Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chicken Broth w/ Slow Cooker Option

Chicken broth is really easy to make with whatever you have on hand.  It can be as basic or complex as your heart desires.  I know many people just keep two separate bags of scraps in the freezer until they are full and then make broth.  One bag with bones, skin, and meat scraps.  And one bag with veggies that have beginning to turn and/or scraps like celery tops, carrot tops, and veggie peels.

There are no real exact measurements to make broth so you can add whatever you have or omit if you don't have or like something.  The main requirement is time and it will come together well.  

Chicken Broth
Chicken Carcass (or bones and scraps equivalent to approximately 1 medium chicken)
2-3 Carrots, cut into large chunks
1 Large Onion, cut in half
3 - Celery Stalks, cut into thirds (you can use what you did for roasting the chicken)
3-5 Cloves of Garlic, leave whole
2-3 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Dried Thyme 
About 7 Cups Tap Water
  • Break apart carcass and place in the pot
  • Add veggies and seasoning on top of carcass
  • Add water (I also add the pan juices from roasting the chicken), cover, and cook on medium low until it begins to bubble
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer for about 3-4 hours
  • Strain broth, discard veggies and chicken pieces, and then place broth in a covered bowl overnight (use a cheese cloth lined strainer for a more clear broth)
  • Skim fat off of the top and then separate into desired measurements and freeze (I do 1 cup, 2 cup, and ice cub trays)
To make in the slow cooker you just need to adjust cooking time and method slightly.  Do everything the same except do step 3 as follows and omit step 4:
  • Add water, cover, and cook on low for 10 hours (*hint* do this overnight or first thing in the morning)
Easy peasy and you will love the fresh, robust taste of homemade broth!

You can see there are still some specks of fat on the top.  I could have strained it one more time to make it even more clear and clean, but I decided not to worry too much about the small specks.  It is completely up to you.  It will still taste great either way :)

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