Frugal Kitchen: 13 Quarts of Broth From 2 Chickens!
For the past few years, I have made small amounts of broth for soups. For example, when I made Tortilla Soup, I boiled one chicken in my stock pot and only made enough broth for one pot of soup. I shredded the chicken to use in the soup and discarded the remaining skin and bones. At the time, I thought I was being frugal when I made my own broth. Little did I know, I wasted good chicken bones and discards when I could have made more broth.
As our family moved towards an even more frugal lifestyle, I experimented and stretched chicken to last more than one meal. My lovely friend Lisa from The Prudent Wife suggested that I try to make bone broth and reuse the chicken bones and bits for another round of broth. She sent me a great recipe for Bone Broth, and I immediately experienced success.
Since that time, I have been on a mission to stretch my chickens as far as they can go. This week, I roasted two natural chickens in the oven. It made my frugal heart happy that we received these chickens free with a $10 purchase from Earth Fare that recently opened up at the Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville. (Local friends, read the note at the bottom of this post to see how to get your own free natural chicken.)
For the first round of broth (pictured above), I cut up two whole natural chickens. I boiled the chicken necks, wings, trimmings, with garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and spices in a large stock pot. I roasted the main parts of my chicken (breasts, legs, thighs, backs) roasted in the oven. After the stock pot of chicken parts and veggies simmered on the stove a few hours, I strained the broth into a large mixing bowl. I filled four quarts of Mason jars with broth. This first round of broth was weak in strength but had a nice flavor.
When I first cut up my own chicken, I was pretty grossed out about the entire process. I thought it was a sloppy inconvenient mess and I mutilated several chickens before I finally learned how to properly cut whole chickens. I found a YouTube video with some helpful instructions, and now I can cut up a chicken in a quick and efficient manner. It is a disgusting task, but I am content knowing that I can buy whole natural or organic chicken at a lower price per pound, and just cut them up myself.
For my second batch of broth, I took all of the strained chicken bones and bits from batch one and placed them in a pot. I pulled the meat from my two roasted chickens and reserved for the meat meals. I took the crispy skin, bones, and meat bits from the two roasted chickens and added it to the stock pot of the leftovers from batch one. I added a fresh round of garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and spices to the pot and filled it with water. I simmered batch two on the stove for approximately eight hours. The finished result (pictured above) yielded five quarts. This second batch of broth was noticeably richer in flavor from the roasted chicken skin, bones, and meat coupled with the longer simmering time.
|Don't throw the bones away! You can make bone broth.|
After the second batch, I thought that I would discard the remains (pictured above). I posted a few pictures on Facebook and a friend mentioned to me that she liked to create 24 hour bone broth. After a bit of dialogue, I decided to take the leftover chicken skin, bones, and meat from the previous two batches and start a new batch in the slow cooker. (I learn so much from Facebook friends!) I added the chicken discards to a slow cooker with a new batch of garlic, onions, celery, spices, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I ran out of carrots and left those out of the third batch. I covered everything in the slow cooker with water and let it simmer away for 24 complete hours.
|Golden Goodness - rich 24 hour bone broth|
The third batch of broth resulted in 4 quarts of golden goodness. This round had the deepest color and richest flavor from the previous two batches. After this experience, I am convinced that I will endeavor to stretch the chickens with 24 hour bone broth.
|Homemade chicken noodle soup|
If you need a good recipe for bone broth, be sure to check out The Prudent Wife.
Local friends, if you would like to receive your own free natural chicken, just sign up for "Welcome Home" at the Earth Fare website. Earth Fare will give you an immediate coupon (so be ready to print!) for a free chicken with a $10 purchase. This will enroll you to receive their weekly coupons which feature excellent deals. While you are at the Earth Fare website, you can also sign up for the new "Tomato Bank" program which just launched. New enrollees receive 1000 points which is equivalent to $10 to spend at Earth Fare. The "Tomato Bank" program will provide even more rewards as you shop at Earth Fare. If you really enjoy saving money, you can use your mobile phone to sign up for text coupons too.
Do you cut up your own whole chickens to prepare broth? If you have any tips to share, I would love to hear them!