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Chicken broth is a crucial ingredient in soup making and the flavor of homemade broth is hard to beat. You can double or even quadruple this recipe and freeze the extra so you always have some on hand. To make a double chicken broth, substitute cold chicken stock or broth for the water in this recipe.
Makes about 2 quarts


~ 4 lb stewing hen or chicken parts or meaty bones, such as backs and necks
~ 3 qt cold water
~ 1¼ cups diced onion
~ 1/3 cup diced carrot
~ 1/2 cup diced celery
~ 5 to 6 whole black peppercorns
~ 3 to 4 parsley stems
~ 1 bay leaf
~ 1 sprig fresh thyme
~ 1½ tsp salt, or as needed


1. Place the chicken and water in a large pot. The water should cover the chicken by at least two inches; add more if necessary. Bring the water slowly to a boil over medium heat.

2. As the water comes to a boil, skim away any foam that rises to the surface . Adjust the heat once a boil is reached so that a slow, lazy simmer is established. Cover partially and simmer for 2 hours, skimming as often as necessary.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer, skimming the surface as necessary, until the broth is fully flavored, about 1 hour.

4. Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and cool slightly. Dice or shred the meat and use to garnish the broth or save for another use; discard the skin and bones.

5. Strain the broth through a colander or sieve into a large metal container. Discard the solids.

6. If you are using the broth right away, skim off any fat on the surface. If you are not using the broth right away, cool it quickly by transferring it to a metal container (if it’s not in one already) and placing the container in a sink filled with ice cold water. Stir the broth as it cools, and then transfer it to storage containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Label and date the containers clearly before putting them into the freezer.

Make It Easier
Some stores sell packages of necks and backs that can be used to prepare broth. This broth can also be made with the carcasses of roasted birds. Save the bones after all of the meat has been pulled or carved away (freeze them if you will not be making the broth within a day or two). You will need the carcasses of about 3 birds for each batch of broth.

Recipes from The New Book of Soups by The Culinary Institute of America (Lebhar-Friedman, December 2009, Hardcover/$35.00)


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