Are those enough?
Your house will also smell wonderful while simmering the broth.
Should be plenty of reasons.
I'm sure there are tons of recipes out there, and this is just the one I use. I looked up a number of them before going for it. This one was easy with few ingredients, most of which I always have on hand. Since I started making it more than a few months ago, I haven't even considered buying it from the store.
from Food Network
1 whole chicken, about 4lbs
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
1 leek, dark tops only
1 medium parsnip, peeled and quartered, optional
3 generous sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
3 generous sprigs flat-leaf parsley
5 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
About 4 quarts water
I use only the bottoms of leeks when I make my veggie soup, so I simply stick the tops in a bag and keep them in the freezer to use with this broth. Works out quite nicely. I add the parsnips if I have recently purchased a bag to use with other things or if the store is carrying loose parsnips, which they do from time to time. Otherwise, I skip it. Fresh or dried herbs work just fine. We always have organic onions, carrots, and celery on hand, and it doesn't cost hardly any extra, so we end up making organic chicken broth. We get our chickens either from Whole Foods or from a vendor at the Farmer's Market who sells organic whole chickens. At either place, we'll pay less than $12 for the chicken. Considering the fact that everything is organic and we use the chicken for other meals, this is a very cost efficient recipe. Add in that 2lbs of chicken breasts from Whole Foods - where we get our chicken breasts - costs $12 alone (!), I feel like I'm getting an extra 2lbs of chicken and 15-16 cups of chicken broth for free... Before, we bought organic chicken broth, and that costs a lot more than free.
Toss chicken, veggies, herbs, and peppercorns in large stockpot. Pour in enough water just to cover chicken completely.
Heat the water to just under a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low simmer so that 1 or 2 bubbles break the surface each minute. Skim any foam off surface with a ladle or skimmer. (If you have a degreasing cup, which I don't and don't feel the need for, you can put the skimmed liquid in it and return any usable broth back into the pot in order to not lose a lot of stock. I never feel like I'm losing much, really.) Cook for about an hour or until the chicken is cooked through but not dry.
Remove the chicken from the pot, but continue to simmer broth. Cool chicken for about 10 minutes. Cut the meat from the bone (I just use my fingers, but yes, it will still be hot in parts), and reserve. Return the bones to the pot and cook for another hour. They make it sound like it takes no time to get all the meat off. If you are doing a good job, it will take a while. Give yourself about 15 or so minutes, maybe a bit more. It's not a five-minute job... But this is the most work you will have to do!
Strain into a non-reactive container, like another pot. I use a really large stainless steel mixing bowl. This is a LOT of broth. Fill the sink with a mixture of ice and cold water, coming about halfway up the sides of the container. I put the empty bowl in the sink first, put ice around it, put the broth in the bowl, and then put cold water in the sink. Seems to work better in that order. I really don't want to be carrying a huge bowl of hot broth around and trying to fit it in a sink full of ice and water. (You can stir the broth around to help it cool faster, if you want.) After the broth has cooled (this stops the cooking process), cover and refrigerate up to five days or freeze it. I freeze mine in quantities which I will need it for various recipes, for cooking rice, etc.
Pretty easy! It might sound like a lot of work if you haven't done it, but it's not. There's not much hands-on time at all. And it's all totally worth it!
We love to use the remaining chicken for lots of things... I usually freeze most of it in amounts we'll use later for recipes. Our favorite is the chicken salad that most of us, especially Aiden, love so much.
Oh, and here's some exciting news (if you get excited over this kind of thing...). Whole Foods is having one of their one-day sales tomorrow (Friday, the 18th) on their organic whole chickens! They'll be on sale for $1.69/lb. So, run out, get some, and then make some chicken broth! I already made some this week, but I'm going to get a few to put in the freezer anyway! Details here.
UPDATED TO ADD:
|Veggie scraps in one bag, leek tops in the other. This makes |
the broth nearly free...all you pay for is the chicken!
|After all is said and done, I am left with 15 cups of broth and|
4 1/2 cups of cooked chicken. Not bad when all I bought was
the chicken, which cost around $12 or so!
You could also skip the chicken and make vegetable broth! Using scraps, seasoning, and water...it's basically FREE!