2 Chicken Broth Recipes… and Roasted Chicken too!

This is how I make chicken or turkey stock. This method makes use of the leftovers from a roasted chicken or turkey. I love the flavor and mine always “gels”, which if you read the previous post, you’ll know is important as far as the health benefits of your stock.

FYI, I use “stock” and “broth” interchangeably.. I don’t really care about the difference, but for those of you who do, I read a comment that stock uses just bones, while broth uses bones and meat. So if that’s correct, this first recipe would make “stock”, while the 2nd method would make “broth”. (I found a completely different definition after posting this blog… if you care, you can check it out at the very bottom!).

Roasting the Chicken

First, I get a good quality, organic chicken. Preferably pasture raised. If you’re hoping to draw out minerals and get a health boost from this, how can you expect that result from a chicken that was fed inferior feed and antibiotics while crammed into cages with their beaks cut off? The quality does matter.

At the risk of sounding like the lady in the new TV series “Portlandia”, who asked so many questions about the chicken on the menu that the waitress gave her a biography of the chicken (including it’s name), I have to say that I’m lucky that I can get a natural, organic, free range chicken (and chicken feet) at the Farmer’s Market from Kookoolan Farms and also from Diggin’ Roots Farm. And “no”, I don’t ask for the chicken’s papers or name!  🙂

Then I roast the chicken in the oven for a great dinner. I make this easy on myself. All I do is wash the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels (so it will brown). Rub the chicken with a little bit of butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper and put it in the oven. Or, you can salt and pepper the cavity and add 1/2 a garlic head (cut crosswise), and a large bunch of fresh thyme. Some people cut a lemon in 1/2 and put in the cavity as well and then tie the legs closed with kitchen twine. You could even thinly slice an onion and scatter around the chicken. Put it in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, until the meat browns,  and then cover loosely with foil so that the fat doesn’t splatter all over the oven.

While the chicken is cooking, take the giblets, neck, liver etc… that were in the cavity, put them all in a saucepan and cover with filtered water with some added chopped onion, salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, strain it and reserve the broth. Discard the neck, chop the giblets and reserve them to make a giblet gravy for your dinner.

Cook the chicken approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes for a 4 pound chicken. Test for doneness by piercing the skin at the thigh joint. If the juices that run out are still slightly pink, it’s close to being done. If they run clear, it is done. Alternately, you can insert a meat thermometer into the fleshiest part of the thigh (don’t touch the bone). James Beard says that the chicken is done when it registers 165 degrees. The written temperatures on the instant thermometer that I use say it should be 180 degrees. Maybe best to just check the juices. When done, remove from the oven and transfer it to a platter.

Check seasoning, slice and serve with whatever vegetable and side dishes you prefer… and don’t forget the giblet gravy. (You know how to make gravy, right?).

Making the Stock… Method #1

After dinner, remove remaining pieces of chicken that you might use for a 2nd meal like chicken salad, chicken enchiladas, or to add back into the stock to make soup. Put that meat aside in the fridge. Cover and put the chicken carcass and all of the juices that are in the bottom of the pan in the refrigerator.

The next morning, take the carcass with any remaining skin and attached meat out of the refrigerator and put it in a large stainless steel or ceramic stockpot.

Be sure to add all of the juices that were released from the chicken when you roasted it. These juices should have gelled on the bottom of the pan and should also be stuck to the bottom of the chicken. This is the good stuff. You want to add it to the stockpot. It should be clear and look like amber colored jello. If you see that some fat has congealed, you can remove that and discard it. It won’t be clear like the gelatin… it will be opaque and white.

Cover the carcass with filtered water. Add 2 TBSP. of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or 1 cup of white wine. Let sit for 30 minutes so that the acid of the vinegar or wine can start to pull minerals from the bones. ( I think this is a good step if the chicken is raw like in the following recipe, but I’m not sure if it has as much effect after the chicken is roasted… but what the heck… can’t cause any harm, so might as well).

Some people throw in onion, celery leaves, carrot peelings, etc….  It’s up to you, but either way, it’s not going to have a big impact upon the quality of the stock that is produced… it will just affect the flavoring a bit. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for about 4 or even 5 hours. As it cooks for a couple of hours, you can use a wooden spoon to try and break up the carcass and submerge as much as possible in the water.

At the end of the 4-5 hours, remove the cover and let the stock cool. When cooled, set a large bowl in a clean sink and rest a colander in the bowl. Carefully pour the contents of the stock pot into the colander and let the stock flow into the bowl while the bones stay in the colander.

I always pick the remaining pieces of meat off the bones and add them back to the stock if I’m going to be making soup. Some people throw all the meat away with the bones as they think the meat has no taste… I think it tastes fine! But that’s your call.

At this point, you can use the stock for whatever purposes you want.. you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few days, or you can freeze it for later use. If you freeze it, you can strain the clear liquid through cheesecloth if you want (optional), pour into containers or gallon freezer bags. But make sure the broth is cold if you put it in plastic bags. Don’t put hot or warm food in plastic… harmful chemicals can leach into the food.

So that’s the way I do it, but many people make broths using whole, raw chicken….so here’s a recipe showcasing that method from Nourishing Traditions…Method #2

  • 1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 lbs. of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings.
  • 4 qts. filtered water
  • 2 tBSP vinegar
  • 1 lg. onion, coasely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Chicken feet (optional)
  • gizzards (optional)

If using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands, and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them, they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth). Farm raised, free range chickens give the best results. Many battery raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.

Cut chicken parts into several pieces. Place chicken in a large stainless steel or enameled pot with water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses such as chicken salad, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator.

Making Soup

As for me? I make soup! I add vegetables like onion, carrots, celery, and green beans that I’ve tossed with olive oil and roasted in the oven….or maybe I’ll add frozen peas or  butter beans….whatever sounds good to me. I always add thyme tho… I love the flavor of it in this kind of soup. Add salt and pepper to taste but don’t oversalt… it drowns out the flavor of the thyme.

Regarding the difference between broth and stock…..again, I don’t really care about the difference and this definition is very different from the one I read before… so it’s a good thing I don’t care, cuz I don’t know which one is right!

Stock or broth?

The difference between broth and stock is one of both cultural and colloquial terminology but certain definitions prevail. Stock is the thin liquid produced by simmering raw ingredients: solids are removed, leaving a thin, highly-flavoured liquid. This gives classic stock as made from beef, veal, chicken, fish and vegetable stock. Broth differs in that it is a basic soup where the solid pieces of flavouring meat or fish, along with some vegetables, remain. It is often made more substantial by adding starches such as rice, barley or pulses. Traditionally, broth contains some form of meat or fish: nowadays it is acceptable to refer to a strictly vegetable soup as a broth.

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