Classic Chicken Consommé

Chicken consomme

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
132 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 273mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 287mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A clear, deep gold chicken ​consommé is delightful not only to look at, but tasting it is another story altogether: The flavor is divine. Consommé is a soup that is typically consumed on its own, at the start of a meal. And although it sounds fancy, don't let the French name scare you (or the translation, which roughly means it is the consummate, complete, or finished soup). This easy recipe makes good use of a leftover chicken carcass (and lots of veggies) from dinner. If you don't have a carcass, then use a couple of chicken legs and wings.

Consommé does take some time, patience, and attention to detail; it's typically something that chefs must master during their training in culinary school. However, it's not hard to do. It's an acquired skill, one that involves using egg whites to help create a natural filter, or raft, that forms over the soup.

There are some lovely light chicken soups and stocks that you can make, such as a traditional Scottish cock-a-leekie soup, but none have the same depth of flavor as a consommé. It is usually served hot but not boiling hot and garnished with julienned vegetables. It is just as enjoyable on its own without a garnish.


Click Play to See This Easy Chicken Consommé Recipe Come Together

"I’ve never made consommé, so I was excited. Truth be told, I was most excited to make a "raft." Having read about the magical powers of a raft, I was eager to watch my soup clarify before my eyes. I was not disappointed. "Magic!" I exclaimed. Then the little voice on my shoulder whispered, "Science!"" —Carrie Parente

Classic Chicken Consommé Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cooked chicken carcass, skin and fat removed

  • 1 medium onion, skin on, halved

  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled

  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon

  • 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 8 cups cold water, more to cover

  • 3 large egg whites

  • 2 to 3 drops Kitchen Bouquet (or other gravy-browning liquid)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make chicken consomme

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a large stock or saucepan large enough to hold the carcass and all the vegetables, place the carcass, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tarragon, parsley, and bay leaf.

    A large pot with chicken carcass, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tarragon, parsley, and bay leaf

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Cover with cold water and bring to a gentle, rolling boil.

    Water added to the pot with chicken and vegetables

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Simmer at a gentle boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If the water starts to boil away, add more because the ingredients must be covered in water. Taste the stock after the allotted cooking time. It should have a good flavor of chicken and a background hint of the vegetables and herbs. If not, cook a while longer.

    A pot of cooked chicken carcass and vegetables

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Strain the stock through a large colander, discarding the solids.

    Chicken carcass and vegetables in a colander

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Return the liquid to the pan. Bring back to a boil and reduce by approximately a quarter.

    Chicken stock in a large pot

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Allow the liquid to cool down, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

    A pot of room temperature chicken stock

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. Skim any fat from the surface. 

    A small bowl and spoon with skimmed fat from the broth

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  9. Then add the egg whites and whisk thoroughly.

    Whisking a egg whites and chicken stock in a large pot

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  10. Bring the liquid to a boil, whisking all the time. If you want a darker consommé, then add the optional Kitchen Bouquet.

    A whisk whisking the boiling consomme

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  11. Simmer gently, without stirring, for 15 minutes until the egg whites form a crust on the surface, called a "raft."

    A pot of chicken consomme with white raft on the surface

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  12. Line a sieve with a piece of clean, unused muslin or a tea towel that has been washed in plain water (see tip below). Gently ladle the crust into the sieve and then slowly ladle the liquid over the crust, allowing time for the liquid to pass through the crust and sieve before adding any more. Do not push the stock through, or it will make the consommé cloudy.

    Raft from the consomme in a cheesecloth-lined sieve

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  13. Return the clear liquid to the pan and reheat to hot but not boiling. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. This soup is best served warm to hot (not boiling) as it intensifies the flavor. Cold consommés are not as tasty.

    A small bowl of clear liquid from the raft

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • Because of the delicate flavor of this soup, muslin or a tea towel washed in detergent will pass the taste on to the consommé. Always use a new piece of muslin if you can.

How to Store Consommé

Whether you are reheating the soup, or you aren't serving the consommé immediately, cool it and refrigerate until required.

Reheat the soup so that it's hot but not boiling, divide among six hot soup plates, and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

What Is the Difference Between Broth and Consommé?

It's easy to confuse these two food items, as their ingredients and uses are very similar, but the process is different. When meats, veggies, and herbs are boiled in water, broth is what remains. Consommé, on the other hand, is the resultant liquid when stock is clarified through the use of egg whites. The point of consommé is to enjoy it as its own consummate, or perfect soup, whereas broth (and stock, for that matter) is typically the liquid to which other ingredients are added to make a soup or stew, or it is used as flavorful cooking liquid in its own right, as you would with making risotto, for example.

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