A Whole Food How To: Making Your Own Chicken Broth

Traditional Diet

  1. Ruth says:

    What a fabulous and informational post Eryn!! Mastering a good broth has been a personal endeavor of mine for the past year. I totally agree with this: “Making our own broth taught us that as we invest time into our food, there is a phenomenal return in both flavor and nutrition.” I also prefer to use a whole chicken – what are some of the things you like to do with the cooked chicken meat? I love your suggestion of using freezer bags and ice cube trays to store the broth – I have been using saved plastic yogurt containers but they aren’t so easy to dethaw… One variety that I also really like is sautéing the carrots/celery/onion/garlic in butter or olive oil first – and then adding a cup of white wine and letting it simmer for 5-10 minutes before adding the chicken and the cold water – I also like to add a few bay leaves. A question that I have is regarding saving or skimming the chicken fat – some chefs say to skim it off and some say to use it – is the fat content really high/bad? I definitely appreciate the flavor the fat adds and feel like I can get more use out of it by adding water to dilute the thicker fatty broth in most soups…

    • erynlynum says:

      Thanks Ruth! Fantastic thoughts and questions 🙂 Your stock sounds delicious! Starting with a mirepoix (saute of carrots, celery, onion and garlic) is a great way to develop flavor from the ground up. I would definitely suggest it also. I actually prefer to do the mirepoix after the broth has been made. I just like keeping the actual making of the broth very simple. When making soup, I make the mirepoix (if I’m using one), then add my already made broth, then start adding any other soup ingredients.

      I like to use the cooked chicken in soups, of course, but then also in sautes. Or we make quasadillas a lot for quick snacks or lunch during the week, so it’s nice to have chicken ready to throw in those. We’ve even put the chicken in omelets and that’s tasty!

      I think skimming the fat is preference also. Even in the book I referenced, Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food, she recommends skimming off the fat after it has sat in the fridge. Once cooled, the fat solidifies and is easy to scoop off. In reference to the fat content, it depends on what type of chicken you use. If you use a chicken that was raised on pasture, the fat is plenty healthy for you, so I like to leave it. I also enjoy the flavor it adds to the broth.

  2. Lori Becker says:

    I have done this a few times after the holidays but would think you could do it with chicken carcase too. By roasting it first it gives it a so rich and yummy flavor.. thought I would share with you

    1 large turkey carcass ( with some meat left on if possible)
    2 medium onions, quartered
    1 large celery rib leaves included, coarsely chopped
    2 large carrots, peeled
    4 quarts cold water ( or use enough water to cover)
    1 large bulb of garlic ( separated into whole cloves, can omit if desired)
    6 peppercorns
    1 large bay leaf
    salt ( optional and to taste)
    Directions
    Set oven to 400 degrees F.
    Break up the carcass into smaller pieces then place on a greased baking sheet along with the onions, celery, and carrots,.
    Roast for about 40 minutes turning once through cooking time.
    Place the bones and vegetables in a large stock pot along with the garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf (you do not have to peel the cloves).
    Pour the water over; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    Reduce heat to low then cover and simmer for about 3-1/2 hours.
    Carefully strain through a sieve over a large bowl and discard the solids.
    Love your blog Lori

    • erynlynum says:

      Thanks Lori! That sounds delicious! Andi always claims the leftover turkey carcass every Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll just have to make a turkey myself soon 😉

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  23. Jen says:

    My favorite way to store homemade broth is in lansinoh breastmilk bags. they are the perfect size! and less tedious than ice cubes.

    thanks for the “simmer” tip! I totally didn’t know that!

    • eryn@lynum.us says:

      Oh my word! That is a fantastic idea! And a great use of unused breastmilk bags when done nursing 😉

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