Saturday, August 15, 2009

Homemade Broth - economical, delicious, gluten and top 8 free

Little Z seems bothered by the various broths I have used (even the ones that are free of the top 8), and forget using bullion cubes – they all have soy! I've avoided using broths and bullion in the last year or so, and my soups and dishes often seem too salty and one-noted. I've considered making my own, but it seemed like a lot of work, and I knew I wouldn't be able to use it all before it went bad, and I'd end up just throwing it away. And then the thought occurred to me, why don't I just make a big pot and freeze it in the ice cube trays I used to freeze my homemade baby food in?

The key to this broth is chicken bones – they impart a wonderful flavor. I made chicken, reserved the meat for another recipe, and kept the bones for broth. I also started freezing the celery leaves and ends in plastic zipper bags to use in my broth, which I love because I have always felt so wasteful when I throw away the celery leaves and ends! This broth is really economical, delicious, and I know what is in it (no preservatives, thank you!).

2 quarts water
2-3 lbs of prepared chicken with the meat removed and saved for another recipe or meal
olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped (peeling isn't necessary if you are using organic)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped bell pepper
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

Saute vegetables, spices and garlic in oil and season with salt and pepper. Add water and bones. Simmer for at least 1½ to 2 hours. You may need to add more water if a lot evaporates. Do not stir (it makes the oil and fat mix into the broth). Take off the heat and let it cool. Strain broth through a colander into a large bowl. Discard bones and vegetables. You may need to strain it again through a finer colander. Poor into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, put in gallon zipper bags, and label with the contents and the date. Use cubes when a recipe calls for broth. Each cube should be about 1 oz of broth.
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  1. A friend of mine just sent me the link to your blog, and I am looking forward to trying out your recipes! Just have a quick question about this one...Did you cook the chicken, then remove the bones, or remove the uncooked chicken and use "raw" bones? I would love to try this! Thanks.

  2. Hi Christy,

    FORGIVE me for just noticing this comment now. I am so sorry it has taken me this long to respond!

    You can use raw chicken bones, but I feel like bones that were already cooked and seasoned offer a better flavor. I have done both. I often will cook several lbs of chicken, remove the meat and freeze it for later for casseroles. I then freeze the bones in a ziplock bag and when I am ready, I make the broth then.