I’ve been making homemade chicken broth for a few years now. I used to call it “stock” but I have since discovered that because I make it with the chicken meat and not just the bones it is considered broth. Broth is also normally seasoned with salt, and stock is not. Stock is more of a base to be used in another recipe, which would then be seasoned. Broth is more of a finished product, because of the use of the meat giving it a richer flavor. I guess technically the way I made it this time is more of a stock than the other way I make it…Ok, I’m obsessing. For the most part you can use either interchangeably. Either way, homemade is much better than store-bought, and much less salty!
This was the first time I ever made “roasted” chicken broth. I normally just simmer the chicken with the carrots, celery, etc, but I found out about two years ago that my turkey broth is MUCH better roasted, so I wanted to try it with chicken. I made a roasted chicken a few days before, so I had the bones right on hand, but you can also freeze a carcass with some leftover chicken meat in a freezer bag to make into broth at a later time.
Roasted Chicken Broth
Carcass, whole wings and legs ( meat and skin still on) of a 5-6 pound roasted chicken
3 carrots, peeled with the tops cut off and cut in half
3 stalks celery with some leaves
1 whole yellow onion, unpeeled
4-5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
small handful fresh parsley, stems on
5 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
cold water ( enough to cover everything in the pot)
Put the carcass, legs, and wings on a roasting pan and put in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. Remove from the roasting pan, letting the grease drip off, and put in a large stock pot along with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 2-3 hours. You can skim the foam that rises to the top with a spoon over the simmering time. The longer it simmers the more flavorful the finished broth will be! I admit I’ve made broth/stock in a hurry before, and it’s just not as flavorful, so I end up adding a lot of salt.
When it is done simmering, strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into another pot. Discard the vegetables. Reserve and remove the chicken from the bones if you are planning on making chicken soup with the broth. To cool the broth quickly, fill your sink with ice water, adding more ice as the water warms and stir the broth often. The easiest way I have found to skim the fat that rises to the top is to put the broth in containers and refrigerate until the fat hardens, but if you need the broth right away skim the top of the cooled pot with a spoon. You won’t be able to remove as much fat, but it will still be good! Once you have skimmed the fat, the broth can be frozen for up to 9 months. I normally always have some in my freezer, then make more as soon as it’s gone
Someday I will share the other way I make chicken broth, using a whole chicken, but right now I’m thinking I might stick with this way!