No Brainer Chicken Broth

It has been a long 15 years since I made my first forays into organic eating.  At the time, the practice was more “fringe” than “in” and I relied heavily on local farmers to support my habit.

Eating well today has its challenges but they are nothing like a decade or more ago when you couldn’t pop into your local grocery store for a loaf of organic bread…  or a quart of organic chicken broth.

I had always been a serious lover of homemade soups and, while relatively easy to find a farmer who fed organic corn to free-range chickens, broth was another story.  That is until I learned to make it, simply, from leftovers.

It is a habit I maintain today, even though I have found commercial organic chicken broth that I like.  You just can’t have too much broth!  It is really a process rather than a recipe.  I have tried adding herbs and vegetables to create more of a stock but given the simple goodness and ease of this version, it has become my staple.

Simple Organic Chicken Broth

  • Roast an organic chicken.  Season the bird (or not) as you like, but bigger birds tend to be tastier and I usually ask my farmers to pull out their 7 pounders for me.
  • Serve roast chicken for dinner and retain all non-organ scraps (skin, wing tips, bones, neck, etc).  We find it convenient to store the discards in the roasting pan as we clean up after dinner.
Chicken scraps in a roaster

Save Roast Chicken Scraps for Broth

  • Remove any remaining meat from the carcass for other uses and add the carcass to the scrap collection.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan.  Deglazing is the process of capturing the delicious bits of browned flavor baked onto the bottom and sides of your pan.  I pour boiling water into the pan, then scrape gently to dissolve the crisp remains for inclusion in my broth.
Deglaze Your Pan

Deglaze Your Pan

  • Boil chicken scraps (bones, skin, etc) with the deglazed pan drippings, adding enough water to almost cover.  Vegetable scraps (carrots, onion) are another good (but optional) addition.  Cook for 3-4 hours until “scraps” are limp and broken down.
Cover Chicken Scraps & Boil

Cover Chicken Scraps & Boil

  • Discard chicken scraps and strain broth.
My Favorite Broth Skimmer

My Favorite Broth Skimmer

  • Add salt if desired.  If you forget to do this, it is no problem since it can be added when the broth is incorporated into another recipe (can you tell I forget this a lot?)
  • Store in refrigerator, then scrape off fat (consider reserving this for other uses) when cool.  Use broth within a couple days or freeze for later use.

When I first started making broth this way, it sometimes felt like more work than I wanted to go through—despite its simplicity.  But take my word for it, if you make this a habit you’ll soon be able to do it almost without thinking.  Tip: set the oven timer to remind yourself to check your broth.

6 thoughts on “No Brainer Chicken Broth

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    1. Inger Wilkerson

      If I get a lot of nice browned bits my only dilemma is whether to make gravy instead using the degalzed juices in the broth–of course the bones still work for broth even if gravy is made. I am looking forward to trying your veggie scrap broth!

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