Ok. I may be cheap, but contrary to how it appears I am not really having chicken broth for dinner. Instead, I’m making chicken broth to use in other recipes. So, I told you how two days ago I bought a roasted garlic chicken from our local grocery store. I’ve used it in different recipes for the past two nights. Tonight, I took the remaining meat off the chicken and put it aside (I’ll be using it in one final recipe tomorrow). When all the meat is off the chicken, it’s ready to be put into a big pot for chicken broth. Though I’ve been making chicken broth for years, I don’t follow any real recipe. Instead, I just use what I have on hand and go from there. But, here’s what I did tonight:
1 cooked chicken, all the meat removed
1-2 carrots (with green tops, if you have them) or a handful of baby carrots
1-2 stalks of celery (if you have the inner pieces of celery with the leaves they’re the best ones to use)
1 yellow onion, cut in half with the skin left on (wash it to remove any dirt)
1 bay leaf
5-6 fresh sage leaves
1 6-8″ rosemary branch
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients into a medium to large pan. Cover with cold water. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat, cover (allowing for a little steam to escape), and simmer about an hour. Let cool slightly and pour broth into a large bowl, using a colander to catch the veggies and chicken. Add salt and pepper to the broth, to taste (although I usually skip this step because I figure that I’ll be using salt and pepper in whatever recipe I add the chicken broth to). Cool in the refrigerator and skim off any fat that accumulates at the surface.
I grow rosemary and sage in our yard, so that’s why I always use those herbs in the broth. However, depending on the season, I also often have thyme and Italian parsley. If I have those on hand, they go into the pot too. I always use onion, carrot and celery, but I have also used the tough ends from asparagus too.
If I’m not planning on using the chicken broth in a recipe for the next few days then I pour it into containers and put it in the freezer. Ice cube trays work great for this. Our trays make about 1 oz ice cubes, so I know that if a recipe calls for 1 cup of chicken broth then I just need to use 8 ice cubes.
I can’t really figure this one out accurately, but I’ll do my best.
The chicken was $4.99, but since I used (or will use) all the meat in other recipes, I’m not sure I really have to tally the chicken carcass. But, I will nonetheless. Let’s call it $.50.
Veggies (onion, carrot, celery): How about $1.00? I think that’s being generous though.
1 bay leaf: $.05, again this is a total guess but the point is that it’s not much.
rosemary and thyme: FREE since I grow them in the garden.
salt and pepper: $.01, if that.
Grand total: $1.56
That’s pretty good considering this made about 64 oz of chicken broth. At the grocery store the cost of a 32 oz box of chicken broth is $2.99. And, the best thing about this is that chicken broth is an ingredient in so many inexpensive recipes (such as soups, pastas, and flavoring for rice) that it’s great to know I always have some ready and waiting in the freezer.
Ok, so I can’t claim that this is a Charlie-approved-recipe (I can’t think of a single thing he’ll eat that I make with chicken broth), but it turns out that Jake and Lucy, our beloved dogs, LOVE chicken broth ice cubes. They’re fantastic–and cheap–doggy treats! And who could resist these two faces?