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Essential Chicken Broth

Essential Chicken Broth

As versatile kitchen staple, use this flavour booster as a base for soups, sauces and stir-fries. For a more intensely flavoured broth, return to the boil after straining, and reduce by a third.


  • Serves: 4
  • 1 whole chicken
  • or
  • 4 lbs (1.9 kg) chicken parts
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs with leaves, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Vietnamese-style Broth Variation:

  • Simply replace the last five ingredients with the following seasonings.
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot and add 8 cups (2 L) cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming away any foam that surfaces.

  2. Simmer uncovered for 3 to 4 hours, adding more water if necessary to barely cover.

  3. Carefully strain out all the solids, using a colander over a large bowl. Strain again through a fine strainer if desired. Add salt to taste.

  4. Skim off fat from the top, or chill overnight. The solidified fat can then be easily lifted off.

For easily portioned use later, freeze cooled broth in ice cube trays and store in a plastic bag when solid.

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