Soup it up – home made chicken broth

So you had roast chicken for dinner, and now you are stuck with the leftover chicken carcass dilemma: either be guilt-ridden for throwing it away ( your conscience repeating “a good cook doesn’t waste anything“) or you make bouillon with the leftover scraps.

If like you’re like me, the idea of home-made broth makes you dream of dinner ideas – my latest experiment was a big bowl of bouillon, leek and giant ricotta raviolis topped with grated pecorino… though I too confess of often leaving the carcass to waste for lack of time and energy…

Here’s a no fuss approach to a great smelling kitchen and damn good bouillon. While this recipe is more of a fail-safe than an exceptionally unique creation, know that you can play with a ton of other aromatic ingredients to make your own special broth. Popular aromatics for chicken broth include celery, leek and any desired type of peppercorns. You can also go the extra mile by adding specific ingredients during the last 10 minutes of the simmering such as bacon, rosemary, shitake or a splash of alcohol such as sherry, port or cognac.


  • 1 cooked or raw chicken carcass (or more, if you have! Bouillon preparation is no exact science).
  • 2 or 3 big carrots chopped roughly into long wedges.
  • 2 or 3 onions (any kind) chopped into wedges.
  • A sprig or two of thyme (dry or fresh)
  • A bunch of fresh parsley
  • A bay leaf
  • A few peeled cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


You can make bouillon with any chicken scraps and, importantly, the bones, along with whatever bits of meat and fat that is left on them.

You’ll want to throw all the ingredients except the salt into a large stovetop pot and cover them with water. If you don’t have a pot that is big enough – the pot I used in this picture, for example, was quite tight for one chicken carcass and didn’t provide much more than two big bowls of soup – you can break your chicken carcass into pieces with a chef’s knife.

Set your stove at high and bring to a boil. Then adjust the heat and reduce to a simmer. Leave to reduce, uncovered, for at least 2 hours – skimming white residue off the top periodically – and up to 10 hours if you have a really big pot or want a very condensed broth.

Once the simmering is done, add salt to taste, remove all the ingredients with a slotted spoon and pass the broth through a sieve and/or cheesecloth to remove any undesired bits.

While you can use the broth right away, I like to refrigerate it to remove some of the excess fat that rises to the top of the cooled mix. You can then heat whatever portion you need or conserve it in mason jars for later use. BAM! Home made broth.


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Categories: Food


Aspiring food writer, serious traveler, media enthusiast and communications specialist from Montréal, Canada. Follow me on twitter @aalavoie

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