Double Chicken Tea


All this time you've been drinking tea made out of dried twigs and leaves, when you could've been drinking tea from bones and meat. This is very concentrated version of what our parents would've called "chicken bouillon." Whether you're looking to enjoy a chicken in liquid form, or to crush that cold, or maybe your soul just needs a warm hug, I hope you give this a try soon. Serve with hot buttered crackers if desired!

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
8 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 15 mins
2 1/2 quarts


  • 2 (4.5 pound) whole chicken

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and halved

  • 2 small bay leaves

  • 10 whole black peppercorns

  • 7 quarts cold water, or as needed

  • kosher salt to taste


  1. Slice breast meat off the chickens by cutting along either side of each breastbone, across the ribcage and down to the wing joints. Cut off the meat and save for another meal, reserving skin for chicken tea.

  2. Transfer whole chickens and skin from breasts into 1 extra large, or 2 standard (5 1/2- to 6-quart) pots. Divide carrots, celery, and onions between the pots, followed by garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Fill each pot to the top with cold water.

  3. Place pots over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, watching carefully. Immediately reduce heat to low. Skim off any foam from the tops with a spoon. Adjust heat to maintain a very gentle simmer where only small bubbles poke up through the surface. Continue to let simmer for 8 to 12 hours.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids into a strainer set over a large bowl; discard chunks and pour strained broth back into a pot. Combine all the liquid into one pot. Strain broth again through a fine-mesh strainer into whichever pot was emptied.

  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming fat from the top; boil until reduced by half. Turn off heat and season with salt, tasting and adjusting as needed.

  6. Strain broth through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag into a container. Serve steaming hot in a pot as you would tea, or let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Chef's Notes:

More water can be added to the pot(s) during the long simmering time, if the level looks to be getting too low. A few inches down from the top is fine, but if the level gets lower, add more water.

Make sure not to season the broth until it's been reduced to where you want it, or else it can be too salty.

To serve this as a starter at a dinner party, portion out only small amounts, like espresso cups. This is meant to be rich and decadent, but otherwise, you can dilute with water.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 141
Total Fat: 4.9g
Cholesterol: 53mg
Sodium: 144mg
Total Carbs: 7.9g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9g
Protein: 16.1g
Sugar: 3.3g

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