Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Favorites: Broth from Bones

I've had a couple people ask me recently exactly what I do when I make chicken broth. I've mentioned my love of home made broth several times on here, but never really done a "step-by-step". So for those who are interested, here's what I do:

First, cook up a whole chicken (or bone-in chicken pieces) any way you please.

Eat up, then pick off any excess meat from the bones (great for soups!)

Once your bones are semi clean (there's still plenty of skin and fat left on mine usually) place them in a large pot.

Wash and chop up carrots, celery and onions into ~1 inch chunks. For my taste preferences I usually do 2 carrot sticks, 3-4 celery sticks and 1 large onion. Feel free to skip peeling the carrots and taking the leaves off the celery, both of these add flavor when left on. I've heard the onions don't need to be peeled either, but I haven't been that brave.

Toss the veggies into the pot with the bones and cover with water until bones are fully or almost fully submersed.

I also like to add several grinds of pepper, a pinch of sea salt and a bay leaf, but those are all optional.

Bring water to a boil, then turn down heat to low-medium and simmer for 1 hour.

Let cool, strain and freeze or refrigerate as desired.

Straining is the only tricky part in this whole process. I never realized this because I typically make my stock in one of the beautiful pots loving friends and family purchased from my bridal registry. The stock pours out of these perfectly, never spilling a drop.

During our stay in Florida, however, I made stock in the cheap cookware provided by the rental company and pouring was disastrous. The stock ran down the side of the pot and got everywhere. The moral of the story: pour your stock into a container safely located in the sink until your sure which type of cookware you own.

Also, I find it much easier to have one person stabilizing/holding the strainer while the other one pours the liquid through.

I was really intimidated the first time I tried this, but now I never throw chicken bones away before they've made some of this yummy broth.


The Vogt Family said...

I made stock for the first time last week using your suggestions! I have a pot that has a strainer thing in it, so I thought I would be all cool and use that pot. However, it also adds an inch of water underneath all the bones and veggies, so it takes more water. While it smelled absolutely delicious while I was letting it simmer, the final product was very watered down. :( So, practice makes perfect, and I think I will have to suck it up and just use a regular pot next go round! Thank you for this!

Sarah_Joy said...

My last batch was a bit watery as well, and I'm still not sure why. So I'm definitely still learning too!

It may be that the free range chicken I was using was just less fatty than the ones I'm used too, or that I didn't have the heat up high enough, or that I had the bones of a 2.5lb chicken rather than a 4lb idea!

I'm thinking of it as "light" broth and figure it'll be fine in a flavorful soup like tortilla chicken : )