|Photo Credit: NourishingCook|
Next, I control what the ingredients are. I know that what I put in my broth is healthy for my family. This is really important as I need to control the sodium levels in what we eat. Mr. Sullivan has a history of high blood pressure. Finally, I'm able to make it as flavorful or bland as I need it to be, or add specific ingredients for specific reasons. For example, if the kiddoes are sick, I'll add some garlic and oregano to my chicken broth and make a batch of home made chicken noodle soup.
To start making your own home made chicken broth, you'll need chicken carcasses. I have several basic chicken recipes that I use for whole roasted chickens, which I'll post later, but they are all similar in flavors. If I'm doing say, an Asian flavored chicken dish, I'll use boneless, skinless chicken breasts rather than whole chickens. That way, when I cook my chickens, if several are combined, there won't be conflicting flavors in the chicken broth from any leftover spices on the chicken itself. I usually pop the remains of the chicken into a freezer baggie right after dinner and put it in the fridge to cool; the next morning I move it into the refrigerator. We have an average of one chicken a week, and I wait until I have four or six carcasses and make the broth in bulk. I take them out to thaw the day before I plan to make the broth. If you're using chicken parts, I recommend legs and thighs or leg quarters, about three pounds would equal each chicken carcass.
For each chicken carcass, you will need
1 c. chopped carrots (they don't have to be pretty; they will be discarded after cooking)
1/2 c. diced celery
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tbsp sage
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt (you may want to add more at the end, adjust for flavor)
I use a huge stockpot and try to do four chickens at once. That doesn't always fit, but it's what I try to do. You can do them in a six quart pot, individually, if you want.
Put your chickens in the pot. Add water to cover, and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, and remove and discard any scum that comes to the top. Once it's boiling well, add all of your other ingredients. When it resumes boiling, turn heat down to maintain a slow simmer. Cook for two to three hours, replenishing water as necessary.
Once it's done, remove from heat, cover loosely, and let cool for at least an hour. Covering is really optional; I do it because one time I had four carcasses worth of broth cooling in my kitchen and went in to finish it up and found a cat hair in it. I'm trying to save you the pain in the rear end aspect of that. Moving on.
You'll want to have a colander and a large bowl ready for the next step. If you don't have a bowl large enough, then set up several bowls along with one "scraps" bowl for the next step. Place the colander into the bowl, and begin pouring the broth through it. Pour slowly, because it will still be pretty warm, and will splash as the veggies and chicken parts fall into the colander. Leave one inch of space in each bowl, and dump the scraps into the scrap bowl. Once you've poured off all of the chicken broth, put the bowls into the fridge overnight.
As the scraps cool, pick off any meat left on the chicken carcasses. I package this up in two cup portions and freeze.
|Photo Credit: aMichiganMom|