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Chicken broth questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been making chicken stock from roasted carcasses for awhile now, and just don't like the results They're dark, not very flavorful, and even doctored up with salt and seasonings, not drinkable, although I use it mostly in cooking where the flavor doesn't come through too much


Today I made my first attempt at "real" soup using a whole raw chicken. I figured I'd shred the meat and use it for  sandwiches or enchiladas tomorrow, and have lots of good broth. I used a nearly 4-pound chicken from a local farm and got all of about 10 oz of meat! REALLY? From a whole chicken -- does that seem low? Granted, I suspect this chicken was a layer hen as it had a very narrow breast but still...


Other question -- I have a huge pot of delicious golden broth now But the bones are not soft yet -- I only cooked the chicken for an hour and then stripped the bones and put them back in for another hour Can I chop up some more veggies and use the bones again, or are they spent? I always see people posting about how they cook their stock til the bones are softened so you get the marrow, but that only happens with the smaller, already-roasted bones from my carcasses The bigger bones don't get soft, and the chicken bones today didn't either. So do they still have some good in them, or should I toss them?

post #2 of 6

low and slow...like 24 hours in the slow cooker, will make a nice second broth.  start with cold water.  i don't add vinegar to my broths, and i get a lot of gelatin.  also, for long cooking, don't add veggies or herbs, particularly onion skins, until the last few hours of cooking.  onion skins make a very dark broth as you described...and overcooking the veggies makes it bitter.

post #3 of 6

I agree with the low and slow.  I cook broth for 4-12 hours.  I usually do it in the crock pot.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 



I do usually do it in the crockpot on low, but mine is old, and I'm not sure "low" is really that low -- it boils pretty good most of the time. But yes, my problem was that I was adding all the veggies (including the onion skins) right at the beginning. I won't do that anymore!

post #5 of 6

I haven't found that to be true for myself, with regard to veggies. I add everything at the beginning (carrots onions and celery) with the roasted carcass and it goes for 12-24 hrs. I find it pleasant tasting, especially last time when I threw in mushroom stems.   I don't do onion skins though since I don't buy organic onions and there isn't much flavor in them.  I do like to try to get as much [organic] celery leaves in because they have a lot of flavor.


Bummer you didn't get much meat! That's a surprisingly small amount. I haven't done stock with a raw chicken before but might try it sometime. We also save bones from other chicken parts that I cook (breasts, thighs, drumsticks). The bones are soft after the long cook.


My preference is to reduce it by about a third or more after straining everything out, and add plenty of salt. I had a mug yesterday and it was delicious. It was deeply colored.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I tried again with an organic store bought chicken.... Way different results!

Not as flavorful, sort of grayish rather than yellow. Tasted okay, better than when I use roasted bones and no meat, but not as good as the farm chicken. I also waited to add veggies til later, so maybe they didn't cook enough? They were in for an hour or two.

I'm going to give the farm bones another go and see what I get. I just wish the farm birds were meatier -- it's expensive to buy them just for stock, no matter how yummy!
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