Everyone should know how to make homemade broth. (There is a difference between stock and broth, but for the sake of this article I’m using the term “broth” to describe a long simmered concoction of meat, bones, veggies and herbs.) Yes, you can buy excellent quality boxed varieties, but do they taste and feel like the homemade stuff? To me, they don’t even come close.
- Read the directions first. All the way through. They’re very detailed, meaning they’re ignoramus proof.
- Do this on an evening when you have 4-5 hours at home before bed. But don’t plan on eating the broth that night.
- Save those plastic take-out containers. You’ll need them.
- Have chicken recipes ready to go (see below). This broth will leave you with a lot of deliciously poached chicken.
- Get in the mindset of “THIS IS EASY.” Even though it’s at 12 hour+ process, you only have 30 active minutes.
- Germophobes: you will be leaving this guy on the counter to cool overnight. If you’re squeamish about botulism, relax. Travel the world and you’ll realize our food sanitation standards can be over-the-top. Read this post from The Kitchn if you need some piece of mind.
Once this pot of liquid gold is made, it affords one FAST and endless opportunities. Since the hard work is done and so much flavor resides in the broth itself, all you need to do is throw in a handful of ingredients and, like magic, you have the most amazing bowl of soup! My favorite broth applications:
VIETNAMESE TOFU MUSTARD GREENS SOUP
THE ULTIMATE CHICKEN BROTH
Makes approx. 12 Cups
- 5 lb whole ORGANIC, FREE RANGE chicken
- 4 carrots, unpeeled
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 head of garlic, left whole
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 Tbsp each of salt & peppa
- 3 liters or 12.5 cups of water
Rinse the chicken, veggies and lemon. If the chicken comes with the neck, gizzards and heart rinse those too. (Leave out the liver, it makes the broth cloudy.) Throw everything into a biiiiig pot, crank the heat to high and bring to a boil. This takes about 20-30 minutes. Skim any unsightly foam.
Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for another hour. Keep skimming the goop. After the hour is up carefully remove the chicken, place on a plate and let it rest until its cool enough to handle. The chicken should be so tender that it’s slightly falling apart.
Time to get your hands dirty and dismember the chicken. Skin and bits of fat are trashed. Meat is saved and stored. Bones and cartilage go back into the pot. This should take no longer than 10 minutes. No need to scavenge every morsel of meat. It will still fulfill its duty if it goes back into the pot.
Cover the broth, turn heat to low and let simmer for AT LEAST another 2 hours. Shut off the heat. Go to bed. The magic happens as the broth cools over the next 8 hours.
Wake up. Strain the broth through a colander and into another large pot. Divide into storage containers and refrigerate, freeze and/or heat it up and drink it out of a mug.