Bone broth can be made with any meaty bones – chicken, turkey, beef, pork, possum, etc. Once done, it can be frozen for months. Whenever I buy rotisserie chickens from the store, I strip the meat and use the carcasses for broth. Since it’s just as easy to make a giant pot of broth as it is to make a small batch, I save up carcasses and bones until I have enough to make a big batch. You can also freeze the parts of vegetables you’d usually discard and add them to the broth.
- 2 whole chickens can leave gizzards and neck intact
- 2-3 quarts garlic, celery, onions, carrots, other veggies use what you have on hand, rough chopped
- cold water enough to cover chicken & veggies
- salt or chicken base
- Place whole chickens in a preheated 350 degree oven or covered grill. Smokers are OK, too. Add onions, celery and carrots, turning them often to brown evenly. Browned = flavor. Cook until the internal temperature is +/- 180 degrees. Allow the chicken to cool. Remove the cooked breast fillets, thigh meat and any other “good” meat. Use any way you’d use cooked chicken.
- Place everything but the reserved cooked meat in a large stock pot. Add some fresh garlic. You can just break up a whole bulb. I don’t use the crap in the jars. Handy, but not the same flavor. Cover everything, including skin, in the pot with COLD water. Cold water helps release the proteins and produces a clearer stock. Some use tomato, wine or vinegar to help break down the cartilage. I don’t think it’s necessary.Heat the pot, uncovered, until the liquid is just below a boil. Set the temp so that the broth is at a low simmer. I usually load the pot up with water and go to bed. If the temp is very low, nothing bad will happen. When I’m in and out of the kitchen, I’ll increase the heat a bit more since I can keep my eye on it.
- It takes 8 to 10 hours to make a good broth. Once the liquid has been reduced by at least half, but less liquid is better, take tongs or slotted spoon and remove the big parts. You can pull the meat off the bones, but there’s not much flavor left. Pour the rest through a colander into another container. Then line the colander with cheesecloth and pour the broth through the colander into a smaller stock pot. Bring to a low boil and reduce by at least one-third. Here’s where I add salt or, better, a little chicken base. You can add salt later as well. Allow to cool and pour into a tall container. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Once cooled after several hours, there will be a layer of yellow fat on top. I discard this, but nothing bad will happen if you eat it. On the bottom, there may be some fine impurities. I discard that, too.
You can save the broth in freezer-safe ziplock bags or jars with lids. I do prefer to reduce the broth to concentrate the flavor and take up less freezer space. You can always add water. ONE OF THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES HOME COOKS MAKE WITH STOCKS ANE BROTHS IS TO NOT REDUCE IT ENOUGH. When it’s done and cooled in the fridge overnight, it should turn to “jello.” If it doesn’t, that’s OK. It just hasn’t been reduced long enough. Making a good broth is a slow, albeit passive process. The pot doesn’t need supervision, just ample time to get the good stuff out. Once cooled, it can be frozen in batches. If you freeze flat in freezer-safe zipper lock bags, you can break off a chunk or two for sautéing meats and vegetables.
- Roast chicken and vegetables.
- Remove chicken meat.
- Place everything else in a pot with some garlic and cover with cold water.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid to cover the contents of the pot.
- Strain and reduce.
- Season with salt or chicken base.