A fine quality Basic Chicken Broth, as in this recipe, is the foundation for tens of thousands of recipes, from soups and consommes to sauces and stews. Packed with rich flavor, it is truly a masterpiece of culinary art.

Basic Chicken Broth

Basic Chicken Broth
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 batch
  • 1 whole chicken, preferably free-range; skinned
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 8 Cups water
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients except the salt in a soup pot.
  2. Heat to boiling over medium heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Skim the grease from the top four or five times during the cooking process.
  5. Strain the broth, add the salt, serve hot in small porcelain cups.
  6. Or freeze and use as a base for other soups.
  7. The boiled chicken and vegetables make an excellent second course when arranged on a platter and accompanied by mashed potatoes and pickled peperoncini.
Italians say this of chicken broth: "Abbraccia lo stomaco." It hugs the stomach. The Garfagnini put it a bit more differently: "Fa resuscitare i morti." It resuscitates the dead.

In olden days, chicken broth was reserved for the royals, who consumed it from beautiful porcelain bowls and called it "consomme."

Today in Garfagnana, chicken broth is made with pollo ruspicante, a free-range chicken that has been raised on nothing but grass and corn. When I explain to Signora Padovani that most Americans buy their chicken from a supermarket, she narrows her eyes and looks at me crossly. "Ma scherzi?" she says. You must be kidding.

Recipe Source: ZUPPA! by Anne Bianchi

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