Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

All the creamy goodness of a condensed chicken soup, but made from scratch with whole ingredients. Use this soup in any recipe that calls for a canned condensed soup, or dilute it with some broth and eat it alone!

Condensed Chicken Soup has its time and place, as do creamy chicken casseroles, pasta casseroles, and especially these Cheesy Ready Potatoes. Most recipes call for canned soup, but today I’m sharing my recipe for making Condensed Chicken Soup in full completely new.

To make this Homemade Condensed Chicken Soup, I took a page from making gumbo and started with a roux, a combination of fat and flour that helps thicken soups, intensify flavor, and keep the fat from leaching separates the other liquids in the soup. The darker the roux, the spicier the soup, but how dark you get is entirely up to you.

To add flavor to the soup, I use rendered chicken fat to make the roux and then make a quick homemade chicken broth with chicken thighs. The results are exceptional, making a soup worth eating as a meal in its own right.

You’ll need four bone-in, skinless chicken thighs to make enough fat for the roux and make a rich broth, but you don’t actually need all of the meat for the recipe. If I’m making this to replace the cream of chicken soup in another recipe, I’ll use two chicken thighs in the soup and save the rest for another use. However, when making the soup as a standalone meal, I add all of the meat.

How to make the roux

To make a roux, you need equal parts fat and flour—in this case, 1/4 cup fat and 1/4 cup flour. However, the amount of fat in this recipe may not be accurate as it is difficult to know how much fat your chicken will put out in the pan. Just aim for about 1/4 cup of rendered chicken fat, but don’t worry about it too much. Even if your roux is a bit too dry or too thin, it will still work.

Just make sure to cook the roux until it deepens in color from white to gold, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. The darker the roux, the more intense the flavor—another trick I learned while making gumbo.

Streamline your workflow

This recipe only has a handful of ingredients, but the prep process can feel a little complex, at least the first time.

To make the process as easy as possible, I recommend preparing everything in advance. Measure out the flour, finely chop the garlic and finely chop the onion. Make sure the chicken is thawed (if frozen) and ready.

I also place my skillet on the front burner of my stove and place the stockpot on the burner directly behind it. This allows for a smoother and less messy transfer of rendered chicken into the boiling water in step three of the recipe.

Most importantly, read the entire recipe before you begin. Familiarize yourself with the steps and how the various components work together.

Use 1-for-1 instead of canned condensed soup

As written, it makes a soup almost as thick as canned condensed chicken soup and it can be used 1-to-1 in any recipe that calls for canned soup, like our Cheesy Funeral Potatoes.

Make it a meal

If you want to serve this alone for dinner, simply thin it out with a little more broth, cream, or water and serve. You can also stir in the meat from the extra two chicken thighs that aren’t needed for the condensed version (see step 7 in the recipe below).

If you need or prefer a non-dairy version, just omit the cream. It will still taste rich and luxurious.

Chicken soup make-ahead cream

You can make this soup up to four days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. As with most soups, the flavor is better the day after you make it. I do not recommend freezing this soup as freezing, thawing, and reheating can affect the texture. If you are interested in canning this soup, I recommend reading the information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Homemade Condensed Chicken Soup

cooking time
45 minutes

total time
45 minutes

2 cups


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin and bones (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion

  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped

  • 3 cups of water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Make the fat out of the chicken:

    Sprinkle the four chicken thighs over and under the skin with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat the oil in a medium deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the thighs, skin-side down.

    Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, until the skin is a nice golden brown color. A few bits of skin may even stick to the pan. That’s okay.

    Reduce the heat to medium. Let the chicken cook untouched for another 15 minutes. If the skin starts to burn, turn the heat down a bit. Flip and fry on the other side for about 5 minutes.

    When done, the skin should be crisp and golden and the chicken should have rendered about 1/4 cup of fat (just look at it; you’ll be fine!). If you have more than 1/4 cup, reserve the rest for another use or discard.

    It’s okay if the chicken isn’t fully cooked through at this point – your goal in this step is to remove the fat from the chicken skin and develop the browning in the pan, not necessarily overcooking the meat.

  2. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water, bay leaf, and a good pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Prepare soup broth:

    When you’re done removing the fat from the chicken thighs, remove the pan from the heat and place the thighs in the pot of boiling water. If your chicken isn’t completely submerged in water, add more. Leave the pot uncovered.

    Reduce the heat under the pan of water so that it comes to a gentle simmer. Cook the chicken for 9-11 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through. Skim the foam from the water surface.

  4. Strain soup stock:

    Take the chicken out of the pot of water. Transfer to the plate and set aside to cool.

    Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup. You should have between 2 and 4 cups of chicken broth. Measure out 2 1/4 cups of the broth and set aside (add water if needed to make this amount; if you have more broth than needed, save the rest for another recipe.)

  5. Make the roux:

    Bring the skillet back to medium-high with the rendered chicken fat. Gradually sprinkle flour over the fat, stirring constantly until all of the flour is incorporated and a white paste forms.

    Stir continuously until the roux turns golden in color, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and chopped garlic – the roux will become crumbly as you add the veggies and that’s ok. Stir for another 5 minutes until the onions are cooked. It will become smooth again when you add the broth.

  6. Prepare the creamy soup base:

    Slowly pour the 2 1/4 cups of broth into the pan with the roux, stirring constantly. At first it has the consistency of a paste with clumps of onions in it. Just keep stirring and slowly add the broth. At this point, your soup might look a little watery and you can even see grease on the edges of the pan. That’s okay.

    Once all the broth is added, increase the heat to medium-high and beat until the liquid is noticeably thicker than syrup but thinner than ketchup, about 8 minutes.

    Reduce the heat to medium. Keep an eye on the soup while you do the next step (shred the chicken) to keep it warm but not boiling. Stir the soup occasionally.

  7. Add the chicken:

    Peel and finely chop the meat from two chicken thighs; You should have 3/4 to 1 cup of chicken. Save the remaining two chicken thighs for another meal.

  8. Finish the soup:

    Slowly beat in the whipped cream. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

    The soup can be used immediately. Alternatively, chill and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!