Part two of ‘what to do when your FIL gives you a 12 pound rooster’ – make it into a delicious Chicken Broth!
Each time I enter my MIL’s kitchen, there’s a pot of broth being made on the stove and honestly, I’m a little jealous of how homey it always smells and how easy she makes it look. Oh yeah, I’m continuously snooping, trying to figure out what goes into it and how she does it. Lucky for me, she’s as giving with her hugs as she is with her knowledge. (Seriously, how did I get so lucky to have so many wise women in my life?! Thank you Lord for blessing me!)
Turns out, broth is the easiest dish to make and is used in so many other dishes. Got a sauce that needs jazzing up, throw in some broth! Need to give a stir-fry a flavor-kick, stir in some broth! Got a crowd of cold, hungry (or maybe just hungry) folks around, warm up some broth with noodles and chicken pieces and you’ve got a quick meal or starter, if you prefer!
I’ve vowed to always keep it on hand – fairly easy to do when you can just freeze the cooled broth in an ice-tray and transfer to plastic zip-baggy in the freezer for easy, single-use access. Or just freeze the cooled broth in the zip-baggy to begin with – one quart-sized bag creates more than enough broth base for hubby and I (don’t forget you’ll be jazzing it up with veggies, noodles, chicken pieces, additional herbs, etc).
It’s also incredibly easy to make – even I couldn’t screw it up! Ok, I did, just a bit. Always the vegetable addict, I used the leafy green tops of the celery stalks – thinking to save the lower halves for snacks – which added their zesty green color to my broth. However, in afterthought, it means I got a lot of vitamins running through my broth! Ha – silver lining ya’ll!
As I recreated this dish from memory, I won’t be providing a recipe per se, just the steps I followed with pictures.
I’ve not had the pleasure of using these two vegetables prior and was thrilled to have an opportunity to add them to my diet. Both Celeriac root and Parsnip are winter root vegetables, which in my unsubstantiated opinion, will provide the nutrients needed to survive the incredibly cold and long winter months here. Even cooler, they are widely (read: inexpensively and freshly) available now.
Those lovely deep green leaves imparted their footprint on my soup but I’m happy as they also imparted their nutrients. I also made another mistake by removing the yellow skin of the onions which provide the customary yellow color expected in a chicken broth.
These are the only veggies I used and in the only preparatory state (besides washing) that I gave them – no chopping, mincing, or dicing required – only minimal slicing….finished in less than 5 minutes.
Don’t feel compelled to use a lot of meat; the flavor actually comes from the bones. So feel free to save the breast for another meal. Layer the meat at the bottom of the pot, then the veggies, and finally the spices.
Again, no need to grind your spices, throw them in whole!
After simmering in water for about 2 hours (check at the 1 hour mark to see if more water is required), remove the meat/bones and vegetables. Allow the broth to cool and skim the fat from the top – a fat separator comes in really handy for this task; no waiting time! Remove the meat from the bones – feel free to make it as bite-sized or shredded as you like. Discard the bones, fat, and all veggies except for the carrots and parsnips. Taste and add more spices (salt, ground pepper, thyme, basil, oregano) if required.
I complimented our meal with thin noodles, half a carrot, half a parsnip, a bit of shredded meat, and a squeeze of lemon.