My wife Betti makes all of the broths we use in our recipes. We always have a store of frozen chicken, vegetable, and meat broths available because the flavor of these home-made broths is much richer and more intense than that of packaged broths. If you have to buy a broth, look for an organic broth in your local market. But I promise you, once you’ve made your own broth, you won’t go back to the store-bought variety.
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 carrots, chopped into large pieces
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
- 1 white onion, quartered
- 2 leeks, chopped into rounds (wash the leeks carefully to remove the grit)
- ½ bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 black peppercorns
- A handful of salt
- A bunch of fresh thyme – sometimes you can find a combined bunch of thyme and marjoram mixed together at the market, and you can use this bunch
How to Make this Recipe
- In a large stockpot (about 4 quarts of water), add cold water and all of the ingredients except the chicken.
- Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Allow the vegetables to cook for about 40-45 minutes.
- Raise the heat to a boil and add the chicken (don’t add the giblets—you can reserve them for something else).
- Bring the heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, so that you see rolling bubbles every minute or two, but the water is not rapidly boiling.
- Partially cover, and allow to cook for about 1 hour. You can skim off any foam periodically, so that the resulting broth will be very clear.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, placing it into a large bowl or baking dish so that it can cool. Keep the broth on a low simmer until the chicken is cooled enough to pick the meat from the bones. Once it’s cooled, you can shred the meat from the bone and use it for another recipe—my favorite use for the shredded chicken is a variation of the Mediterranean Chicken Salad recipe from the classic cookbook The Silver Palate: http://www.silverpalate.com/recipe/store-favorites/mediterreanian-chicken-salad
- Put the bones back into the broth and cook for another hour, partially covered, and always at a low boil.
- Strain the chicken broth once it’s cooled enough for use or storage.