Whether you’re battling a cold or flu, a cup of soothing chicken broth can’t be beat. This recipe is easy, economical, and delicious. It’s also much healthier for you because of all the iron, collagen, and vitamin-rich marrow from the bones. I freeze it in smaller quantities and use it for any recipe calling for chicken stock, as well as a base for most soups I make.
When making a large quantity of broth, I’ll pick up chicken backs from my local butcher, who gladly gives them to me rather than throwing them away. Otherwise, I use whatever bones remain after deboning chicken breast or full chickens.
- 2 pounds raw chicken backs or bones (backbone, wings, thigh, and drumstick bones with most meat removed)
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2–3 springs each of fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary, and Italian parsley (or about ½ tsp. dried)
- 1 tbsp. salt (or to taste)
- Pot large enough to fit 6 litres of water (all the ingredients need to fit in 75% of its depth)
- Large stainless steel strainer and deep glass bowl for the strainer to rest on
Clean vegetables. Keep carrots uncut.
Place the chicken into a large pot and cover with water (at least 2.5 cm [1″] over the bones). Cover and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer, skimming the foam as it rises to the surface. When foaming subsides, add all remaining ingredients. Simmer for an hour, then pull out the carrots and set aside (I keep the carrots and use them as a veggie side dish). Keep covered and simmer on low for another 1–2 hours. The longer you cook it, the richer it becomes. Fair warning: It will not look very appealing at this point.
Rest the strainer on the glass bowl and fill it up using a ladle. Let the broth drain out, and put the remnants into compost or garbage (you’ve boiled all the goodness out of it). Transfer the broth to a larger bowl, and repeat until you’ve strained it all and have nothing but rich broth.
You can use it immediately or freeze in small portions to use when needed. If freezing, let it cool down, then transfer into measured plastic containers. Don’t forget to label them with dates!