Sunday, January 6, 2013


My love affair with home-made broth started in conjunction with my love affair with the $7 rotisserie chickens at Whole Foods every Monday.  It's part of their weekday deals program, and I buy one pretty much every Monday.  Sometimes I make things like Hungarian chicken paprikash with it, and sometimes we just tear into it along with a salad and call it dinner.  The vanilla pepper one is awesome.

I can't remember where I first read about making home-made broth, probably in our local newspaper's food section, which I used to read religiously every Wednesday.  I used to buy those expensive jars of "better than bouillon" for soups and such, and I hated spending so much money on something I could make myself that would taste better anyway.

So here is the (very simple) procedure.

1.  Eat up all the meat from your rotisserie chicken.  If you can't finish it in one sitting, pick what's left off and make chicken salad (preferably in the food processor with a little onion, grainy mustard, curry, mayo, salt, pepper...spread on crackers for lunch, with a pickle, it's heaven).

My grandmother always said that heaven for her will be a place full of watermelons and where she doesn't ever have to pick chickens.  I sorta like it though, as does my daughter.

2.  Throw the carcass in a big pot, the size you would use to boil pasta.  I try to remove as much fat as I can, but I don't stress about getting every morsel.

3.  Roughly chop carrots, celery (leaving the leaves), garlic cloves and onions.  Throw those in the pot too.

Notice how roughly everything is chopped and that the leaves are still on the celery stalks.

 4.  Add to the pot any or all of the following: salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, parsley, ginger, marjoram.

5.  Cover everything with water and bring to a boil.  Let it boil for at least an hour, and then let it cool.  Strain what's in the pot, and you have your broth.

A very unattractive photo as I work on my broth, but notice the turkey on the counter behind me.  For the last two Thanksgivings, I've made turkey broth, and holy crap, is it delicious.

I know that broth purists will note that this broth will be cloudy.  Yes, it's true.  I make cloudy broth.  Maybe at some point in the future when my kids are grown, I will take the time to make clear broth, but I just can't be bothered with it now.  What I make tastes delicious and adds so much flavors to my savory recipes, from a plethora of soups to sides like mashed potatoes. 

A final note: I have found that one chicken can make about two and a half quarts of broth, so I usually freeze it in quart-sized ziploc bags and pull it out as I need it. 

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