Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thrifty Thursday- Easy Chicken Broth

An easy, healthy, and delicious way to make chicken broth at home.  This is a compilation trial and error, and my favorite/easiest results.

Start with a rotisserie chicken, remove all meat, separate into 2 or 3 meals (I usually save white meat for recipes like Buffalo Chicken Wraps , dark greasier meat for soups)

Place all remaining parts of chicken- skin, bones, juice, etc into a slow cooker.  Cover with COLD water and add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (I use Apple Cider vinegar) and let sit for an hour to extract all the nutrients- namely calcium.

Technically you don't HAVE to add anything else in the broth if you are going to save the broth for recipes other than soup recipes where the base IS chicken broth (e.g. Chicken Noodle Soup)

But if you have other ingredients on hand, the trifecta of celery, carrots, and onions makes for a super tasty broth.  I usually cut off the ends of a bunch of celery (that normally would get thrown away), quarter an onion or two WITH the skin, and add an unpeeled carrot with ends trimmed (do not use washed, peeled baby carrots!  They will do nothing for the broth, as they are essentially carriers of Ranch and have no flavor.  But I digress.)  The more carrots, the sweeter the broth will be, so it depends on your preference.

I also like to add some thyme (fresh or dried), a couple of bay leaves, and if I want a little extra punch some whole peppercorns.

Simmer on low in Crock Pot from anywhere from 6-12 hours, tasting as it cooks until it gets to a flavor that you like (or until you need it!)  Now I usually scoop out the veggies, chicken carcass, etc until I am left with broth and I usually separate them into 1-2-or-3 cup portions in disposable plastic containers, and then refrigerate overnight and skim the fat off the next day.  Not only will you be left with a healthier broth but it actually has a better texture when used in soup.  After refrigeration the broth will seem kind of gelatin-y and this is a good thing!  It means it is packed with good-for-you stuff.  At this point you can label and freeze the containers and you will have great broth on hand when needed!  Note that there is no salt added- usually if a recipe calls for a cup of chicken broth, it won't need extra salt, but if you are making a broth-based soup you can add salt to taste.

Sooo much healthier & cheaper than store bought broth, and VERY easy despite these lengthy directions :)

No comments:

Post a Comment