Yesterday I shared that I discovered that I was out of both vegetable broth and chicken broth AFTER my dinner guests had arrived. The kitchen emergency would have been pretty obvious if I had sent my husband to the store, so I improvised a substitute for vegetable broth. The first thing I did this morning was pull the chicken bones from the freezer and start a batch of broth.
Chicken broth is easy to make in a slow cooker. I buy organic, free-range, whole chickens because I can often find them for $1.99 a pound which is a great price for organic, free-range meat. I roast the chickens and then use the meat for several meals. (Here is a great post at The Book Lady Online about stretching a whole chicken to make several meals). After I have gotten as many meals as possible from the chicken, I freeze the carcass. When I have 2 carcasses, I make broth. Why do I wait until I have 2 carcasses? Because I have a large slow cooker, they both fit, and I can make a lot of broth at one time.
This is not a recipe, it is more of a guideline, because there is so much room for adaption.
Then I add the equivalent of:
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
I say the equivalent because I save up the carrot peeling, celery tops, and odd pieces of onion from making dinner and use those. If I don’t have any celery tops in the freezer, I cut the tops from a bunch of celery, rather than use the stalks which can be used for other dishes:
I fill the Crockpot with water. Cook on high for 2 hours. Then reduce heat and cook on low for 10 – 12 hours.
Strain the liquid. Save any bits of meat to use later in soup, but discard the bones and veggies. The nutrients have transferred to the broth, so you can toss the mushy veggies in your compost bin without feeling guilty about wasting food.
Finally, I ladle the broth into jars and use a pressure canner to can the broth:
If you do not want to can your broth or do not have a pressure canner, you can freeze it in 1 and 2 cups portions.
Making broth is not that time consuming and is a great way to stretch your groceries budget a little farther.