Once I started making my own broth regularly, I didn’t stop. It tastes great on its own, adds tons of flavor to recipes, it’s cheap, it’s healthy, and it takes no time at all to make. (Well, it takes a while to cook but it’s only a few minutes of prep.) You can always find tons of chicken, beef, lamb and even goat broth in my freezer. I add it to recipes when I need some oomph, I use it in soups like my son’s favorite white bean soup, and our winters are really cold so it’s nice to have something warm and soothing to sip on. We add raw garlic to stave off colds, we’ll have some as a meal when nothing else will go down…I could go on and on.
Seriously, this is so easy and you’ll feel like Pollyanna. Here’s what you do.
Make an Upside-down Chicken (or your favorite roasted chicken recipe) for dinner one night.
Eat your fill, then take off any remaining meat, and refrigerate or freeze it. (I tend to leave a little meat for the broth).
After you’ve cut it and you got most of the meat off, you’ll end up with something like this.
I used to just throw this out. IT PAINS ME to think that I would just toss all of this goodness. And that stuff at the bottom? Liquid gold. I used to give it to the dog. All that wonderfulness went to the one who would choose toilet water over anything else. Ah, well. Live and learn.
You can get three rounds of broth from one chicken. The how-to…
What you need
Water (enough to fill the pot)
A few bay leaves and a few tablespoons of black pepper (or whole peppercorns) for each round of stock.
The First Simmer.
If you used a Dutch oven or French oven like me, you can just cover with water, start a simmer and do something else for a while. If you used a pan, pour everything into a pot, fill with plenty of water, and simmer. Add a couple of bay leaves and black pepper. After about an hour, strain through a fine-mesh strainer and freeze what you won’t use right away in those screw-top Ziploc containers. This is just plain old stock. But oh, so good. I don’t salt it, because I use this broth for things where I want control over the salt. If it’s easier for you, you can always do the first round by the slow cooker method below.
The Second and Third Simmers.
Now you’re moving onto bone stock. The difference is, now you’re relying less on the joint tissue, meat and fat, and instead you’re getting as much as you can out of the bones. Add new bay leaves and pepper each time. Transfer to a slow cooker and simmer on low for 24 hours or more. When you’re done, strain and freeze as before. Then, make a few bucks by betting your friends that you can crush chicken bones in your hand. You totally can.
After that, the bones are practically powder and you can give them to the dog.
If you keep carrot and celery nubs or other veggie scraps in your freezer (don’t worry, you’ll start), throw those in to add flavor.
Then, watch your freezer stash grow and grow and grow…
This recipe is featured in Hybrid Rasta Mama’s real food holiday recipe link up!