Once I tried making chicken stock and realized that it actually wasn’t that hard to make, I decided to try making chicken broth. It, too, turns out to be a simple process at its basic level.
Chicken broth is thinner than stock and is made with the meat of the chicken. The meat gives broth its flavor. (The carcass and bones give stock its body.) I like the fact that you can flavor the broth for a specific dish by adding different veggies and seasonings. For example, I like adding chile peppers and cilantro to give my broth a little kick in Mexican rice and chili.
The recipe below reflects my experiments after referencing family recipes and several classic cookbooks (such as The All New All Purpose Joy Of Cooking). I look forward to experimenting more with flavoring chicken broth.
Freeze the broth in 1-2 cup quantities so that it is ready to go for soups, rices and other dishes.
If you don’t have time to make the broth, make a quick chicken broth using chicken breasts for a shortcut.
1 whole chicken
6-8 cups cold water, enough to just cover the chicken
1 medium onion, quartered
2 carrot sticks, in chunks
2 celery sticks, in chunks, including the leafy head
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
*Once the chicken is cooked, you can continue seasoning the broth to taste.
Spicy Version: Add 1 Anaheim chile (or any other chile of your choice). Substitute 1/4 cup cilantro for the parsley.
Add all of the ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer for several hours. Skim the top of the broth occasionally to remove the scum that floats to the top.
Remove the chicken when it is cooked and save it for another use.
If you are simply making broth and will be discarding the veggies, you can leave them in larger chunks, and include the leafy heads of the celery and carrots. You can add them all to the pot together, bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for four hours or until the veggies no longer have flavor. Drain the broth and discard the veggies. Once the broth has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The following day, remove the layer of fat from the top of the broth. Freeze the broth in 1-2 cup quantities or use immediately. (It should keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.)
TIP: If you are making soup and want to keep the veggies in the broth, peel and chop them. Add the chicken to the pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the celery, onion and garlic and let simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the carrots and chile peppers and finish cooking.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth. Let the broth continue to simmer while you cut the chicken into chunks and return the pieces of chicken meat to the broth.