Shortly after posting 16 Things You Can Make Weeks Ahead to Make Packing School Lunches Easy, I was asked to post my recipe for chicken broth.
Broth as we know, is just water in which meat, animal bones, or vegetables have been simmered in, to extract flavour and nutrients. Broth can be consumed as is, or used as a base for soups, gravies, and sauces. It can also be used to flavour rice or Greek-style potatoes. Making broth is not difficult at all, which is great news for those that don’t want to use bouillon cubes or store-bought broth. I usually save my carrot tops, bell pepper tops, any unused herbs and vegetables, by freezing them in a large Ziploc bag. Once I have accumulated enough, I make either vegetable broth or chicken broth using a whole chicken minus the skin, cut into large pieces. There is no need to discard the meat after making the broth; the meat can be picked off the bones and reserved for later use. I tend to use the meat for soups or in pastas.
The recipe below gives you a rich, dark-coloured broth. If you prefer a lighter broth, lessen the amount of herbs and omit the red pepper. For a darker broth, try adding mushrooms. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add or omit items based on what you prefer or have on hand. When you see the recipe, you will notice that it contains red pepper, garlic, and lemon rind, which is not typical of most chicken broth recipes. I add red pepper is for its high Vitamin C content and garlic for its antibacterial properties. Lastly, I add lemon peel for its high Vitamin C content as well as for its amazing other benefits, that you can check out HERE.
Chicken Broth RECIPE
- 3 pound whole chicken (preferably stewing hen), skinned and cut into large pieces
- 2 carrots with skin, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of celery plus leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, halved
- 1 white onion with skin, chopped into four
- I inch by 1 inch piece of lemon rind (optional)
- 8 cups of water
- 2 bay leaves
- quarter cup parsely, chopped
- quarter cup basil, chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- salt to taste
- Put all the ingredients in a large stock pot, and cook on medium-low heat for 4-5 hours, taking care to stir every hour or so.
- Once done, let cool slightly before draining the broth into a clean container.
- Discard the vegetables and pick the meat off the bones before discarding the bones.
- Store your broth in the refrigerator overnight.
- The following morning, you will see a thin layer of chicken fat solidified on the surface of the broth. Drain the broth again.
- Once you obtain clear broth, store the broth in clean containers and freeze or use within three days.
- This recipe can be made in a slow cooker as well. Cook it for 8-10 hours.
- If you prefer not to use a whole chicken, opt for chicken bones instead. If using chicken bones, try roasting them first, for a more robust flavoured stock.
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