So, you’ve been making your own chicken broth for a while now. It couldn’t be easier, right? WRONG! I’ve found the easiest way to make chicken broth. Ever. And, we aren’t just going to make a “one-size-fits-all” broth. I will show you how to make a broth richer or clearer, depending on your final dish.
FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CROCK POT, ALL OVER AGAIN.
IF YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES you can make your own broth: It takes only a few minutes of your time to make chicken broth in your crock pot. It results in a deep, rich broth to enjoy on its own, or turn into something delicious! Place your chicken & chopped veggies in your slow cooker, turn on low and head to bed. Wake up in the morning and joy! The house smells delicious, and you are ready to create something wonderful!
IF YOU HAVE A LITTLE MORE TIME and want to add a little more flavor, read on and see some simple ways to add a bunch of flavor! There is ultimate flexibility with this approach, and it makes a great base for whatever is on this week’s menu. I have listed some options for you below, but don’t be afraid to dream up some ideas of your own.
You can use a whole chicken, chicken wings and thighs, or if you are really adventurous, chicken feet.
I tend to buy a whole organic chicken and cut the breast meat off. I don’t care for the chicken meat after it has been poached while making the broth. To make the chicken & the broth more flavorful, I roast the whole chicken for an hour. Then, I cut off and set aside the chicken breast meat, cut up the remaining chicken, exposing as many bones as possible, and use it for the broth. To make an extra clear broth (especially important when making Pho) don’t roast the chicken first, but stick the chicken in a pot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, dump off the water and rinse the chicken of impurities before beginning to make the broth.
The base vegetables for a good, basic stock are carrots, an onion and celery. To make it even easier, you can cut up the vegetables, peels and all, and throw them in the slow cooker. If I am going for a lighter, clearer stock, then I peel the vegetables, but if it isn’t important to the final dish, then I don’t. Either way, wash them so they are clean and chop into sizable chunks. You can also roast the carrots, onions and any other vegetables you are using, prior to making the broth.
This is where you can make a big difference in the resulting broth, depending on your plans for the final dish. In addition to the chicken and vegetables mentioned above, here are some fabulous & tasty options:
- For a light clear broth, add fresh bay leaves and peppercorns.
- For an Italian flair, add parsley, garlic and fennel.
- For a Japanese flair, add garlic, ginger, scallions and mushrooms. Remove from heat and add two sheets of numbo that have been steeping for 30 minutes.
- For a Vietnamese flair, add ginger, salt, fish sauce, a little sugar, coriander seeds, cloves and cilantro, skipping the carrots and celery mentioned above.
The broth that you will not use right away place in 4 cup batches in a plastic container that fits best in your freezer, label and enjoy later. I like to use nice liquid freezer containers. I used to freeze soup and broth in plastic freezer bags, but they seem very unappealing when I am going to use them. 🙂
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