The art of farm-to-table is respecting that an animal gave his life for you, so nothing goes to waste. I am extremely lucky to live in a community of conscientious farmers and have easy access to fresh organic farm products. I get my chicken from my friends and neighbors. Therefore, all my chickens come with bones and skin while many of my recipes call for boneless, skinless, chicken. What to do with the bone and skins? The bones make excellent homemade chicken broth and nothing beats homemade chicken broth. For the skin try this delectable chicken butter.
To make broth simply place discarded bones and unused chicken parts like backbone, neck, wings, etc. into a stock pot. Add 1 cup each of any aromatics you have on hand. I like to use onions, celery, and carrots. Add a few cloves of garlic and sprigs of fresh poultry herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Keeping the simmer low will result in a clearer broth.
About three hours in, taste the broth and adjust with more seasonings as necessary. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer. If you are using the stock for a recipe, set it aside until ready to use. If for a later date let the broth cool. Transfer to airtight containers or jars and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight. Skim off and remove any fat on the surface. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Homemade Chicken Broth
- 1 whole chicken bones wings, backbone, neck, etc.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grind blackpepper
- 8 cups cold water
- Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herb sprigs, salt and pepper in a large stockpot. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Taste and adjust with more salt as necessary.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool. Transfer to containers and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.
- Skim off and remove any fat on the surface. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.