Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Basics: Beautiful Broth

One basic item every cook will need at some point or other is broth!
While broth is easily purchased in cans or cartons in most stores, I find these products are less flavorful than home-cooked broth. Not that my broth creations are "perfect" by any means, but when I get it right, it gels up in the fridge, and tastes "rich" in whatever dish I cook with it.

The basic premise is the same whether you are making chicken, turkey, or beef broth. Time is the key!

To make beautiful broth, you will need a large pot. At least 4 quarts.

In the pot, place one onion cut into wedges, a few carrots cut into sections, and a stalk or 2 of celery, cut in large sections.

Add your meat and bones:
Whole chicken
Turkey frame leftover from a roast turkey
Soup bones (beef, ham, etc.)

If you wish, add a bay leaf (you will need to make sure it gets discarded later! Bay leaf stems are a choking hazard).

Fill the pot with cool water. Place it on the stove and bring to a boil. Scoop off any film or foam that rises to the top, and discard it. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat as low as you can and still allow the liquid to simmer. Cover your broth-in-progress and walk away!

Let it simmer several hours, all day is better! A crockery slow-cooker is ideal for making broth because you can cook your broth overnight, or while you are busy doing other things, and you don't need to check up on it at all.

Strain your broth, and put it in storage containers. Broth freezes well for later use. I store broth I will use soon in glass jars in my fridge, but plastic is better for freezing broth.

The meat can be picked off the bones and used in all kinds of things:
Pot pies
or anything your imagination can cook up!

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