Remember when I told you that if you roast a chicken at home you can feed your family 3 times? The first night, you enjoy the homemade oven roasted chicken. The next night, you dine on a simple curry chicken salad. Then, you make homemade chicken broth and use the broth in a soup. Or, you can use this tasty broth and make flavorful brown rice or quinoa. The possibilities are endless.
The best way to start is to roast the chicken carcass first, just like I did for our Thanksgiving turkey. For the record, I rarely take the time to roast the carcass first when making homemade chicken broth, but it still tastes great. I’m usually in a hurry (or is it that I’m lazy?) in the kitchen. If you have extra time, roast it. If you’re like me and simply would rather not buy chicken broth at the grocery store, read on!
The nice thing about following this method for making homemade chicken broth is that you can do this with chicken you’ve oven roasted yourself at home by following the directions HERE or you can make broth from a store bought roasted chicken. Either version works fine. This is more of a method and less of a recipe.
I keep a plastic bag filled with vegetable scraps in my kitchen freezer. Anytime I’m chopping onions, cutting off carrot tops or celery ends, I toss them in this bag and keep it stored in the freezer until I’m ready to make broth. This keeping of vegetable scraps ready to go into broth is also an easy way to make a vegetarian broth as well.
Sometimes I add chicken bones or the carcass to the freezer bag and wait until I’ve got a big batch before I make broth. Or, I make it when I need it for a recipe. Or, I do it when I feel like.
I also toss in cheese rinds to the freezer bag. They add a nice flavor to the broth. .
Once I’m ready to make broth, I empty the vegetable scraps and chicken bones into a large stock-pot.
Next, I fill the pot with water and completely cover the vegetables and bones with water.
To the pot filled with water, I add pepper, red pepper flakes, Tabasco (couple shakes), Old Bay, thyme (fresh or dried) and maybe a little salt. You can also add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
Cover it with a lid and bring the pot to a boil. After it’s boiling, turn the stove down to low and let it simmer, with the lid on, for 2 or more hours.
After 2 or so hours, let it cool until you can pour it without burning yourself.
Congratulations, you have now made chicken broth!
After the pot has cooled, I pour it through a sieve to get the big pieces out. It helps to do this pouring in the sink because it can splash and be rather messy. I’ll either pour it directly into the jars for storing or, first, into a large (4 cup +) measuring cup, then into the storing containers.
If you live in Portland or other areas that allow you to compost food scraps, the scraps get placed directly into my yard debris composting bin collected by our garbage hauler.
Next, I pour the broth into jars. Make sure to leave plenty of head space at the top of the jars. When liquids freeze, they expand and glass jars can break.
And label the jars. When I don’t label the jars, I’m always annoyed with myself. I brought a gift of homemade applesauce to our friends recently and had to say, “This is either applesauce or chicken broth.” When it’s frozen, they look the same.
Then, I freeze the jars and have them on hand to quickly cook with. When I need broth, I take the broth out of the freezer a day or two ahead of time so it can thaw completely.
- 1 chicken carcass or bones frozen and saved for making broth
- vegetable scraps - carrot tops, onion skins, celery ends, herbs
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- Tabasco (couple shakes)
- Old Bay
- thyme (fresh or dried)
- kosher salt
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Toss all of the ingredients into a large pot and fill with water.
- Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
- Cook for about 2 hours.
- Cool completely and strain.
- Pour into glass jars and refrigerate.
By just stashing vegetable scraps and holding onto your chicken bones or carcass, you can make delicious homemade chicken broth with your leftovers! It’s easy, good for you, and costs a lot less than buying broth at the grocery store.
Do you make your own broth? Inspired to try it at home?