I have been trying to get away from using a lot of premade or processed foods and mixes like the already made seasoning packets, or soup/dressing mixes. I also recently started making my own chicken broth in the Crock Pot. Making your own broth is SO easy and not very involved–unless you want it that way—and the best part about it is you can really make it however you want! All you need is some chicken parts–or a whole chicken if you’d like–some veggies and a few spices. I’m sure you could even add in some white wine if you so wish.
So for the chicken, I usually will buy the whole split chicken breasts at H-E-B when they are on sale for $1/lb. You can’t beat this price and I will usually buy a few packages. When I get home I like to take the breast meat off the bone and remove the skin. With a little work I have boneless, skinless breasts that I got for $1/lb. The best part is, I save the bone which is bound to have meat left on it–at least when I’m done with it, it does– as well as the skin, and use it to make my broth. If I don’t have the time to make the broth that day, I’ll throw it all in the freezer until I’m ready for it. You could also use a whole chicken to make your broth. There would just be another step.
Alright, now that you have your chicken ready go ahead and throw it in your Crock Pot.
Now you will want to cut up some veggies. You can also use parts of them you wouldn’t necessarily cook with, like tops of carrots, the leaves/stems of celery, etc. Afterall, you aren’t going to EAT those things, they are just there to add more flavor to your broth. So I use carrots, celery and onion. I also throw in a few cloves of garlic.
After you chop everything up–and I leave my pieces on the bigger side–throw them in on top of your chicken parts. I happened to have some extra shredded carrots from a stirfry I made the other day so I threw those in there as well. Anything goes really.
Next you can add in your spices. I use whole peppercorns, coarse sea salt, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, and parsley. If you have fresh herbs even better, but the dried work just as well.
Throw all of that in on top of your veggies.
After that I fill up the pot with water just until everything is covered.
I cook it on the low setting for 10-12 hours. You can do this overnight even. After it’s cooked you will have a NOT very pretty looking pot of what looks like mushy veggies and boiled down herbs. Don’t worry, you’re not eating it–just keeping the broth!
Alright, so now that you have your broth, it’s time to separate it from everything else. I find the easiest way to do this for me is to take a big bowl and set a strainer on top of it. Then take your crock and pour all of it’s contents in it. This will separate the broth out. Once I’ve done that, I take it another step and dirty another dish by pouring the broth into a pitcher. That way I can easily pour my broth into my mason jars—I tend to make messes easily and pouring from a big bowl into a small jar just doesn’t bode well for me.
**Side Note– If you don’t want your broth to have some particles of veggies or herbs in it you can use a finer strainer. I don’t mind the extra chunks, but you may**
When I pour out my broth into the mason jars I will usually fill them up to the 12oz line. This is generally what the cartons you buy at the store come in–but you can fill yours to whatever.
Now it’s time to just let it cool off. I will leave the jars sitting out without the lids to cool down before I put the lid on and stick them in the freezer. If you put them directly in the freezer while the broth is still hot, you could have some cracking in the jars–not speaking from experience or anything!
Now you have homemade chicken broth and it cost next to nothing! Not to mention there’s none of the added preservatives and extra sodium.
If you happened to use a whole chicken, or like me, chicken parts that still had meat on them, you will want to shred up all of that cooked meat for later. We use shredded chicken ALL the time. Casseroles, sandwiches, Quesadillas, Chillis, and soups with that delicious broth, are some of the things we use shredded chicken for. Just freeze whatever meat you won’t be using in the next day.
See how easy that was?
You may also like: