Nothing is quite as comforting as a bowl of chicken noodle soup when you've got the dreaded cold that has made its way around your home. While teaching Kindergarten last year, all sorts of fun sniffles and sneezes made their rounds. Fortunately, I was able to avoid the bug (most of the time), and I attribute that to the onslaught of home remedies I took at the first sign of illness, chicken broth being one of them.
So, as you can imagine, I had a hard time deciding whether to categorize this under "Health, Naturally" or here, under recipes. I finally decided that it's just too delicious to be categorized just as a health remedy! I make this in bulk and then freeze it in jars, which can be easily defrosted. If you decide to just keep it in the fridge, be prepared to use it within a week.
The best part about this recipe is that you get a few meals out of it as well with the whole chicken! A future blog post is coming about how to use that for several meals this week. Without further ado, I give you my chicken broth and whole chicken recipe:
1 5 to 8 pound chicken (don't throw away the gizzards! Put them in the fridge for later.) 2 cups water 2 lemons, quartered 1 onion, sliced 2 big leaves of kale (does not change the taste at all) 5 cloves garlic 2 stalks of celery 2 carrots Fresh or dried herbs: sage, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary (Season to taste, but don't be shy with these!)
In the crock pot put two cups of water to give the broth a head start. Put the chicken in and stuff with some of the veggies and herbs. Place the rest of the herbs, veggies, and lemons around the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. At the end of that 8 hours what you will get is a juicy, seasoned chicken that is literally falling off of the bone.
What I go for is a seasoned but not distinctly flavored chicken since I will use it in many different dishes throughout the week. When you take the chicken out of the crockpot, use a slotted spoon to pick up the little pieces that are still left in the crockpot. Carefully take the meat off the chicken and put in container. Set aside the bones, and a few scraps of meat and skin. Now you're ready for broth!
Bones from your chicken A few scraps of meat and skin Gizzards from chicken 1 lemon, quartered 1 onion, sliced 2 stalks of celery 2 carrots A couple cloves of garlic 2 big leaves of kale Fresh or dried herbs: sage, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary
Add these in your crockpot, and fill it 3/4 full with water. Stir, and cook on low for 8 hours. When it's done you have broth for next to nothing, and you know exactly what's in it! Let it cool for a bit so you don't burn yourself, and then pour it into a container while straining. Refrigerate it and let cool completely before you try to freeze it. If you want low-fat broth, skim the fat off the top after it cools in the fridge (the fat will rise to the top when cooled).
There you have it , folks! Golden, beautiful broth for next to nothing!