and I love having it on hand!

Chicken, herbs, vegetables, and a few other ingredients are combined in a stockpot to make a flavorful bone broth.

Chicken bone broth ingredients

There are a few basic ingredients that are the bare minimum for building a flavorful chicken bone broth base. You can add much, much more to tailer this recipe to your taste.

  • Chicken scraps- Whenever we eat chicken with bones in it (rotisserie chicken, whole chicken, bone-in thighs, etc..) I save the bones by adding them to a freezer-safe bag and storing the scraps in the freezer until I am ready to make the broth. You can make a bone broth with just one chicken carcass, but the more bones and scraps, the more nutrient-dense and flavorful your bone broth will be.
  • Garlic- Don’t bother chopping the garlic, just slice a whole garlic head in half and toss it in the pot!
  • Onions- Halve the onions and toss ’em in, you don’t even have to peel them!
  • Celery- Break the celery into a few sections, then in the pot they go!
  • Carrots- Carrots can yield a strong flavor, so I tend to use only 2-3 of them.
  • Salt & pepper- Generously salt your bone broth, it will help bring out the flavor. Use whole peppercorns if you have them on hand!
  • Red wine or apple cider vinegar- Just a splash of red wine or apple cider vinegar helps leach out the nutrients from the bones and infuse it into the bone broth. This ingredient is super important for creating the most nutrient-dense broth possible!

Chef’s tips

How to make chicken bone broth gelatinous

Yes, you read that right. Chicken broth can become gelatinous when it is refrigerated, which believe it or not, means that it is packed with gelatin and is super nutrient dense.

Bone broth that gels means the bone broth was cooked properly and is optimized with the most nutrients. Gelatinous chicken bone broth is packed with collagen, protein, minerals, and amino acids- all important for overall health and growth.

Gelatinous chicken bone broth literally looks like jello, it jiggles when you move it.

This kind of bone broth will return back to liquid form once it warms up, so don’t worry, you won’t be eating chicken jello… I can’t believe I just typed that.

Want the best, most nutrient dense chicken bone broth you can possibly make? Alright then, here are my secrets!

  • Use apple cider vinegar or red wine. These ingredients are acidic and help break down the chicken scraps, which contains mineral dense bones, tendons, and muscle. Once the chicken scraps are broken down by the acid, the minerals are then infused in the bone broth.
  • Use ‘chicken paws’. Chickens don’t have paws… they have feet, but for some reason, grocery stores label them as paws. It may feel like a very foreign concept to use chicken feet in your chicken bone broth, but this is a sure-fire way to produce a gelatinous chicken bone broth. Chicken feet are packed with collagen, protein, and calcium since they only consist of bones, skin, and tendons. These nutrients are readily available to be absorbed by your body, score!
  • Use less water. A common mistake in making chicken stock is using too much water. For a super nutrient-dense bone broth, use less water. This will ensure that the stock is denser not only in nutrients but flavor, too!
  • Cook it low and slow! Chicken broth can be made quickly if you are using an Instant Pot, but it takes 12 hours in a slow cooker, and up to 24 hours on the stovetop. The bone broth takes a while to cook, but the health benefits are so worth it!

What vegetables to add to chicken bone broth

You can use a wide variety of vegetables to add to your bone broth for optimal flavor and nutrients. Here are a few of my best recommendations:

  • Fresh herbs
  • Lemons
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Onion/shallots
  • Zucchini/summer squash
  • Broccoli stems
  • Himalayan salt (pink salt)
  • Mushrooms
  • Bay leaf

How to prepare to make chicken bone broth

My favorite way to prepare chicken bone broth is to have a freezer-safe bag in the freezer that I use to toss kitchen scraps in. If I have ends of onions, garlic, or vegetable scraps, I toss it in the freezer bag. Once I have a bag full of chicken and vegetable scraps, it’s time to make a bone broth!

You don’t have to use kitchen scraps to make a bone broth, but I find this is the most resourceful way. You can use fresh produce that you have on hand to make a flavorful broth!

Chicken bones are collected in a freezer safe plastic bag so they can be used for broth at a later time.

How to make bone broth on the stove top

  1. Combine the ingredients. Place the chicken/vegetable scraps and fresh herbs in a large stockpot. Add enough filtered water until it covers the chicken. Add the apple cider vinegar or red wine. Toss in the salt, pepper and bay leaf and give it a good stir. Bring the broth to a boil.
  2. Simmer the broth. Once the bone broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the broth for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Drain the broth. Place a strainer over a large bowl, then strain the bones and vegetables from the broth. You will notice the bones are brittle and break very easily, this means all the nutrients are leached into the bone broth- a sign of success!
  4. Bottle the broth. You can this broth if you would like, but an easier method is freezing it!

How to make chicken bone broth in an Instant Pot

Making chicken bone broth in the Instant Pot is my favorite method of all time! This method saves tons of time and breaks down the bones much quicker than the stove top method does. Using the Instant Pot will yield a smaller bath of chicken broth, so plan accordingly.

  • Place the ingredients in the Instant Pot. Put the chicken scraps, vegetables, seasoning, and whatever remaining ingredients you are using into the Instant Pot. Cover the ingredients with water, then top with apple cider vinegar or red wine (make sure you do not exceed the ‘fill line’).
  • Set the Instant Pot. Select the “soup/broth” option, then enter 2 hours’ time (120 minutes). Once the Instant Pot has locked, cooked to completed time, allow it to depressurize naturally (do not press the quick release) for at least 30 minutes.
  • Strain the bone broth. Once the Instant Pot unlocks, place a strainer over a large bowl and strain the chicken and vegetable scraps from the broth. Discard the chicken and vegetable scraps.
  • Bottle the bone broth. Pour the bone broth into freezer-safe jars with lids. Allow the bone broth to fully cool before placing in the freezer

How to make bone broth in a slow cooker

  • Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Place the chicken and vegetable scraps, seasoning, and any remaining ingredients into the slow cooker. Cover the chicken with filtered water, then top off with the apple cider vinegar or red wine.
  • Place the slow cooker on low for 12 hours. Allow the chicken bone broth to simmer in the slow cooker on low for at least 12 hours.
  • Strain the broth. Place a strainer over a large bowl, then strain the bone broth from the chicken and vegetable scraps.
  • Bottle the broth. Pour the bone broth into freezer-safe jars, ten top with a lid.

Important: Allow the bone broth to refrigerate before freezing

This step is very, very important. I cannot tell you how many times I opened my freezer, excited to use my freshly made bone broth,…andddd it has exploded in the glass jars all over my freezer.

If you are using glass jars like Mason Jars, you must allow the bone broth to cool completely in the refrigerator before you place it in the freezer. If you skip this step, the pressure will build in the glass jars from the extreme temperature change, and you’ll be cleaning exploded jars of bone broth like I have many of times. Not fun.

Whatever you do, do not place a lid tightly on a warm bottle of bone broth, then place it directly into the freezer. Don’t even place warm bone broth directly in the freezer.. with or without a lid. It’ll end badly.

Chicken Bone Broth is poured into Mason Jars and topped with a lid to be stored in the freezer.

Can you use a whole raw chicken to make bone broth?

You can absolutely use a whole raw chicken to make bone broth. Make sure you cut the chicken before you cook it though!

A rule of thumb for making chicken bone broth, just make sure you are adding the bones! Raw or cooked, it doesn’t matter.

How to strain and store

When the chicken bone broth is done cooking, place a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the chicken broth over the strainer to separate the scraps from the broth.

Pour the bone broth into freezer-safe (or canning safe) glass jars (not plastic, you don’t want those nasty chemicals to leach into your beautiful bone broth!).

Store in the fridge

Place the bottled chicken bone broth in the fridge, making sure it has an airtight lid. The broth will stay good in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Store in the freezer

Place the bone broth in the fridge first to allow the bone broth to completely cool before placing it in the freezer. Once the bone broth is refrigerated, place the lids loosely on the bottled broth, then place in the freezer.

Once the bone broth is frozen, you can fully shut the lid. The bone broth will stay good in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Skim the fat

Once bone broth is refridgerated, the fat will rise to the top of the jar and solidify. You can leave the fat in the jar if you’d prefer, although it will leave a bit of an oily top layer when warmed up.

Grab a spoon and scoop out the solidified fat once the bone broth has refrigerated overnight. This will provide optimal flavor and texture.

Vegetables, fresh herbs, spices, and chicken is combined in a large stockpot to make bone broth.

Why is chicken bone broth healthy

As I mentioned like a million times, bone broth is extremely nutrient dense. I could probably write a whole 12 page college essay on why it is so healthy, but here’s a condensed list of nutrients bone broth provides.

  • Collagen/ protein- Since this bone broth uses mineral dense bones, chicken tendons, and muscles, the broth leeches all the collagen and protein from them.
  • Manganese- Manganese is essential in assisting nutrient absorption when the bone broth is metabolized by your body.
  • Iron- Iron is essential for healthy growth and development. It helps create hemoglobin ( a type of protein) that red blood cells use to carry oxygen to your organs.
  • Fatty acids- Fatty acids are important for healthy growth, too. They are especially great for growing a healthy brain!
  • Selenium- My favorite benefit of selenium is that is is used by your body to counteract damage caused by free radicals and helps prevent infection.
  • Zinc- Zinc is cruitial for a healthy immune system (hello, looking at you, cold season!).

Bone broth varies in color

Chicken bone broth can range in color from a light golden to a deep brown color depending on what ingredients are used.

If you are using roasted chicken skin in your bone broth (like the skin from a rotissarie chicken), your bone broth will likely be a darker color.

Broth can range in color also depending on how long it was cooked for. The less time if has to simmer, the lighter the color.

The color really is not important, what matters is the quality of the ingredients, the amount of ingredients/water ratio, and the length of cooking time/method.

I’ve even made a slightly green bone broth a few times because I added a ton of broccoli stems. Ha!

How to use chicken bone broth

You can sip on a warm mug full of chicken broth, use it in any recipe that calls for chicken broth (or even sub white wine with it), soups, gravies, or sauces.

It’s easy flavor makes this broth’s use ultra versatile. It can enhance any dish not just in flavor, but knowing you are adding such a nutrient dense ingredient to your plate!

Soup recipes to use bone broth in

  • Straight from the Yucatan Peninsula, this Mexican Chicken and Lime Soup is fresh from Ofelia’s kitchen! A lemon and lime soup base with shredded chicken and fresh fixings makes this soup so wholesome!
  • This sausage tortellini soup has a creamy tomato base, making it hearty and delicious. With Italian seasoning and the fragrant blend of roasted onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, this soup has layers of flavors!
  • Creamy cauliflower soup is made with fresh cauliflower, parmesan, and a few spices to really bring the warmth to this soup!
  • Instant Pot salsa verde chicken chili is packed with fresh tomatillos, chicken, and beans for a healthy and filling meal.
Chicken bone broth is poured into a white soup bowl and topped with parsley and plated next to spoons and a napkin.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay in touch! I love to see your creations! Tag me at #SeaSaltSavorings to show me what you’ve made!

Chicken bone broth is poured into a few glass jars and topped with a lid before they are frozen.

Chicken Bone Broth

Sea Salt Savorings
Chicken bone broth is the best flavor-packed, nutrient-dense chicken stock recipe! This stock is made with chicken scraps and bones, vegetables, and can be easily made on the stovetop, Instant Pot, or slow cooker!
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Course broth, Soup, stock
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cups
Calories 1137 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 chicken carcas with meat scraps and bones
  • 1 lb chicken feet optional, but great for galatinous broth
  • 1 onion yellow, white, or shallots, halved
  • 1 head of garlic halved
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine
  • 2 celery stalks cut into thirds, leaves attached
  • 2 carrots cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sprigs of oregano
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp himilayan salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 12 cups filtered water

Instructions
 

On the stovetop

  • Combine the ingredients. Add the chicken scraps/feet, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, carrots, celery, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf to the stockpot. Cover the chicken with filtered water, at least 12 cups (or more). Make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the water.
  • Simmer the bone broth. Bring the bone from to a boil by placing the heat on high. Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the stockpot. Allow the bone broth to simmer for 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Strain the broth. Remove the broth from the heat. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth over the strainer into the bowl to separate the scraps from the broth.
  • Jar the broth. Pour the broth into the glass jars up to the max fill line. Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow them to cool completely before placing them in the freezer.

In a slow cooker

  • Combine the ingredients. Place the chicken scraps/feet, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, carrots, celery, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf in the slow cooker. Cover the chicken with filtered water, at least 12 cups (or more). Make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the water. Set the slow cooker on low for 12 hours.
  • Strain the broth. Remove the broth from the heat. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth over the strainer into the bowl to separate the scraps from the broth.
  • Jar the broth. Pour the broth into the glass jars up to the max fill line. Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow them to cool completely before placing them in the freezer.

In an Instant Pot

  • Combine the ingredients. Place the chicken scraps/feet, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, carrots, celery, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf in the Instant Pot. Cover the chicken with filtered water, at least 12 cups (or more). Make sure all the ingredients are submerged in the water. Select the "soup/broth" button, then set the time for 2 hours (120 minutes).
  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release. Once the chicken bone broth is done cooking, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for 30 minutes. After, you can press the quick release before opening.
  • Strain the broth. Remove the broth from the heat. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth over the strainer into the bowl to separate the scraps from the broth.
  • Strain the broth. Remove the broth from the heat. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth over the strainer into the bowl to separate the scraps from the broth.

Nutrition

Calories: 1137kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 93gFat: 67gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 381mgSodium: 4052mgPotassium: 1072mgFiber: 11gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 23556IUVitamin C: 90mgCalcium: 685mgIron: 9mg

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

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