One of my favorite things to make from scratch is chicken broth. It’s simple and delicious. When it’s homemade, I control what goes in it, including how much salt is used. It took a little while to get used to the taste of homemade broth as it does taste different from store bought. Now I prefer it over the canned/box stuff.
I promise it’s easy to make chicken broth! Here’s what you need:
A chicken carcass (If I’m not going to make broth right away I freeze it.)
Veggies, such as onion, carrots, & celery, or veggie scraps such as the skin and ends of onions, the peel and ends of carrots, the ends and greens of celery, garlic skins, broccoli stems, collard green stems and cabbage (I use the core) work as well.
Salt, to taste
1. Place your chicken carcass in a crockpot. If you’re using a frozen carcass, you don’t have to defrost it first. You can use skin, bones, meat..use all of the chicken!
2. Add your veggies. You can either cut up carrots, celery and onion and whatever else you’re using OR you can use scraps. Often a lot of flavor and nutrients are in the parts of the veggies you throw away. I take these parts and put them in a Ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer. Once I have enough scraps (at least a 1/2 of a gallon bag) AND a chicken carcass, I make broth. So I toss the frozen scraps on top of the frozen carcass. This way I’m using as much of the vegetable as possible-nothing goes to waste!
3. Fill the crockpot with water. How much I put in depends on how big the carcass and how many veggies I have. So I just fill the crockpot until it’s full. You can also add salt if you’d like. I add a little because it helps enhance the flavor.
4. Cover it, turn it on low and let the crockpot do it’s magic. I often make broth overnight. The house smells good when you wake up in the morning! If you’re not going to make both overnight, then let it cook 6-8 hours.
5. The next morning I turn it off and let it cool. I know it’s done by how dark it is. If you dip a wooden spoon in the broth and hold it just below the surface, it should be a nice golden color. A note about letting if cool: in the past I used to turn it off and strain it right away. Every single time I did that, I burned my fingers. I burned them bad enough that blisters would form and it would hurt a lot. So now I let it cool. If you don’t let it cool, please be very, very careful you don’t burn yourself!
6. Once it’s cooled, strain the broth. You can use a cheesecloth to get it really clear but I use a normal colander. Place the chicken bones and veggies in a plastic bag and throw away (someplace that small children and dogs can’t get too!)
The yellowish white stuff floating on the top is cooled off fat. You can skim it off the top or keep it, it’s up to you. I usually skim off about half of it. I keep half because it does add some flavor. It’s totally up to you what you do!
7. I ladle my broth into mason jars because I like to store the broth in glass. We have a large upright freezer, so I have plenty of storage space.
8. Freeze until you’re ready to use!