DIY Chicken Broth
Rich in chicken flavor, this traditional broth is lightly seasoned with herbs. Besides making wonderful chicken soups, it can be used in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes, essentially in anything that calls for chicken broth. I love to make it from split-chicken breasts…often the local grocery store puts them on sale “buy one get one free.” It’s a great time to stock up. The breasts and bony parts are easily separated with a good boning knife, then I have chicken breasts for later use and the foundation for this wonderful homemade broth. Plus, I have the chicken meat leftover from the broth-making process, which is just perfect for use in chicken salad.
Admittedly, I don’t always have the homemade variety on hand — generally I stock up when my local grocer has split chicken breasts on sale, and after separating the breasts for freezing and later use, I usually follow up with a “chicken broth-making” session. In between times however, when I’ve run out of my homemade variety, like most folks, I’ll have to rely on the store-bought stuff occasionally. Michael Humes at Serious Eats gives some great insight into what kind of ingredients you’re going to find in commercial chicken broth, and how they rate on the quality scale. At least if you have to use this stuff, you should know what’s in it. Read his entire article at Store-Bought Chicken Stocks, Reviewed: Which Are the Best?
But…his best advice…“..You always have a good meal at hand when you have [homemade] stock in the freezer…” I couldn’t agree more. So let’s get crackin’….
2 1/2 lbs bony chicken pieces – or bony chicken pieces from 6 split-chicken breasts (after breast meat is removed)
2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into chunks
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
8 whole peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh parsley
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 TBSP Vinegar (prefer Bragg’s)
1 tsp Kosher salt
4-6 quarts water (sometimes I will use as much as 8 quarts)
1. Place all ingredients in into a Dutch Oven or Stockpot.
2. Add water, slowly bring to a boil; reduce heat, skim & discard foam.
3. Cover & simmer for at least 2 hours.
4. Remove chicken & set aside until cool enough to handle; remove meat from bones. (save meat for another use, such as chicken salad). Discard bones.
5. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and seasonings. (do not re-use vegetables, they will have been drained of their nutrients).
6. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferable overnight. Then, skim the fat layer from the surface.
7. Broth can be used immediately, or frozen for later use. I use Hefty quart-size freezer bags, they work great. Each bag will hold about 2 cups of broth.