Ultra Simple Homemade Chicken Broth.
The first time I ever made homemade chicken broth, I wanted to kick myself for all the money I'd wasted buying expensive cartons of the highest-quality-I-could-find-but-still-mediocre broth at the market.
Because here's the thing: If you roast a chicken, you can also make a few quarts of chicken broth for only the cost of the water in the pan.
Here's the other thing: There are a ton of recipes out there that tell you to add this or that to homemade chicken broth, but all you really need to do is put some chicken bones in a pot, cover them with water, and let it simmer away for 12 hours or so.
If you get in the habit of roasting chickens a few times a month, purchasing broth becomes a completely unnecessary expense. If you make more broth than you can use that week, freeze it. You can also freeze the chicken bones to make broth with them later.Print
- The bones from one or two roasted chickens, most of the meat removed
- After picking most of the meat from a roasted chicken, put the bones - leftover skin, carcass and all - in a heavy bottomed sauce pan or dutch oven. Add enough water to the pot to cover the bones.
- Stovetop: Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid, and turn the heat down to low. The goal is to keep it at a gentle simmer, with very small bubbles gently breaking through to the surface at a slow and leisurely pace, while covered with a lid. For the first hour of cooking, peek under the lid a couple of times to see if this gentle simmer is happening and adjust the heat up or down if necessary. Then, simply leave it alone and allow it to cook for at least 12 hours, and up to 24.
- Slow Cooker: Add the water and bones to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn the heat down to low and let cook for at least 12 hours, and up to 24.
- Remove the lid and allow it to cool for a bit just to make straining the bones from the broth a bit easier. Set a colander over another large sauce pan or bowl and strain the broth from the bones.
Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Don't worry about picking the bones perfectly clean of meat. Some scraps of meat left on the bones enriches the flavor of the broth.
After roasting your chicken, reserve the liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan and pour that into the pot with the bones and the water.
I almost always let the chicken broth simmer away over night. After roasting a chicken for that night's meal, I get it simmering at the right temperature, and then go to bed. In the morning, depending on my schedule, I sometimes let it simmer for a bit longer, or I strain and refrigerate it soon after waking up.
The broth can be used right away; however, chilling it in the refrigerator allows the excess fat to congeal at the top so you can just scrape it right off.