Home and hearth. What makes home, home? What gives you a feeling for family?
Home cooked food.
Chicken broth is versatile and affordable. It also tastes so much better than the commercial food you can find.
And it is the easiest thing to make really, many of us leave it be because we either don't know that it is easy or we don't know how to make it at all. But it is easy.
Let's say you ate a roast chicken, regardless if you prepared it yourself or ordered it from a restaurant. Of course it is better if you made your own homemade roast chicken. But either way you have everything that you need. All you have to do is keep the carcass and all the bones and other leftovers in the fridge or if you need to store them a little longer, in the freezer until you use them.
Tip: You can also start from any uncooked chicken in pieces or not. If you add raw chicken only buy the most economical pieces: thighs, drumsticks, etc. These make a better broth because brown meat contains more fat than white meat.
If you are working from leftovers throw the carcass (the same goes for raw chicken) in a large saucepan, with a small onion, 1-2 celery stalks cut in half (keep the leaves on the stalk), 1 large carrot cut in half, 1 whole garlic clove, a bay leaf and a sprig of parsley if you have any and a big pinch of salt and finally enough water to cover it all.
Over high heat bring everything to a boil, then let it boil for 1 hour. Add water if needed during cooking. After an hour: if you used raw chicken remove it now and put it away for another meal. You can let leftover chicken, which has already been cooked boil for another half hour or an hour longer.
Remove the bulk of the remaining bones and reduce the heat for half an hour to concentrate the broth if there is too much for your needs and you don't want to freeze any broth. Allow everything to cool for several hours.
The chicken broth is now finished. What a beautiful color! Yet there are absolutely no additives other than the ingredients mentioned in the recipe above. The taste is excellent just as you would imagine.
Economic notes: I make the broth from raw chicken thighs exclusively. They are usually on sale at the grocery store for my last batch I paid $0.69 a pound. I bought about a dozen for $5.00 and I was able to make 6 cups of chicken meat from cooking the broth. I'll use this meat (and the broth – about 16 cups – that I store in the freezer for later) it will be used for 3 different (and delicious) dinners (Chinese chicken stir-fry, a casserole and chicken and noodle soup.)
These meals will give a total of 10 to 12 servings, i.e. 4 or 5 meals for three people.
If we add the estimated cost of the other ingredients needed for these other meals we still arrive at only $10.
Bottom line: This is an economical way to cook great meals. Remember, chicken thighs are your friends.