Making your own broth is embarrassingly easy. Whether it’s chicken, beef or vegetable–nothing could be simpler. Store bought canned broth has lots of undesirables in it–chemicals, artificial flavorings, things I can’t pronounce…….you get the idea. When you make your own broth you control what goes into it, not some person in a factory assembly line. One of the things I like about making my own broth is that not only is it better for us health-wise it’s also a form of recycling! That’s a win-win for me!
I normally make chicken and vegetable broth. I start by saving all the bones from the chickens I cook. After we’ve eaten the chicken for dinner I pick off the meat I want to save for another meal & store it in the fridge or freezer. I then take the carcass, the fat and the parts of the meat that didn’t make it into the “save for later” bowl and put it in the freezer. If I’m going to make the broth in a day or so it goes in the fridge. I have a bag I keep in the freezer labeled “veggie scraps” where I save all parts and pieces of vegetables. When I peel carrots the ends and peels go in that bag. Any other veggies we have get put in the bag, too. When I have enough bones & veggie scraps saved I make broth.
In my stock pot I put the bones and veggie scraps. I pour enough filtered water in the pot to fill it about 3/4 of the way up. I put salt & pepper in the pot–enough that I think will be good. You have to decide for yourself the amount of seasoning to use. Stir everything together. I turn the heat to medium-high to get the pot boiling. After it boils for a little while I turn the heat to medium-low. I usually let my broth cook for about 4-5 hours, stirring every so often. If the water boils down too much I add a little more filtered water. I do a taste test to check if the salt and pepper is good or if I need to add any more.
After cooking I take the pot off the heat and let it cool for a bit. I then pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl a little at a time. I use a big spoon to mash the liquid out of the mixture into the bowl.
I then pour the broth into freezer safe Mason jars that I set out on the counter. Don’t fill your jars all the way to the top or they will expand and explode in the freezer! Guess how I know that. And yes, I nearly cried over Mason jars that shattered because my Mason jars and I are really good friends. I let my broth cool down before I put the lid on the jar. After ample cooling I lid the jars and store it in the fridge overnight. I then put the jars in the freezer the next day. I ended up with eleven jars of broth from the two batches I made. When I want to use a jar of it I either put it in the fridge overnight to start defrosting or set it in a pan of hot water.
I mentioned above that making broth is recycling. It’s recycling in two ways. One, you’ve used bones and vegetable scraps to make broth that you were going to throw away. Two, you can actually save the bones and vegetables from the first pot of broth and do it again. It’s like double recycling! How awesome is that? I usually start the next pot of broth right after I’ve strained the first batch. I just make a day of it.
How do I use my homemade broth? Here are just a few ways–
- I use it to make the best ever chicken noodle soup
- I replace the water in instant potatoes with the broth
- I pour it over chicken or meat in the oven
- I mix it into vegetables
See how easy that was? It was no trouble at all. I wish I had of learned how to make broth years ago. I could have saved a LOT of money by not buying canned broth at the store AND it would have been much healthier for us. So next time you bake a chicken save those bones! And save your veggie scraps, too!
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