I like having chicken broth on hand for cooking & this is so easy there is no longer a reason to buy! Now you have a healthy broth chock full of vitamins & minerals that you know where it came from & no sodium (for those of you who are keeping an eye on your sodium intake).
- 1 whole chicken OR a mix of leftover chicken bones and/or uncooked chicken on the bone (Approx. 2-5 lbs)
- 4 Tbs vinegar
- Cool, filtered water – enough to fill your pot
- 3 carrots, scrubbed and very coarsely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, scrubbed and very coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut in quarters
- 2-3 Tbs crushed garlic
- 3 bay leaf
- 20 black peppercorns
*Note: The most important thing is to use chicken on the bone, because the bones is where all of the calcium and other minerals are! The amount of vegetables and water that you use is also very flexible. This recipe approximates what I usually aim for, but again, it doesn’t have to be exact. I always use the ingredients listed as optional for additional flavor, but possibly varying amounts.
Place all ingredients in your stock pot. Fill almost to the top with cool water. Let stand for 30-60 minutes. The vinegar will act to bring out more minerals from the bones during this time. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, and simmer, covered for anywhere from 4-24 hours. I usually shoot for around 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken or chicken pieces, and set aside to cool (I’ve found it is easier to separate the meat from the bones when they are still warm, the meat doesn’t fall off as easily once it’s completely cooled). Discard the vegetables and bones. Strain the broth into a large bowl and allow broth to cool in the refrigerator (or if it’s winter, set it outside) for overnight at least, 24 hours is better. Once it is cool, remove the fat that has congealed on top (I keep this chicken fat & freeze it for later use when I make chicken pot pie – makes the crust so tasty & your wasting less).
From here you can either start the process for making Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with the broth & chicken, chicken pot pie or freeze the broth for future use and use the chicken for chicken salad or tacos. If I freeze the broth, usually I do it in 2 or 4 cup amounts in quart freezer bags. I’ll make a point to clear a spot in the freezer to lay the bags flat, this way makes it easier to store the broth once it’s solid.
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