chicken broth - the transformation of a roasted bird

The other day I made a roast chicken and I think this was the most expensive whole chicken I have ever bought. With chicken I have made a dramatic transition in my food shopping. For most of my life I have been completly oblivious to what kind of life the animal has had. Eventually I started buying cornfed birds, which was a change from only buying the cheapest chicken breast. Now I start to consider other things: free range, raised on a farm with no cull of male chicks, regional if possible. It is a completely different price level, but that makes me realise how meat is just not something to have everyday, but for a special occasion.

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I was intrigued when I roasted the bird. The scent was unlike other chicken I have roasted in the past and the flavour…this was something else. Which inspired me to get even more out of it and make a broth from the leftover bones. I think I have made it once before, but wasn’t too convinced. The flavour just wasn’t as strong as the stock you get from a stock cube. This bird seemed a lot more promising and I thought it is only fair to get the most out of the whole animal. So I searched the internet for instructions how to make chicken stock from leftover bones from a roast chicken. I decided to improvise with what I had and bought a couple of things that were missing. Many recipes ask to discard the vegetables after cooking the chicken stock. They definitely don’t look very appealing after having been cooked in the broth for several hours, but I found they are good enough to be turned into a cream of vegetable soup.

Colourwise the soup left a lot to be desired, it was a greenish-grayish hue that didn’t shout: Eat me! Turmeric was my saviour. It’s not only the vibrant yellow colour that I like, but also the earthy and slightly bitter flavour profile. The chicken stock was not as salty as I expected even though I added salt to the soup and celery imparts a natural saltiness. Feel free to adjust. It’s definitely worth making your own stock. It’s hardly any work and I didn’t even bother skimming off the foam. In my soup there wasn’t a lot. It was mainly put everything in the pot, simmer and leave for a few hours. What have your experiences with making your own chicken broth or other bone broth? Feel free to share below or send me a message.

Chicken broth

  • carcass and bones of one roasted chicken

  • 2 onions or shallots, peeled and cut in half

  • 3 stalks of celery

  • 1 large carrot, peeled

  • 1 parsnip, peeled (or stalks from a bunch of parsley)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • clove of garlic, peeled and left whole

  • a teaspoon of pepper corns

  • a teaspoon of fennel seeds

  • 1 star anise

  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the carrot, celery and parsnip into large chunks. Add all the ingredients with the bones and carcass of the chicken to a large casserole and fill with water until just covered. Put on a lid and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, so it is barely simmering. A bubble rising to the surface here and there is enough. Simmer on this low heat for 2-3 hours. When ready strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the cooked vegetables (I also kept the garlic and onions) for later and discard the rest. Taste the stock and season to taste. If you don’t use the stock immediately, let it cool, then store in the fridge until ready to use. This keeps well for a up to a week in the fridge.

Cream of vegetable soup

  • cooked vegetables from the chicken stock

  • 1 cup of chicken stock

  • 100 ml cream

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Put the vegetables in a food processor with a dash of the chicken stock and pulse to a puree (or use a handheld blender and a bowl). Add the rest of the stock and pulse. Mix in the cream and turmeric. Reheat on the stove and serve.