Trying My Hand at Chicken Broth

I’m trying to eat better.  I’ve had quite a few stomach issues following the hyperemesis.  Things ranging from psychological to physiological.

So earlier this week, I decided, once and for all, to finally make a proper pot of chicken broth.

My past attempts to make good broth have been… not so great.  In the past, I’ve used the crock pot to cook down the leftover carcass, and the broth has come out tasting weird and without that great gelatin that you’re supposed to have with a good bone broth.  The gel is important.  It contains the collagen and nutrients that make a broth so, so good for you.

So this week, I tried again.

The process…

Instead of a whole chicken, I used the frozen carcass of a previously cooked chicken that I had been saving.  For added collagen, I threw in a package of wings that I had purchased for this purpose.  Also still frozen.  I also included the giblets I had saved in the freezer from several other roasted birds.

For veggies, I didn’t have a whole gallon of veggie scraps, so I made do.  I had a bunch of beet tops that I had frozen for smoothies back before my blender broke, so I added those.  I threw in a few chopped up carrots without their tops.  The jury seems to be out on whether or not the tops are safe to eat, so I skipped them until I have more time to research.

For flavor, I threw in two bay leaves, and a few grinds of pepper. Finally, I had some cilantro that was headed the wrong way with no plans to use it up, so I tossed it in, too.

I did not add salt, and I found later that it does not need additional salt.  The flavor is just fine.

My broth, bubbling away. So colorful and pretty in the pot!
My broth, bubbling away. So colorful and pretty in the pot!

I simmered everything in my cast iron dutch oven for 6 hours.  I didn’t have any scum to scrape off, so I just cooked it and stirred.

Once the soup was made…

When the 6 hours were over, I strained it and placed it back into the pot.  Then I placed the pot in the sink in a bath of ice water to chill the soup quickly so I could refrigerate it safely without worrying about food poisoning.  Once cool, I decanted (love that word) it into jars.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I got gelatin!  You can’t tell from the pictures, but when you poke it, it wobbles beautifully!

My cooled and jarred chicken broth, full of healthy gelatin!
My cooled and jarred chicken broth, full of healthy gelatin!

Then, I began my freezing process.  I used a large silicone muffin mold to freeze the soup into 1/2 cup batches for easy measuring.  The silicone is flexible enough that I can just pop the cubes out after freezing to store in a baggie in the freezer.  Then I can take out what I need for the recipe or for a snack or light meal, and I’m done!  It’s already pre-measured and ready to go.

Frozen in a silicone muffin mold for easy removal.
Frozen in a silicone muffin mold for easy removal.

 

Since making it this broth, I’ve eaten it plain, sipped from a coffee cup, and I’ve made simple miso soup with a little chopped konbu and a spoonful of miso.  This soup has definitely cured my feelings of defeat surrounding healthy broth.

Do you make your own broth or stock?  Do you have any tips to share?

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