Chicken broth is a staple in most kitchens. It's an age old remedy for when you are sick, and can be used to add flavor to gravies, rice and anything that would benefit from chicken flavor. Whether you make it from scratch or buy it in the store, chicken broth is a versatile culinary tool. Its flavor can be left mild and unobtrusive, or given more punch with extra ingredients and spices.
Reduce excess salt if your broth is store-bought and is not a low sodium variety. To dilute its sodium content you can discard some of the broth and replace it with water, salt-free seasonings and chicken meat that you can simmer for flavor and strain out later.
Even if your broth is homemade, adding pieces of chicken meat will result in richer flavor. Cut cooked chicken into pieces and add them to your broth.
Add chopped vegetables – carrots, onion and celery cut into small pieces.
Add spices. Stir poultry seasoning, thyme or other spices into the broth.
Create a spice bag for seasonings that are not ground, such as parsley, bay leaves and peppercorns. Use cheesecloth to bundle these ingredients together so that they are not missed later if your strainer is not fine enough. If you have no cheesecloth, substitutes that work include medical gauze, coffee filters or clean used linen.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the broth simmer for at least one hour.
Sample the broth as it's simmering to assess its flavor. If it needs more zest, try a couple of drops of hot sauce. When you add strong flavors, add a small amount at a time because you can always add more later.
Once you are satisfied with the flavor, strain out the meat and vegetable pieces. Cool the broth completely before refrigerating or freezing.
- Line your strainer with paper towel for an extra clear broth.
Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.