Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dem (chicken) bones

Among the list of items I refuse to spend money on is chicken broth. The broth you can buy tends to be salty, oily, and may contain msg or other lovelies. You might as well buy Campbell's chicken noodle soup and strain the noodles and "chicken" out. OR you can make your own for close to zero cents. I guarantee it will taste better too.

What I want you to start doing today is to keep a jar/bag/container in your freezer, label it broth if you like,  and start throwing your edible veggie scraps in there. Spinach stems, carrot peels, the outer layer from your onions, tomato tops, etc. I have been known to toss the occasional pear core or Apple piece in there too. Sometimes I take the container out and sloppily refill my spice jars, letting the extras fall in if I think they would make a tasty broth.

The next time you make a roast or whole chicken or turkey add the remaining bones/carcass to the container too. I don't eat the gizzards,  but since they are super healthy I throw those in the bin too. If you are a vegetarian or making a vegetarian soup feel free to skip the meat. 

Then when you have a spare moment toss this whole concoction into your slow cooker. Cover it with water and cook. You can do this overnight if you'd like.

After several hours the broth should be a deep carmel color. Turn the slow cooker off.  You may want to let this cool.  Then line a large sturdy bowl with a colander or strainer. Pour the cooled broth mixture into the strainer. You may have to work in batches.  I like to press down on the solids to push any flavorful liquid out. If the broth I am making is carnivorous,  I easily remove any segments of meat from the bone. Once you have all the meat removed and the veggies drained toss the solids.  If you made a vegetarian broth do compost those solids! If you are making soup right away set the meat aside to add in to the soup.

And there you have it: broth!

Broth which you can feel free to add any spices/herbs to if you like.

VARIANT: Sometimes I add a bay leaf and a few peppercorns to the broth as it cooks. I only salt at the table but if it weren't for the kids I may add salt to the broth too.

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