Often, when I see chef's on TV saying, "Oh, just make your own chicken broth; it's so easy", I think, do they have soccer games, birthday parties and laundry to do? But every once in a while, like after I have a rotisserie chicken, I will make my own broth. When it's all done, I realize it is worth it once in a while for two reasons: flavor and cost.
The flavor of freshly made chicken broth really can't compare to anything in a carton. It can be used to make chicken or bean soup, risotto, quinoa, rice or gravy. As I type, the house has a delicious smell of chicken wafting through it.
The other big advantage of homemade broth is that it's so economical. Earlier in the week, I brought home a $10 all-natural, no antibiotics rotisserie chicken. After 20 minutes of cooling, I removed all of the meat. I used the breast for 4 sandwiches over the next 2 days and the rest of the meat for a delicious chicken stew. I had leftover meat that we nibbled on the day after. I saved the carcass and bones to make the broth later. The veggies were cheap and I really look at the bones as being almost free since often they are thrown out anyway.
If you are looking to save some money or get a terrific broth, do like our moms did and make your own once in a while. You'll be glad you did.
Homemade Chicken Broth
1 chicken carcass (or bones from breast, leg and thigh)
Water to just cover carcass (I used about 12 cups)
2-3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp peppercorns (if you use ground pepper, use 1/2 tsp but your broth will have specks)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 3-4 pieces
2 celery ribs, chopped into 3-4 pieces
1/2 onion, cut into 3-4 chunks
1 bay leaf (I didn't have one this time but I do prefer to use it; I suppose it makes it optional)
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot on the stove and cover. Heat to medium and cover. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook about 2 hours. Cool 1 hour. Pour through strainer.
Yield 3 qts (or about 3 containers for which you pay at least $2 each)