This is it! The miracle cure for any illness and the most important broth in your culinary repertoire. Early on in the cooking game, my mother, Berta, taught me how to make her chicken broth: not too much water, plenty of chicken pieces, parsnips for sweetness, skins left on the veggies for color, no strong boiling for clarity, and defatting for purity and health. Make enough for the freezer so you’ll always have some on hand.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
Taste and Textureherby, rich, savory, sweet
Type of Dishchicken soup, stock
- 6 pounds chicken backs and wings
- 4 ribs celery with leaves
- 4 carrots, unpeeled, halved
- 2 onions, unpeeled, halved
- 2 parsnips, unpeeled, halved
- 1 large ripe tomato or 3 ripe plum tomatoes, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, lightly bruised
- 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems lightly bruised
- 4 sprigs fresh dill, stems lightly bruised (optional)
- 1 large bunch fresh thyme
- 6 black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt, or to taste
- 4 quarts water
Rinse the chicken pieces well, removing all excess fat. Place the chicken in a large soup pot, and add all the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, partially covered, for 1½ hours, carefully skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Adjust the seasonings and cook 30 minutes longer. Remove the pot from the heat, and let the broth cool slightly.
Strain the broth through a sieve into a bowl, then line the sieve with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth and pour through again. Cool to room temperature.
If the broth is to be used immediately, allow the fat to rise to the surface; then degrease the broth completely by skimming off the fat with a metal spoon or by pouring the broth through a gravy separator. If it is not for immediate use, transfer the cooled broth to a storage container and refrigerate it, covered, for 4 hours or overnight. Remove the hardened layer of fat from the top before using. Use the defatted broth within 4 days, or transfer it to freezer containers and freeze it for up to 3 months.
1997 Sheila Lukins