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Homemade Chicken Broth

James Carrier
Yield Makes about 3 quarts
Notes:If you're using large chicken pieces or a whole chicken, chop into smaller pieces with a cleaver.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds uncooked chicken or turkey pieces and/or bones (skin and fat discarded; see notes), or a mixture of bones from roasted poultry and uncooked meat scraps
  • 1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and coarsely chopped (see notes)
  • 1 carrot (4 oz.), rinsed and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery (4 oz.), leafy tops left on, rinsed and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup parsley sprigs, rinsed
  • 5 peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, rinsed, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

How to Make It

  1. In a 6- to 8-quart pan over medium-high heat, combine chicken, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, peppercorns (if using), bay leaf, and thyme. Add cold water just to cover. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to maintain simmer and cook, occasionally skimming and discarding foam from surface, until liquid is golden and has a deep chicken flavor, about 2 hours. Do not allow broth to boil; the surface should barely be disturbed by small bubbles.

  2. If a layer of fat forms on the surface, skim off and discard. If liquid drops below level of chicken and vegetables, add more cold water just to cover.

  3. Place a fine strainer over a large bowl nested in ice water in the sink. Ladle or carefully pour broth through strainer. Allow liquid to drip from solids, but do not press to extract more; discard solids. Stir broth occasionally until cool, 10 to 20 minutes; cover and chill until broth is cold and any fat on surface is firm, at least 6 hours, or up to 1 day.

  4. With a spoon, skim fat from surface of broth and discard. Cover broth and chill up to 4 days, or pour into jars or ice cube trays and freeze up to 3 months.