Chicken broth is a ridiculously flavorful tool to keep in your kitchen. It makes use of the usually-discarded portion of a roasted chicken and so it is a “win” in the world of recycling and reusing as well. Whether you have roasted the chicken yourself or grabbed a quick rotisserie chicken at the market, you can pick the bones clean for your chicken dinner, chicken soup, or chicken salad and then you can use the remaining chicken bones to make your chicken broth. That chicken broth is then the base of your next soup. Chicken broth will make that soup, by the way. There is really nothing like it for flavor and richness. As for how to make it, there is little that can go wrong. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what works best for you. Simply simmering the bones in water is a winning strategy in itself.
On making multiple batches of chicken stock, check out my old video on YouTube, from long, long ago, that started the internet craze for “continuous broth.” In the case of chicken broth, I am inclined to stick to two batches. The bones are smaller and you just don’t get a whole lot of flavor going for those additional batches. That said, if you have some items to add, I would just keep it going.
Some people add vinegar to their broth to increase its mineral content. Vinegar does help draw minerals out of the bones and its flavor can be a nice little enhancement to your soup. On the other hand, the vinegar may taste terrible in your soup. I consider vinegar to be optional, especially if you really don’t care for the flavor. You will still get minerals from the chicken broth as well as the collagen, gelatin, and great flavor.
Vegetables can add great flavor to your chicken broth, if you stick to some of the broth-basic vegetables like celery and onions. Avoid turnip peels, broccoli, cabbage (and related foods such as brussel sprouts), green peppers, collard greens, and mustard greens. These vegetables tend to make the chicken broth bitter.
Some people actually add meat to their chicken broth in addition to chicken bones. Meat certainly adds great flavor to broth, but it is not an economical use of chicken. We use leftover chicken cuts in other dishes rather than adding it to broth.
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This homemade chicken broth is a delicious and economical base for your next soup.
Amanda Rose, Ph.D. lives in the Giant Sequoia National Monument with her husband and two sons. She founded the Eat Like A Bear website to support the awesomely inspiring community on Facebook, Eat Like A Bear!
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