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A bowl of chicken yakhni or Pakistani and Indian style chicken broth. The yakhni is in a black bowl with a glass bottle of broth in the background, along with onion and garlic and whole spices to the right.
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Chicken Yakhni | Simple and aromatic chicken broth

Chicken yakhni or chicken broth is the Pakistani and Indian version of chicken soup for the soul. It is super simple to make, and the aroma fills up the house as it simmers on the stove. It is also comforting, highly nutritious and tastes delicious. It can be enjoyed on its own with a squeeze of lemon or used as a broth in different recipes.
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 40kcal

Ingredients

  • 500 gram skinless chicken drumsticks / chicken legs see note 1
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 slice fresh ginger ¼ inch thick, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 3 liters water

To serve

  • Lemon wedges
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

For the chicken yakhni / chicken broth:

  • Place all of the ingredients in a 5-liter stockpot or any deep saucepan with a lid. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Lower the heat so that the liquid is barely simmering, and skim off the scum and foam that rises to the top with a spoon.
  • Cover the pot or saucepan partially with a lid, and let it simmer. It is best to simmer for at least 4 hours, but it can be simmered for 6 – 8 hours, and even 12 hours, depending on time available. As the yakhni or stock keeps cooking, the water will evaporate, and the yakhni / broth will become richer as a result. In that case, it may need to be diluted with water in future recipes.
  • Turn off the heat, and let the yakhni / broth cool for a bit.
  • Strain the yakhni / broth through a fine colander or layers of muslin cloth.
  • Throw away the vegetables and aromatics. Reserve the chicken pieces, and remove all the meat.

To serve:

  • The yakhni / broth can be drunk like a clear liquid soup or it can be made into a chicken soup with the addition of the shredded pieces of chicken.
  • To serve the chicken yakhni / chicken soup as is, season with salt and black pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.
  • To serve the chicken yakhni with the chicken, add the shredded chicken back to the yakhni and let it come to a boil to warm the chicken. Serve it in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste, and lemon wedges on the side.

Storage:

  • If storing the yakhni / soup for later, refrigerate the yakhni for a few hours – this will result in a layer of fat that will solidify on the top. Scoop off the fat, and then store in the fridge for upto 5 days, or keep in the freezer. If kept in the freezer, it is best to let it cook for longer so that the liquid evaporates, and then the yakhni can be stored in the form of chicken yakhni cubes in an ice cube tray. The meat can be shredded and used in other recipes, or it can be eaten with the chicken yakhni.

Notes

Any chicken parts can be used to make chicken yakhni as long as they are in bone in chicken pieces. Options other than drumsticks include chicken necks, chicken wing, and the regular skinless bone in chicken curry pieces.