Chicken Soup or Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 to 6 cups

    of soup or broth.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 3 pounds bony chicken parts such as wings, necks, and backs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 ribs celery with leaves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves
  • 1 carrot, scraped and coarsely chopped
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Rinse the chicken pieces and place them in a large saucepan or kettle that will hold at least 4 quarts. Add the remaining ingredients and bring them to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Using a large kitchen spoon, skim from time to time all the scum and foam that rises to the top of the soup as it boils, rinsing the spoon occasionally between skimmings.

  2. Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl and line it with a piece of cheesecloth that has been rinsed in cold water. Very carefully pour the soup into the sieve so that it is strained into the bowl. Discard all the solid matter such as the bones, skin, meat, vegetables, and spices.

  3. The resulting broth is now ready to be used. It may be served hot as a soup or the broth might be used to make other soups and sauces. Before serving or using the broth, however, you should taste it to make certain it has enough salt. Or you may wish a more concentrated soup, in which case you should not add more salt but pour the liquid into a saucepan and cook it over high heat, skimming the surface once more, until it is reduced as much as you wish it. Remember that the more you cook the broth the richer it will become. If the soup is reduced this way, add the salt only at the end.