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A lot of people think making things like stock from scratch is really difficult and/or time-consuming. As long as you have a few hours at home – even if you’re doing other things – you can make your own broth. Why bother? Here’s why.

If you’re trying to concentrate on clean eating, you obviously want to know what’s in your food. Making it yourself is one way to keep an eye on ingredients. Doing it yourself also saves money.

The first step is to make a roasted chicken (or buy one of those rotisserie chickens from the supermarket, but note it’s difficult to know all the ingredients in the chicken if you choose this method). After serving the chicken to your family, pull the remaining meat off the bones and use them to make dinners later in the week or freeze. Then throw the carcass – well, don’t throw it, that could make a mess. Gently set the carcass in a large pot.

Add any veggie scraps you have lying around. Even carrot peels and unpeeled onions will add flavor to the broth. Just don’t forget to strain these things out of the final product!

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Salt and pepper to taste, and then cover with water to just over the contents of the pot.

Cook for 3-5 hours on the stove top or crock pot. If you use a crock pot you’d want to cook it on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Strain the cooked stock through a fine-mesh strainer or colander set over a large bowl. Discard the solids and let the stock cool.

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Chill until the fat rises and solidifies on the surface. Skim it off with a spoon and discard. Don’t be surprised if your stock has a thicker consistency than store bought varieties. That body comes from the collagen which has been extracted from the chicken bones. This will enhance the flavor and feel of the stock, giving it a richer, more filling quality than canned broth.

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Use the broth immediately or transfer it to freezer bags or containers. Label, freeze, and use as needed. A regular-size can of broth is 1 3/4 cups, so freeze in that size if you are just transitioning from canned to homemade.

Here’s the recipe in written form.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Yield: 12-14 cups

Ingredients

chicken bones/carcass
1 large onions, quartered
2 carrots, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
10 whole peppercorns
salt, to taste
14-16 c. water

fresh parsley sprigs, 1 leek, 1 tomato (all optional, whatever you have on hand!)

  1. Place the chicken bones, vegetables, peppercorns, and salt into a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the contents by 1 inch.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil and decrease the heat to a low simmer. Cook for 3-5 hours.
  3. Carefully remove and discard any large pieces of vegetables or bones from the pot. Set a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth-covered colander over a large bowl. Pour the stock through the strainer. Add salt, if desired.
  4. Chill the stock bowl in an ice bath, cover, and refrigerate until the fat has risen and solidified on the surface. Skim off the fat with a spoon; discard. Use or store in the freezer.

***This recipe is originally from Frugal Living NW.

Do you have any tips for making your own broth? Tell me in the comments!

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