DIY Chicken Broth
I have noticed that more home cooking calls for more chicken broth.
Soups, stews, rice, quinoa, roast—I end up using a ton of it, pretty much all year round. And the only way it comes organic at our store is in a 32 oz container. I never use it all at one meal unless it’s the holidays so I end up tossing whatever is left after a week.
More than once I wondered why they don’t sell it in one cup pouches. And then a few months ago, as I cleaned up a carcass after a roast chicken dinner, I wondered something better: “How hard is it to make my own broth?”
At first I wanted to make Rebecca Katz’s “Magic Mineral Broth” from Cancer Fighting Kitchen, but it has chicken, carrots, leaks, onions, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice and bay.
Yeah, I don’t know what kombu is either.
So I reached for my other cookbook bible, the BHG New Cook Book, circa 1990.
First make this, or buy a roasted chicken at the store.
Keep the carcass in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Then into a large pot throw:
1 chicken carcass (I leave bits of meat hanging all over mine)
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
6 cups cold water.
Bring it to a boil and simmer for two hours.
Then I strained it and measured it out into one cup portions to freeze. It’s much less salty than the store bought version so the real flavors come through and it’s wonderful to cook with. I use it instead of water for my quinoa and rice, which gives both enough flavor that my kids are not missing those pre-seasoned salt bomb boxed rices.
Our roasted chicken recipe calls for stuffing the chicken with citrus. The first time I made this broth, I took the lemons out of the carcass before starting the broth. An hour later, I was shocked to find a lemon floating in my broth.
“Who put lemon in my broth?” I asked my husband and son, both of whom have official cooking rights in my kitchen. Blank faces. An hour later, Kate came in and asked “Mom, what’s broth?” Turns out she was the lemon bandit. She thought I was making soup and she was pretty sure—from all her cooking show experience—that it needed some acid.
Thanks, Cutthroat Kitchen.
And she was right. So in this picture, you can see I left the lemon and grapefruit in the carcass.