Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chicken Broth (G)

A good soup broth is an amazing ingredient. Today's canned broths vary in quality as do those made from scratch. I prefer to make my own broths as they will only contain the best ingredients.  I also like to make the most of the foods I purchase, and always make us of a chicken carcass, beef bones, left-over vegetables, or too many vegetables before they are 'past-usin'', as the saying goes.

It takes some knowledge of 'food-chemistry' to produce a great broth and most good cooks have either figured out the how-to or learned it from someone else.

Hints to get you started:

*Make your broth the same day you cook your chicken - then, you will have the broth on-hand to make a delicious soup at a moment's notice on the perfect 'soup' day.

*Always strip extra meat off of the chicken carcass prior to refrigeration. Otherwise, the bones will give the left-over meat an 'off' flavor.

*Too much liquid added to the vegetables or bones/meat will dilute the broth and reduce the flavor.

Chicken Broth
 


 
 

Chicken carcass or bones from breast, thigh, leg pieces. (Remove skin - discard)
                          (I only use free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free chicken meat)

Thyme
Parsley
Bay leaf

Cheesecloth, string for Bouquet Garni (optional)

Water

Break up bones and put in a large pot. Add only enough liquid to barely cover the bones. Make the bouquet garni,  if desired, and place into the liquid.

BOUQUET GARNI - sounds fancy, but this is just a means to contain the herbs so they will not float in the liquid and be removed during the skimming process.

Put desired herbs in a little square of cheesecloth and tie up the ends with string to hold the herbs inside. Drop the bouquet into the liquid. Try to make the size of your bouquet fit the amount of liquid - 2 1/2 tsp. per four quarts of liquid.

Bring liquid up to a simmer. NO BOILING - high-heat will break down any fats. The dissolved fats will not float to the top of the broth when cooled. Not only will this make the broth less healthful, the fat particles will cause the broth to have an 'off' flavor.

Do not cover pot!

As the broth simmers, SKIM - skim off froth and other particles. Simmer bones and liquid for (3) hours.

Remove pot from heat. Strain liquid and discard bones and bouquet. Pour hot liquid into a glass container. Allow to cool. The fats will rise to the top and may be spooned out if broth is to be used immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate broth. The fat will harden and may be removed easily with a spoon or knife. Discard fat.
 





**Additional flavor hint: the carcass may be placed in a roasting pan, 425 degrees F, for 30 minutes. This will brown the carcass and create additional flavorful particles in the bottom of the roasting pan.
After the roasting process, place carcass in large pot. Add 1 C water to roasting pan and stir to loosen particles; add this liquid to soup pot. Continue as above.

Broth may be frozen in cubes or small containers as desired. Broth may also be refrigerated, then reheated every 5 days or so to a good simmer for 10 minutes, cooled and put back in the refrigerator.
 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diane - I would like to post this on my blog, Kitchen Tips and Treasures if you permit... Candy

    ReplyDelete