26 March 2013

Recipe: "Homemade" Chicken Broth

 Although I may be organized in some aspects of my life, the kitchen is NOT one of them. I struggle with meal planning. The pantry is not well-stocked, and the fridge is usually full of odds and ends that could easily be found in a chef's "mystery basket" on Chopped.

But there is one time when even I feel organized and somewhat "domestic" in the kitchen: It's when I make my "homemade" chicken broth! I use the word "homemade" somewhat loosely here, and you'll see why. But whatever you call it, it's much tastier than store-bought broth and I like to think it's better for you, too. At a minimum, it's economical and allows you to get the most from your rotisserie chicken!  And I always feel somewhat smug when I saunter to the freezer and pull out a few containers to use in soup or stew! Let me walk you through my process.

My "homemade" broth is made from rotisserie chicken, which I often use in soup or casseroles. I'm sure you've seen these chickens at your local grocery store. In the basement of my dad's house, there's a very large rotisserie oven which used to belong to my mom. One of these days, I might take it home so I can make my own rotisserie chickens, but for now I just buy them when I need them.

 The first step is to cut off the meat (which actually works better when the chicken is still slightly warm), and use it in whatever recipe I happen to be making at the time.

Next, I place the carcass in a large stock pot, cover it with water, and toss in some vegetables -- usually onions and carrots. Since the rotisserie chicken is already seasoned with salt and pepper, there's no need to add anything else. 

This picture below is not from my kitchen, but it will give you the idea. I bring the pot to a boil then let it simmer for at least a couple of hours, depending on how much time I have.

After a couple of hours, the carcass pretty much falls apart in the pot and the liquid reduces somewhat. I strain the contents into a large bowl then let it cool.

 After the broth cools, I skim any fat from the top and ladle it into two-cup containers for freezing. I can usually fill three or four containers each time I make broth.

If you've never made your own broth, you should give it a try! It really couldn't be easier, and you'll feel very proud of yourself the next time you make a recipe that calls for this ingredient!

 Take that, Swanson's! :)


stewsbrew said...

Great idea using the rotissery chicken, that said, I like making it with necks, backs and wing tips (that I can buy in bulk at the Mexican grocery near me), and I give those a quick roast in a 450 degree oven (25 minutes) then deglaze that roaster with boiling water and the whole mess then goes into the stock pot with water and veggies like you do.

Another great hint: If you want truly clear chicken stock, run it through a Melitta coffee filter placed in a large funnel. - this is after you run it through a fine sieve to strain out all the bigger stuff.

Janet said...

Great tips, Stew! Love the coffee filter idea. Thanks for stopping by!