If you’ve ever used homemade chicken broth in your cooking, then you know what a difference it makes to the flavor of a dish. If you haven’t, have no fear. Broth is super easy to make and easy to freeze – all you need is time to coax the wonderful flavors into your liquids. So pick a weekend, set aside some kitchen time, and make your home smell wonderful.
**I've found that previously roasted poultry brings a stronger flavor to the broth. This is a great way to make use of leftovers. If you don't have the time right after cooking your bird, freeze it until you're ready. Don't forget to save and use the bones too!
- 5 pounds chicken or turkey parts
- 1 yellow onion – quartered
- 1 head garlic – halved
- 2 parsnips – cut into medium sized pieces
- 1 carrot – cut into medium sized pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs thyme
In a large sized pot (such as a lobster pot), combine all your ingredients and fill with cold water leaving at least an inch of room from the top and cover. Over medium to medium-high heat bring temperature of water up to simmer. Reduce heat and maintain a good simmer for at least 5 hours, skimming off any foamy fat layers that rise to the surface. Keep your pot covered to reduce the amount of evaporation as much as possible. And when the broth tastes right to you, let cool and strain off your solids.
I traditionally freeze my broth in 1 and 3 cup containers. This year I am also going to freeze broth into ice cube trays for easy use in small batch cooking.
For those of you with a whole weekend dedicated to your broth, feel free to reuse your poultry for a second round – there are still plenty of nutrients to be found in the meat and bones. And the flavor can be almost as strong if you allow additional time for your simmer. Pick through and discard your old vegetables, and replace with new along with new seasonings. Return to the stove-top, add water, and repeat the same process again. It helps to label the broth as Firsts and Seconds (as in the rounds of cooking) so you can judge how strong the flavor will be when cooking later on.