This is the third installment in a new series on Little City Adventures called
In The Kitchen
where I discuss various tips and tricks to make your life in the kitchen just a little bit easier. If you missed part two, which features
free printable recipe cards
, you can check it out
. Have a topic you would like covered or a question you would like answered? Email Abby
I have recently become obsessed with stocking my freezer with everything from extra homemade vegetable soup, biscuits, French bread, homemade chicken and vegetable broths, pizza dough, and more. I basically double almost every recipe that I make and freeze the leftovers. This saves me time later (for those days William has me so worn out I don't feel like cooking) and in most cases, making things at home, rather than buying the premade stuff in the store, saves you a good bit of money down the line. Plus, homemade foods just taste significantly better than what you can buy in the store, most times (wink, wink).
One of those food items that tastes so much better when made at home
saves you money, is chicken and vegetable broths. Does the thought of making your own broths kind of sort of freak you out? Don't worry, I was skeptical about the ease of it at first too, but really my friend, making your own broth is easy and so worth the time.
Wondering what the difference is between broths and stocks? The Kitchnhas a great article on the difference.
Today I will be walking you through how to make vegetable broth at home but before that let's discuss chicken broth. To make chicken broth you need either a whole roasted chicken and you strip the meat off the bones and use just the bones for the broth OR (what I do) you can ask wherever you buy your poultry if they have chicken breast bones on hand that you could buy. The poultry stand at
sells bags of chicken breast bones for around $1 or $2 per bag and each bag is around a pound of bones, two bags is perfect for making a pot of broth. Other than chicken bones, you also need: onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, fresh thyme and parsley, salt and pepper, and whatever other spices you may want to add in to you broth. I also like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, a dash of allspice, or rosemary. For full instructions,
that I used to learn how to make chicken broth.
For vegetable broth, you can throw in almost any vegetable that you have on hand other than leafy veggies like romaine, for obvious reasons that wouldn't help your broth out very much. To make your life easier (and to save money and not waste any food), grab a gallon freezer bag and for a couple of weeks, whenever you chop up veggies for a recipe, throw the (clean) scraps into the freezer bag and freeze 'em up until you're ready to make your broth.
I recommend using 1 or 2 onions, a couple of carrots, a couple of celery stalks, some celery leaves, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, some whole peppercorns, and whatever other veggies or herbs you would like to add (such as: tomatoes, mushroom stems, potatoes, fennel, parsley, bay leaves, parsnips, leeks, etc.). As for seasoning, I recommend some garlic powder, salt and pepper, rosemary, or chili powder.
Once you have all of your ingredients gathered up, roughly chop and clean the veggies. If you don't want to cut the veggies, you don't have to. For the onions that I used, I just peeled the dirty skin off and left them whole.
Throw all of your veggies, herbs, and seasonings into a huge stock pot that has enough room for your veggies and water. Fill the pot with water, being sure to cover the veggies with at least an inch or two of water. Turn the heat on high and bring the pot to a boil, then lower to medium heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour, stirring every now and again.
Place a large strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through the strainer to get all of the herbs and vegetable skins out of the broth. If you plan on freezing it, cool completely before pouring into containers or bags for freezing. To make your life easier in the future, I recommend measuring out the amount of broth for each container and labeling them like I did.
I completely recommend making your own broths, as you can see it is very easy, and considerably cheaper than buying stocks from the store. And you can make them totally unique to be the perfect bases for your dishes.
Which do you prefer; making your own broths or buying them at the store?