Make a rich chicken broth in less than an hour using chicken legs and thighs or backs. This recipe, taken from "The Perfect Recipe" by Pam Anderson, uses just a few ingredients and is quite simple to make. It yields about 2 quarts of broth, which can be frozen and be on hand whenever you need chicken broth for a dish you're serving.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
- 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into 2-inch pieces (or backs -- see Notes)
- 2 quarts water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup kettle over medium-high heat.
- When the oil shimmers, add the diced onion and cut-up chicken pieces and saute until the chicken is no longer pink about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover and cook until the chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add 2 quarts of water (already boiling if you are in a hurry), salt and bay leaves.
- As soon as the water comes to a simmer, immediately reduce the heat to low again.
- Cover and simmer until the broth is rich and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes longer.
- Strain and discard the solids. The broth is ready to use. If you are making this ahead, cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze.
You can substitute 4 pounds chicken backs and/or bones, cut into 2-inch pieces, for the legs and thighs. You can also make this broth from a 4-pound chicken instead of the legs and thighs called for here. Simply remove the breast first and reserve for another use. Cut up the back, wings, legs and thighs and proceed with the recipe.
Suggestions for Use
Chicken broth can be eaten as soup with crackers or bread, but it is most often an important part of other recipes. Chicken noodle soup, Southwest chicken corn chowder, chicken meatball chili soup, chicken with rice soup, chicken vegetable soup, cream of chicken soup, tortilla soup, and rice and lemon soup are just a few ideas in the soup department.
Risotto recipes nearly always call for chicken stock, so it's helpful to have on hand to cook up a delicious batch on a weeknight or when you have limited time to make a meal. As a riff on risotto and less complicated, use chicken stock instead of water in the same proportion when you cook white rice. Season with butter, salt, pepper and any other spices you are in the mood for to make a delicious side dish in just a few minutes. You can substitute chicken stock when you make polenta in the same way as you do for rice.
If you are on the hunt for comfort food, chicken and dumplings and chicken pot pie both call for chicken broth and are much quicker to make if you have a batch on hand.