Basic Chicken Broth
This broth can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and will be ready for immediate use.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 12 cups
- 3 pounds chicken (whole or parts)
- 16 cups (1 gallon) cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound onions, coarsely chopped
- ½ pound celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 whole cloves
- ½ pound carrots, coarsely chopped (cleaned but not peeled)
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced in half
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3–4 sprigs of parsley
Wash the chicken under cold running water. Place it in a soup pot with the water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 1 hour, frequently skimming off the fat that rises to the top.
Add salt, onions, carrots, and celery and continue to simmer for an additional 1½ hours.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 30 minutes. When finished, remove the pot from the heat and cool immediately. Chicken stock is highly susceptible to spoilage, so the temperature needs to be reduced quickly. This can be done by setting the pot in the sink in 5 to 6 inches of cool water.
When cool enough to handle, strain the soup through a sieve or colander into another pot or large container. Straining a second time through cheesecloth will get you a much clearer broth.
When buying fresh garlic, look for heads that are plump, firm, and heavy for their size. Any green shoots or spouts indicate that the garlic is old and will have an off flavor. Store whole bulbs in an open plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Markets now carry a variety of processed garlic options, from peeled cloves to fully chopped pastes. They are a great convenience, but buy these in the smallest containers possible, since they lose their fresh taste and become stale very quickly.