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Chicken Broth… From Actual Chicken

October 14, 2010

That title is misleading…

The chicken broth you buy at the store DOES come from actual chicken.

But see… the thing is… they have to add a lot of un-necessary stuff to it just to keep it stabilized as it travels by truck from factory to your cupboard.    And I don’t know what it is about it, but the flavor is just different.  Not as rich.

REAL chicken broth is deep, flavorful, and so rich that it gels slightly when refrigerated.  Does that gross you out?  Cuz’ it is kinda gross when you look at it.  But its the sign of a good-tasting homemade broth… and anyway, when you heat it back up it liquefies again.  And if I can handle it, you can.  I can’t even handle watching people eat turkey legs at the fair.  The greasy strings hanging from the bone just sicken me!

But that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s make homemade chicken broth!

The most important thing is to use meat that is still on the bone.  That’s where all the fat (and flavor) lurks.  (And the gelatin too… but I promise I’ll stop mentioning that.)

Grab a large stock pot…

And into it add:

– 1 large onion, quartered

-3 stalks of celery, cut into thirds

-2 large carrots, peeled, and cut into thirds

-3 peeled garlic cloves

-1 T. salt

-1 T. whole peppercorns (or 1/2 T. ground pepper)

-a handfull of fresh, flat-leaf parsley

-about 2-3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken (any part is fine… legs, thighs, breasts with ribs attached, or a mixture!)

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**Don’t worry about neatly chopping any of this.  Don’t worry about removing the celery leaves or the onion skins.  Everything is there to add excellent flavor, and later it’ll all be strained.

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Now then, fill the pot with water, til it covers the chicken.

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And start it to boilin’ and reducin’

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Feel free to walk away and amuse yourself elsewhere for a few hours.  As long as this pot isn’t boiling violently, you’re fine.

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When you’re ready (notice it’s about when you’re ready, not the broth… cuz broth is low-maintenance like that) come back into the kitchen and lift the chicken onto a cutting board with two forks.  Set it aside and let it cool a few minutes.

Turn your attention to the broth.

It’s got a good amount of fat on the top… I don’t have a problem with that but you can scoop some of it off with a spoon.  (You can also refrigerate the broth and the fat will harden and scoop off very easily.)

Like I said… I don’t have a problem with it.

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So I’m going to bypass the meticulous fat-scooping and move over to the strainer I have waiting over a large bowl.  A bigger strainer would make this easier for you, by the way.

My bigger strainer happens to be oval-shaped and that would be a poor choice for this task.

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Now simply empty the broth into the strainer and bowl.

And don’t try to be a hero… if you need an extra set of hands for this… grab a buddy.  Chicken broth covering your kitchen will ruin this for you.  Not that I would know.

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As you can see, this gets any remaining bits and pieces out of your broth.

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And what you’re left with is this rich, golden, homemade broth.  Ready to be used in whatever soup you’re cooking up today!

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Just think of the chicken noodle soup you could make with this stuff!  (I’d be sure to add a little garlic powder and turmeric for that.)

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Oh!  PLUS…

You also end up with this!

Cooked, shredded chicken!  (You’ll have to remove the bones and skin, of course, once its cooled.)

It’s just ready and waiting for you to throw it into a Quesadilla (seasoned with a little lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper)…

or make it into Chicken Salad…

or mix it with BBQ sauce and throw it onto a pizza!

The uses are endless.

So go forth and enjoy!

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