It’s pretty much the same whether you’re making chicken broth, beef broth, seafood stock . . whatever. Today I’m making chicken broth.
Start with a chicken! That part was easy, huh? This one was smoked in a Cookshack Smoker, which I highly recommend. Eat what you want, then pick the meat off the bones. You can leave a little meat on the bones if you’d like. Normally, I’d remove all the skin too but the skin has so much wonderful smokey flavor, I’m leaving it for the broth. It will mean more fat but I can skim that off. Depending on how your chicken was cooked, your broth will have different flavors for different batches. When the chicken has been smoked, the broth is great for beans, gumbo, etc. I sometimes roast a chicken with rosemary and lemons. The broth made from that chicken is great for Chicken Piccata and other pasta dishes. If your chicken was cooked with a definite flavor, you will want to note that on your jar so that you know what you’re getting. I wouldn’t want to use smokey chicken broth in a mild flavored dish, nor would I want lemon rosemary flavored broth in my gumbo.
Put the bones in a crockpot and begin adding whatever you want to add. In this picture I’ve added quartered onions (actually, it’s just half an onion because I had it left over from something else and it’s enough).
Here I’ve added carrots, celery, parsley, red pepper flakes, black pepper and bay leaves. Add whatever you want to add!
Fill the crock pot with water.
Tomorrow I’ll share the next steps in getting it into the jars and processed.
If I were making beef broth, I would start with some kind of bones. When we get half a cow, they ask me if I want the soup bones. Most people do not want them. I always say YES! And sometimes, I get some that other people don’t want. The bones are basically free because if I don’t want them, they don’t take anything off the price! Don’t you love the way I think? 🙂
So, I’d start with bones. I’d brown those bones in a little oil first. Then I’d put the bones in the crockpot, ad some chopped garlic to the oil and pan drippings and barely brown the garlic. Then deglaze the pan in order to get all that flavor. Pour the liquid, which will contain the garlic, into the crockpot. Add onions, celery, etc. Cover with water and simmer all night.
About the fat – I’ll mention it here again. If I’m making a small batch, I’ll put the broth in the fridge so the fat will harden and then I’ll remove it. If I’m making a big batch, I find it easier just to keep the fat because the broth has to be hot when poured into the jars. I just can it all and then before using a jar, I can stick it in the fridge and remove the fat at that point.
What we do tomorrow will be the same .. chicken or beef.
I pretty much do the same thing, only I don’t use a crockpot. A) I’m too lazy to have to use and clean two pans, and I like to pressure cook my stock, it really gets the flavor out of the bones!
I don’t “defat” mine either. When it’s time to use a jar, that fat is quite the treat for the dogs!
I haven’t thought about doing it in the crockpot but I will from now on! blessings, marlene
That chicken looks good. The broth will be wonderful! I’m watching everything you’re doing!!!! LOL
Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says
I’ve made my own chicken stock for over … aieee! 30 years. (I need a very low sodium content.) What is the capacity of your crockpot? I’m used to making chicken / beef stock directly in my stock pot, but if I could get it started overnight in the crock pot, that would be great for those days when I don’t get it started as early in the day as I’d like. I just *love* your photos; we don’t have a digital at all, and are still resisting (due to my techno problems and DH and my lack of $$$). Glad to hear about the beef bones, too; when our $$$ situation is a little better, I plan to order either a quarter or half of grass-fed beef. I will *for sure* request the bones.