I had something else entirely planned for this week’s post, but in light of COVID 19 and the grocery stores running low on essentials, I thought I’d take the next couple of posts to write about foods you probably buy premade, but can easily make at home yourself. Today’s is how to make your own homemade chicken broth.
This has been on my list to write about for a while. Yes, it’s easier to buy a couple of cartons and keep them in the pantry – and I do that as well – but it’s also really easy to make your own and freeze it. I try to always have a couple of bags in the freezer for when I need it. And, if you are like me, that aisle in the grocery store was pretty well wiped out by the time I got there so I’m really glad I had a few bags stocked away!
Making your own broth is really easy and it’s a good way to use up vegetables like carrots and celery that might be on their last legs (or scraps that you have frozen).
Speaking of which, I will freeze scraps of carrots and celery for just that reason and if I’ve made a roast chicken, or purchased a rotisserie chicken, I’ll freeze the carcass too. Then I can make the broth when I have time and I always have what I need. There is no reason to throw away that Rotisserie chicken carcass – it makes a delicious broth!
10 Steps for Making Homemade Chicken Broth
- Wash your hands! (for at least 20 seconds)
- Fill a large, clean stockpot with at least 8 – 12 cups of cool water. (I use 16 cups of water with 2 chicken carcasses)
- Add 4 carrots and 4 celery stalks, cut into 3 – 4-inch pieces.
- Add 1 onion, peeled and trimmed and cut into quarters. (If I have any leeks, I’ll add those as well)
- Submerge 1 – 2 chicken carcass’ in the water (the water should cover them). I try to leave some meat on the bones as I think it makes a richer stock.
- If you have fresh thyme and parsley, tie them up with a piece of clean string and add them to the pot. Also add black peppercorns, bay leaves, and rosemary if you want. Just add them to the pot and you can skim them out later. If you don’t have fresh herbs, add dry – it will work too.
- Heat the water to almost a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer on the stove for a couple of hours. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor.
- Prepare Ziploc bags or containers. I usually have a mix of a few 6 cup bags (I use the gallon Ziploc bags), a couple of 2 cup bags and 1 cup bags (I use the quart size bags), depending on how much broth I make.
- Strain the broth and pour it into your individual bags or containers. Packing them in small portions means they will cool and freeze quickly.
- Place the bags in different areas of your freezer or refrigerator to cool quickly. If you place them on top of one another or too close it will take too long to cool. To avoid food safety issues, always cool the broth in small amounts to get them to a safe temperature quickly.
So, there you have it! It’s really pretty easy – throw everything in a pot and let it cook all afternoon. The hardest or most time-consuming part is straining the broth and bagging it up. But then you have a freezer full of homemade chicken broth that is perfect for Chicken Noodle Soup or my Italian Sausage and Bean Soup! I use the smaller bags to make rice, couscous or add to sauces. Using chicken broth just amps up the flavor of all of those dishes so I use it whenever I can.
So, if you want to make your own and don’t have a chicken carcass (I mean who does, other than a crazy cook like me?), order a Rotisserie chicken for dinner and save that carcass!
Have any questions about making broth? Let me know in the comments!