A Simple, Thrifty Homemade Chicken Broth

How To Make Broth From Leftover Chicken | In Jennie's Kitchen

Longtime readers know how much I admire thrift in the kitchen, and love finding new ways to rejuvenate and repurpose leftovers. In fact, the very first recipe ever shared on this site 10 years ago was called recycled breakfast, using leftover bread to make an eggy breakfast bread pudding.

I roast a chicken once a week to every 10 days, and put every bit of it to use, including the leftover carcass. For this reason, I tend to stick with a simple salt, pepper and butter seasoning, knowing that I want a neutral chicken flavor for the impending broth.

Really, this broth I’m writing about is more a tip and rough guideline than a strict recipe. Some of you may already make a version of it (I hope so!), and if you have tips and tricks to offer, please feel free to share in the comments.

This homemade chicken broth is all about using up what you already have on hand, no special shopping required.

How To Make Broth From Leftover Chicken | In Jennie's Kitchen

A little extra advance planning when prepping vegetables every day might also mean you’ve got a bag of veggie scraps in the freezer. A regular ziptop bag or container holds things like carrot peelings, nubs of onion roots, celery core, parsley and mushrooms past their prime, even the onion peelings, in my freezer. I tend to keep scraps from scallions and ginger in a separate bag to use for Asian broths. Do what you like with your own veggie bits and bobs bag.

How To Make Broth From Leftover Chicken | In Jennie's Kitchen

If you don’t have veggie scraps, use up whatever is in the crisper bin, and no need to peel them—that goes for garlic and onion, too. In fact, onion peels will add a lovely deep golden hue to the color of your broth. My broth goes something like this:

  • leftover carcass from a 3 1/2 pound roasted chicken
  • 2 to 3 cups of vegetable scraps (or assortment of cut up carrots, celery, onions, garlic, parsley, etc.)

Add both a 6 to 8 quart pot and pour in enough water to completely cover them. Bring to boil over high heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium, and let it bubble away for 45 minutes to an hour until broth is flavorful. The liquid will be reduced by about 1/4.

Once the broth is cooked, strain it, remove any remaining chicken from the bones to use for soup, these homemade chicken nuggets, this chicken salad, or toss in some fried rice.

How To Make Broth From Leftover Chicken | In Jennie's Kitchen

10 Years Ago: Seriously Delicious Ribs, Recycled Breakfast

9 Years Ago: Devil’s Food Cupcakes, Lentil Ricotta “Meatballs”, Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
8 Years Ago: Chocolate Snaps, Lemon Poppy Muffins
7 Years Ago: Six Months, and a Birthday, Marinated Olives, Italian Fried Rice, Chocolate Pistachio Madeleines
6 Years Ago: Perfect Roasted Potatoes, Chocolate Malted Waffles
5 Years Ago: Homemade Falafel, Creamy Homemade Hummus, Milk Chocolate Brownies, A Simple Roast Chicken
4 Years Ago: Waffle Pizza Pockets, Chewy Fudge Brownies (dairy-free), Tagliatelle Limone
3 Years Ago: Homemade Almond Milk, How to Quick-Ripen Bananas, Chili & Pecorino Roasted Broccoli, Devil Dog Cupcakes
2 Years Ago: Amlou (Moroccan Nutella), Braised White Beans
1 Year Ago: Hamantaschen, Into the Whispering Winds, Best Chocolate Buttercream, Ribollita


  • Jennie Sama

    This broth recipe looks so easy. My question is the direction to save scraps of vegetables, which we were always told to discard. (That’s my old Italian way!) Please comment on this and whether just washing all those vegys is sufficient.

    Love you site and recipes!!!

  • Jennie

    Jennie—no need to wash veggie peelings unless they’re very dirty with debris. Simply rinsing, or if you want scrubbing them with a dedicated kitchen brush is suffice. For this reason, though, it’s best to buy organic, which I always do. -Jennie

  • Betsy

    I love your thriftiness, Jennie! Thanks to your suggestion I started saving my veggie scraps years ago, and always have a stock pile in the freezer, my daughter’s are doing it now as well.

  • Charlie

    Hi Jenni:
    When I buy chicken wings I always make sure they have the tips on them.
    I save up the tips until I have a good size bag.
    I put them, a browned chicken carcass or two or…. add the veg, some seasoning and away I go.