I was running out of chicken broth, so I decided it was time to throw a chicken in a pot and make up some stock. As I was standing there picking the meat off the bones, Hannah was keeping me company and chatting away.
She started telling me about how important recycling is for the planet.
“Mama, recycling is good, isn’t it?”
“It sure is, baby.”
“Well, since your busy with that chicken, I’m gonna tell you some things that are great for recycling, okay?”
“You can recycle things that are wooden. You can recycle plastic straws. You can also recycle glass things, like jars and glass eyes.”
Do you know someone with a glass eye?
“No, but you could recycle one if you wanted to. It would be nice for the planet.”
I see. Yes, it sure would.
“You can also recycle cereal boxes, plants, and suitcases. Stuffed animals. Lions and the stingers of bees.”
Hmmm…that’s quite a detailed list you have.
“Yeah, I know all about recycling.”
And I’m sure everyone has their own way of making chicken stock, but in case there’s someone out there reading who doesn’t and might be interested in trying it, here’s how I do it. There are tons of benefits to making your own broth. For starters, no preservatives or weird stuff in there that you have to worry about consuming. The flavor is about a million times better than store bought broth. I add veggies to my pot while it’s simmering to add some more nutrition. Any time I’m chopping up veggies, I’ll throw the remains (think broccoli stems, celery or carrot tops) into a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. *I don’t recommend spinach though, it gets all wilty and falls apart and is hard to separate from the meat* Then when it’s time to make my stock, I just throw them all in the pot. Not to mention that you get all that wonderful meat to use in recipes along with your broth, so that’s a bonus! The color of the broth looks nothing like what you buy. It’s a deep golden brown, but that’s a good thing. Don’t be alarmed.
3-4 lb chicken, remove the innards
12 C. water
veggie leftovers from the freezer
one whole onion
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. parsley
1 t. basil
Place chicken in large stock pot.
Add rest of ingredients.
Cover and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Remove chicken and let cool. Remove meat from bones and throw bones back into the pot.
Return to boil and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Strain stock and cool slightly.
Now, some people let it cool long enough for the fat to congeal at the top, then remove the fat. I don’t. I think it enhances the flavor. However, if you don’t remove the fat, just remember that when you cook with the broth, the food you’re preparing will have a higher fat content. I let it cool enough to be able to put in baggies. Sometimes I use jars because I hate paying for baggies when I have tons of jars. If you use jars, you MUST let the broth cool COMPLETELY before freezing. Otherwise your jars will ‘splode in the freezer!
I freeze mine in 2 C. portions. Use within 3 months.