When I was a little girl we didn’t have a lot of extra money which meant meals were often simple and always budget friendly. One of the meals my mom used to make was “chicken and rice”. A homemade chicken broth with rice cooked in the broth. No frills. Just chicken, rice, salt and pepper. (still one of my favorite meals!!)………..The secret ingredient was the broth.
My mom didn’t spend $3 on a pint of watered down broth from the grocery store. She took the left over carcass from a roasted chicken and made her own. She covered the carcass with water and boiled it until all the left over bits of meat and bones just fell apart.
I would watch her sift through and pull out all the bones and inedible stuff like cartilage and skin. I remember saying, “ewwwwww, I’m NEVER going to touch meat like that. Gross!!”
My finances became tight and I found myself doing things the way my mom used too, in order to feed my own children. Trying to save a few pennies, I learned what my mom had known for years. A bit of invested time and left over bones from a chicken dinner can be turned into a super healthy broth that can be used a zillion different ways.
Think about this. If you’re already buying a chicken or pieces of chicken (anything with bones), making this broth is a net cost of zero!!. It’s like FREE food. How can you argue with that!!!
Nutritious Chicken Broth
Things you will need
- Bones from a whole chicken or parts of a chicken to equal same amount.
- Large pot with a lid.
- Second pot or large bowl.
- Take left over bones from a chicken dinner.
- Put the meat in a pot and cover almost to the top of the bones.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a low-medium for about 45 minutes. Make sure it’s on a low boil or all the liquid will boil off and you will lose the broth.
- Once the bones are broken apart and the cartilage pulls away from the bones easily, remove from heat and let cool.
- Put your strainer in a large bowl.
- Pour cooled broth and bones into the strainer, making sure the bowl underneath is catching all the broth.
- Sift through the bones to keep any extra edible meat.
- Use immediately or freeze in baggies or ice cubes for later use
Not only is this broth SUPER friendly on your wallet, but it’s also amazingly healthy.
- This broth aides in digestion (and leaky gut syndrome).
- Because of the boiled down cartilage, you get extra glucosamine which helps with joint discomfort.
- You get to decide how much sodium you want to add.
- This broth contains a high amount of calcium from the boiled bones.
- The gelatin in the broth promotes healthy hair and nails.
- Studies show that homemade chicken soup has soothing immune boosting qualities, not to mention the sheer comfort of sipping on a cup of warm homemade broth when you don’t feel well.
Here are just a few ways this super food broth can be used:
- Base for any kind of soup or stew.
- My mom’s chicken and rice.
- Chicken and dumplings.
- Cooking vegetables.
- Instead of water in rice/pasta/grains.
- As a base for gravy.
- When making mashed potatoes.
- As a braising liquid.
This broth can be frozen in large freezer bags for your next pot of stew or frozen into little ice cubes to use as a flavoring agent in sauces. I also like to freeze single size portions for those times when someone in the house isn’t feeling well.
If you don’t have the time to make the broth just freeze the carcass until you do. Remember, throwing a carcass away is like throwing dollars in the trash. In fact, I am SO sold on this idea that my roommates have started giving me their left over chicken bones!! (hahaha, does that make me weird?)
Step by Step
Use any left over chicken bones. It can be a whole chicken or a mix of legs/wings/thighs/bone-in breasts.
Put bones into a pot and add enough water to cover the bones. Yes I know, not a pretty photo – BUT, it’s a carcass!
Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes (until the cartilage easily separates from bones).
Remove from heat and let cool.
Put a strainer over another pot or large bowl. Pour broth and bones into the strainer, sifting out the bones and catching the broth in the bowl underneath.
Sift through the bones for any left over edible meat. This is what mine looks like at the end. The left is what I kept for my next pot of soup, the middle is what I will feed my little pup Snap and the right is the only part of the chicken that goes in the garbage!! Look at that tiny pile of bones and skin – not much waste there!!
……………… and the final product! (Delicious, nutritious, hearty, SUPER food).
TRY this recipe (especially if you hate throwing food away). Feel free to share!!
Come visit again for more wallet friendly kitchen tips.