Quick and Full-Flavored Chicken Broth

Chicken broth recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 2 servings

Make a rich chicken broth in less than an hour using chicken legs and thighs or backs. This recipe, taken from "The Perfect Recipe" by Pam Anderson, uses just a few ingredients and is quite simple to make. It yields about 2 quarts of broth, which can be frozen and be on hand whenever you need chicken broth for a dish you're serving.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (cut into medium dice)
  • 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs (trimmed of excess fat, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chicken broth
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  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.

    Heat oil
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  3. When the oil shimmers, add the diced onion and cut-up chicken pieces and sauté until the chicken is no longer pink (about 5 to 7 minutes).

    Add diced onion
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  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

    Reduce heat to low
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  5. Increase the heat to high and add 2 quarts of water (already boiling if you are in a hurry), salt, and bay leaves.

    Increase heat to high
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  6. As soon as the water comes to a simmer, immediately reduce the heat to low again, cover, and simmer until the broth is rich and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

    Simmer water
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  7. Strain and discard the solids.

    Strain and discard solids
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  8. The broth is ready to use.

    Broth ready to use
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  9. Enjoy!


  • If you are making this ahead, cool to room temperature before you refrigerate or freeze.

Suggestions for Use 

Chicken broth can be eaten as soup with crackers or bread, but it is most often an important part of other recipes. Chicken noodle soupchicken meatball soup, chicken with rice soup, chicken vegetable soupcream of chicken soup, and tortilla soup are just a few ideas in the soup department. 

Risotto recipes nearly always call for chicken stock, so it's helpful to have on hand to cook up a delicious batch on a weeknight or when you have limited time to make a meal. As a riff on risotto and less complicated, use chicken stock instead of water in the same proportion when you cook white rice. Season with butter, salt, pepper and any other spices you are in the mood to make a delicious side dish in just a few minutes. You can substitute chicken stock when you make polenta in the same way you do for rice. 

If you are on the hunt for comfort food, chicken and dumplings, and chicken pot pie both call for chicken broth and are much quicker to make if you have a batch on hand.