Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Saving Tip - Chicken Broth

Here's a tip that I use all year long, but it's a great time saver as the holidays approach. Chicken broth is a staple used in so many of our dishes and there are a variety on the shelves today including organic options, but why buy canned when you can make your own and skip the MSG?

I'm a fan of things pulling double duty and chicken is the perfect's not just the meat ingredient in your next dish, but it can make tons of broth for meals in the future!  When I bring the bird home I immediately give it a rinse, pop it into a stock pot, fill it with water until covered, add celtic salt, pepper, spices of your choice, a tad of butter and veggies (carrots, onions, garlic, celery or fennel).  Bring water to a boil then reduce heat and cover.  The length of time varies based on the size of the chicken, but a good way to judge is when the meat is falling off the bone...then it's ready!  Remove the chicken, debone and place in containers to be stored in the freezer.

Once the broth is cooled, remove the fat off the top and place it in a container to be stored in the freezer for later use, then scoop out any veggies (some people strain the broth but I don't) and pour broth into ice trays.  Yes, I said ice trays.  This is a great way to have stock on hand at any time and in easy portions.  Two cubes equal 1/4 cup.  The photo below was my first attempt years ago.  I forgot to scoop off the fat, so that's why you see a lovely yellow film on some of the cubes (:

It's such a time saver and adds a punch of flavor to any dish!!  During the holidays it's great to pop some of these little guys in with the turkey drippings to make an awesome gravy.  I love to add it to rice instead of using water and usually toss a few cubes in with my stir-fry veggies.  The options are endless!!

So the next time you bring that chicken home, take a few more minutes to make some stock which will save you money and tons of time (:

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  1. I love to use my own chicken broth but I never thought about putting it in ice trays. This is a great tip!

  2. I love homemade chicken stock. Its so much more economical and tastes better too. Thanks for the reminder about this one, Michele. Just in time for the holiday rush.

    Ice cube trays are great for all kinds of shortcuts. I freeze unsweetened applesauce in the trays and use it in place of fat in most baked goods. Frozen cubes of heavy cream are perfect for whipping for desserts or adding to soups for richness. Even pureed soup is easy to measure out...4 cubes is a half cup....just right for lunch.

  3. What a great idea! I'm big on roasting chickens year round -there's always a few frozen tupperware of broth in the freezer but I like this idea better.

  4. Heidi, the applesauce is a great idea! We make our own and I never thought of freezing it. Cream? Really? We freeze butter, so that makes total sense! Hum...already getting more ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!

    I've come to realize the beauty of freezing and found that many things do quite well. I freeze ginger, garlic, cheese, lemons & limes (use the juicer and pour the juice into the ice cube trays, then pop a cube into tea or water), nuts, fruits...I just wish we had room for a stand alone freezer (:

  5. I used to do this, but have gotten out of the habit...time to bring it back! It's a great way to save money and tastes so much better!

  6. I finally did find a broth I can use (Kitchen Basics) but I like the idea of making my own much better. It is brilliant to store the broth in ice cubes in Ziplocs. :-)

  7. Michele, have you thought of getting a small square chest freezer? My grandmother had one in her sewing room. She just covered it with a lace tablecloth and put a plant on it.

    Grandma also used the old style metal garbage cans as bedside tables. (New ones, of course.)(The lids were used outside, upside down, to hold chicken feed.) My Grandpa cut circles out of plywood about an inch larger that the opening in the can. He nailed a couple pieces of scrap wood to the bottom near the edges to keep the wood top from sliding off. The cans were filled with off season clothes, topped with the plywood, and covered with a pretty cloth. I didn't know for years that they were utilitarian until she started moving the lamp, clock, etc. off the top to change out her clothes one spring. She had a matching set with one on each side of the bed. I believe that woman was a genius!

  8. Also good for storing extra fresh basil - just chop it up very finely and mix in some olive oil - one little olive oil basil cube adds a lot of flavor!

  9. Wow!!! Such good ideas here!! Heidi...would that kind of freezer need a special outlet? I could make some space in my studio to keep it in there. Hum, now that I think about it, we have a small storage room on our deck. If I clear it out I could pop a little freezer in there! Thanks for the ideas!!!!

    Deb...oh my goodness! So smart...can you do that with other fresh herbs? Hum...pesto perhaps? I'm just getting the hang of freezing more things and trying to look outside the box. I'm also working on putting together a whole foods pantry and learning more about canning. I’ve been using a dehydrator for a while, but have never been a big canner. Always great to learn (:

    This is soooo great! You gals are so smart and very inspirational! Thanks so much!!!


  10. I do this all the time, it's great in soups or vegetables. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  11. تعد شركة البيت الافضل افضل الشركات العامة في الخدمات المنزلية تقدم افضل الخدمات باعلى جودة وباقل الاسعار
    شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض
    شركة نظافة بالرياض
    شركة غسيل خزانات بالرياض

    ونتميز في جميع الخدمات بان اسعارنا تعد ارخص الاسعار بالمقارنة مع الشركات الاخرى
    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    رش مبيدات بالرياض


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