Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder of the basics. Making chicken broth is easy and economical and you get a bonus...cooked chicken for salad, tacos, casseroles, enchiladas, etc.
Yield 8 cups of chicken broth and 2 pounds of cooked chicken
Ingredients4 1/2 to 5 pounds (about 6) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 carrots, quartered crosswise
2 celery, quartered crosswise
2 dried bay leaves
4-5 black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
6 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules or 1 large Knorr's cube
Do not add in any salt to the water.
Place breasts in stock pot and pour water over the breasts to cover by about 1-1/2 to 2 inches.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Bring to a boil then quickly reduce the heat to low so that the water is only at a bare simmer (do not boil fast it will toughen the chicken).
Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes only (important).
Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to sit in the water for 15-20 minutes (15 minutes for regular-size breasts and 20 minutes for large breasts). If you have a thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 160 degrees at the meatiest part of the breasts.
Transfer breasts to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and let cool.
At this point, you can cook the broth more to concentrate the flavors and serve as chicken soup.
Remove vegetables from pot. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter or moist paper towels. Measure broth and if you have more than 8 cups, return to pot and reduce on medium heat till you have approximately 8 cups. Cool and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and cube or shred for your desired usage. You should have around 2 pounds of chicken. The cooked chicken can be frozen for ups to 3 months.
NOTE: You can use a whole chicken instead of the breasts, but you will need to increase the cooking time from 15 minutes to 30 minutes and the soak time to 30 minutes. Check the temp in the thigh. It needs to be 160 degrees.