How to make Mama’s Chicken Broth

Or at least this is how I make it. I think there are as many ways of making stock and broth as there are stock and broth pots and for the record I would love to own one of those big copper stock pots with the little tap at the bottom.  But there are a lot of things I would like to own and I am quite happy to leave it at the liking – maybe I could just have the copper one without the tap?

I have a stock pot on the go most of winter. And summer for that matter but mostly winter. As well as home grown bones there are all the washed peelings from food prep. I even make a dirty stock for the pigs where I throw in all the older vegetables being cleared out of the fridge, and cook them up, smash it and feed the slurry to the pigs.

I make a Thai beef broth for John’s soups – well labelled as it often has chili in it.


Chicken Stock is by far my favourite though.  I use chicken stock in my cooking far more than beef, and as a drink.  Drinking hot chicken broth has an amazing feel good factor.  I think broth is for drinking and stock is for cooking but I could be wrong. When I make broth I strain it better and season it more carefully.

Chicken Broth

Step One. Only the best. Choose the BEST chicken bones preferably with some meat left on them.   I use my own farm raised chickens (and roosters). And the best water – water has a big influence on your stock.  My water is no good for stock so I bring water out from town.

Step Two. Lots of bones. Collect chicken carcasses over the course of a few weeks. Just pop them in a bag, label and freeze them straight after dinner. (Though today I was so desperate for a good stock, what with my feeling poorly and everything, that I cooked an entire chicken). chicken-stock-3

Step Three. Roast first. Roast the chicken, or the chicken bones with some onions and garlic.  (Unless you want a clear broth then it is best not to roast.)  I also throw in the peppercorns and any spices that are trending in your kitchen at the moment and let them gently roast too. The roasting adds another layer of taste.


Step Four. Transfer everything to a large stock pot, Cover with good filtered water or the *remy (see below) from the last chicken broth.  And a jar of your *Mother broth. (see below). Add water to the roasting dish, cook that a little longer then scrape all that goodness into your stock pot too.

Bring this to the boil fast and cook for an hour at a good clip, with the lid on, skimming off any froth or floating solids periodically.

Step Five. Add the vegetables and turn down. After an hour or so add your vegetables, whatever you have – onions, celery, carrot (except me I hate carrots unless they have just been pulled out of the ground so I don’t) garlic, lemon grass – whatever takes your fancy. Plus what ever herbs you like.  Now cook gently with the lid off for the day. You will need to top it up with water every now and then.  And skim the top every now and them too.

After a five to eight to twelve hours, (I am an eight hour bone broth cook)  taste and if this is to be a broth, add salt and pepper. But wait until you are almost finished. I don’t salt stock. That is for the cook when making the finished product. I do add a dash of apple cider vinegar though.


Step Six. Strain and cool.  Turn the flame off and let your broth sit for a bit. Strain the broth into a widish bowl and place in the refrigerator until tomorrow.  Be careful to leave the sediment in the bottom of the pot when straining – then put all the strained solids back into the pot, add water and boil a few more hours to make a remy for next time. (Strain again and label for the freezer).

Step Seven. In the morning take out your beautiful golden stock and skim off all the fat. Keep the fat for roasting potatoes- it is almost as good as duck fat. chicken-stock-8

Step Eight – Freeze or drink.  Pour into well labelled jars. I detail the ingredients right on the jar with black marker. Plus the DATE. If you are freezing – make sure to leave at least an inch of air at the top of your jar so the freezing does not crack it.

If you cannot drink your broth (or stock) from a cup it is not good enough to go into your soups or risotto. A good broth is gold in the kitchen.

* Remy.  (remouillage) To make the remy save all the bones and vegetables after you strain them out from the first broth and cook them one more time. This weaker watery broth is perfect to begin your next broth instead of straight water.

*Mother Stock. I always save some of the good finished broth  into a separate jar – labelled Mother.  This goes back in at the beginning of the next broth so as the winter goes by my stocks get stronger and  heartier – layered.  When cold this mother is a heavy jelly. Like a sourdough mother the Stock mother has been deepening in flavour for years. It is always frozen. (This is probably against all food safety regulations – I never really thought about it until I started writing it down but stock is made over a rolling boil for hours so I have never had a problem).

This method is very similar to the Marco Canora recipe. So if you would like a reference I would start with him. He is the king of broth.

When I was milking the cows last night I saw Lady Astor’s calf moving in there. It is still so tiny. But I am sure I saw it. I was not looking for it so it was not wishful thinking. Lady only needs to drop half a gallon of milk production and then I can dry her up. I think she is due in early April so the timing will be just about right. Plus Victoria is coming back for a winter farm break on Monday and she loves the milk so I am glad we are still milking. Victoria is going to stay about a week, I think, and  help me get everything back up to date.

I hope you have a  lovely day.

Love celi


55 Comments on “How to make Mama’s Chicken Broth

  1. That is the perfect broth!
    In Japan they cook theirs for days and it is fabulous.
    Hope you are feeling better.

    • I would need someone to be UP for days to monitor it but long cooking is marvelllous. I have done broth for 24 hours in the past but had to stop it and start it which makes me feel uncomfortable. I AM feeling better thank you!

  2. All that talk of broth made me hungry! Guess I’ll defrost one of your chickens today.

  3. That seems quite the process but I shall try my hand at it. I have often wondered how it was really done. I’m a city girl with no real experience at good healthy cooking.

  4. Oh Boo touching noses with the calf, a hi, how ya doin’, in the four legged animal world. When I saw the two ladies in waiting, my inner voice said, well, hello girls! I guess I missed the farmy. Glad you are feeling better. Stay on the mend, don’t do too much too soon…like you would listen, ha!

  5. I’m just catching up on all your posts. So sorry that you were unwell on your family break. What a bummer! I hope you feel better soon. Your broth sounds very good. 😀

  6. I cook my stock overnight in a crock pot — makes the whole place smell wonderful. Glad you are feeling better – love Boo and calf saying hello

  7. I’ll have to try cooking broth for a longer time. I know it makes for a better collagen but two hours is all I have managed. And what is that the baby calf is standing inside of? I really need a shelter for my goose and that would be perfect. I have wracked my brain for something that I could make for her.

  8. This may be a double post sorry as I forgot to enter my email. I’ve never made broth longer than two hours but I heard a longer cooking time made a better gelatin but I get gelled broth in two hours but will have to try a longer cooking time. And please what is that baby calf standing inside of. I’m trying to make a shelter for my goose and am at a dead end for ideas. Something to cover her food and bucket of water. She has a pond but won’t go in it. 🙂

      • Thanks, they don’t list prices so probably pretty expensive. I’ve seen people bend cattle panels into something similar. Something for me to ponder…thanks Cecila!

  9. As Vesta8 commented, I make my broth in the crock pot. But I like your layering technique, I think it will make a much richer broth, so I’m going to try your recipe. I have a friend who cooks hers on the stove for days–but that makes my husband nervous. Me, too, truth be told.

    • I just don’t like the gas to be on when i am not inside. I wish i had a crock pot big enough for three or four carcasses, but I don’t mind my old fashioned big pot. c

  10. This takes me back to my childhood, I don’t think my Ouma (Granny) ever lifted the stockpot off the Agar stove. She had ‘stock only’ utensils and the stock was ladled out of the pot and only strained once cooled. A lady at our Green market makes beautiful stock and broth which I freeze in covered ice cube trays and take out a couple of cubes as needed. Love the picture of Boo and calf 🙂 Laura

  11. In the winter my cookstove is running 24/7, I just push the stock/broth to the back of the stove and leave it be – don’t have to watch it. I’m spoiled 😊 I processed my stock in jars for years – until my daughter pointed out freezing it was a lot easier…..she was right. Until the year our freezer quit working. Four days straight canning everything I had taken to freezing and not canning (stock, mincemeat, rhubarb……) now I’ve gone back to canning everything but meat.

  12. I’m with you, I always have some sort of stock or soup going even in the heat of midsummer. I have a tray of beef neck bones in the freezer, waiting for me to run out of the chicken soup I just made, which is a nice firm jelly in the fridge. Roast first, with vegies for flavour, then the rolling boil to extract the goodness and gelatine…. Our Mamas taught us both to be frugal and make good things from unpromising ingredients… I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend.

  13. Reading how you make broth/stock makes my mouth water and tummy rumble. I eat Pho at least once a week at a local place where I know the cook/owner. She is a grandmother that fled Vietnam in the 50’s. Her three granddaughters work there and plan on keeping the traditional recipes when Kera retires.

      • ‘Pho’ really came out of the French colonial ‘pot au feu’ so that the most Vietnamese food of today really is ‘fusion’, incredibly tasty and healthy but a dish of two cultures 🙂 !

  14. I am experimenting with different stock, broth recipes. My last one was a Chinese chicken broth with lots of ginger. When I make broth for colds I use dried mushrooms and herbs. I call it my witches brew.

  15. There is nothing like good homemade chicken broth. I watched both my maternal grandmother and my mother make it. Nana insisted on the feet being still on, chickens with their feet is not something the grocery stores have. I really couldn’t tell any difference, it’s the how you make it. I think what you describe is pretty much how the women of the family made broth and stock. I did a nice pork broth which the spouse loved, same method more or less. Glad you’re feeling better. I usually add ginger to that lemon honey drink, sometimes some turmeric and cinnamon too, even a tiny dash of cloves, knocks the starch right out of a cold or flu with a tablespoon or two of whiskey for the coughing.

  16. Thanks for the recipe! Is your water getting any better? Hope you continue to feel better.

  17. I usually strip the meat & veges out of thr cooked stock and feed it to Diesel-Dog, so he won’t be thrilled that I love the idea of layering the old & new brews. Maybe I’ll trade him off a cup of broth ♡

  18. You know what, Cecilia, I make the chicken broth exactly the same way! Isn’t this just great! Your post just reminded me to make one soon. Happy New Year to you!

  19. I love a real bone broth cooked some 24 hours or so . . . . and still studying tertiary nutrition at various unis: actually chicken stock is THE preferred medication of chest colds and flus by most profs of medicine right around the world these days !! Look where using ‘Big Pharma’ to excess has got us !!! My perennial fear since I live alone is that of possible mishap and fire: do not dare to leave any stockpot on whilst away from home or asleep at night . . . . . so mine go about 15 hours from early in the morning to when I turn out the lights . . .

  20. I too would love a big copper pot, but for dyeing in, not cooking…..a dream. I made chicken stock then soup from the left overs from Christmas. Nothing as wonderful as your ‘Mother’ and I won’t be eating it, but those carcasses were too good to waste, and I have a friend staying and have been sending her off to work every day with a container of good soup for her lunch. Glad you’re well, and lucky Boo, bovine nose kisses 🙂

  21. What an amazing stock recipe, thank you for sharing. In winter, I too have a pit going all the time, but mostly it’s in the slow cooker on high (I can get a rolling boil going). My best find has been a gold,?reusable coffee filter for straining, it works so well at catching the sediment and doesn’t clog up as easily as paper coffee filters. I love the idea of keeping a mother broth, it must be wonderful. Drinking broth is my go to hot liquid in the winter months too, and it’s so beneficial for gut health.

  22. I did not know about Remy – thank you for that tidbit! Otherwise, your recipe is much the same as mine. I go eight to twelve hours, and I usually cut the bones with a good kitchen scissors after about 6 hours (or more) to release more of the marrow. It’s the most healing potion for illness, and the best broth for any recipe. I have found with wild meats like elk or venison, roasting the bones is essential. The flavor is quite awful if you don’t roast the bones!

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