It’s one of those rare days in the desert – overcast, cold, damp. But because it is so rare, it feels wonderful instead of depressing, like I think it would be if you lived somewhere dark and damp most of the year. Or maybe not. What do I know? Maybe suffering under a spotlight sun 350 days a year would be enough to drive some mad. I’ve only ever lived in Texas and California, so I presume sunshine like others presume oxygen; I only notice it when it’s missing.
But enough of my waxing philosophical about the weather. I really want to talk about chicken broth (this is a sentence I never thought I would write). Homemade chicken broth is the easiest, yet most rewarding, thing you will ever make. I promise. Really. There isn’t even a need for a recipe, just general guidelines. And time. The more, the better.
This morning, after my first run, I pulled a chicken carcass out of the freezer. Much to Tim’s dismay, my laundry room freezer is stuffed full of carcasses (That is the proper pluralification, people. I looked it up. Just ignore the word if you’re a professional grammarian. I’m not consciously trying to drive you crazy.). Every time we have any sort of dish involving roast chicken, which is often since I love roast chicken in about 100 things, I stash the leftover bird in the freezer. Then, about once a week, I throw it in a pot with some water, seasonings and vegetables and let it do it’s thing while I do my thing. Eight to twelve hours later, shazam!, chicken broth.
Okay, I know some of you are asking yourself, why in the world would I want to spend eight hours making anything when I can hop over to the store and just buy chicken broth? I understand you. I felt exactly the same way. That is, until I had soup with homemade chicken broth. You see, the difference between soup made with store-bought chicken broth (even the good stuff) and homemade is like the difference between PopTarts and your mom’s cherry pie (unless her pie bites, and then ignore this sentence). It’s not that there isn’t a time and a place for PopTarts (like while driving in your car when you’re late for a meeting) versus homemade pie, but if you have a choice, I would hope you would pick the homemade pie.
Now, on top of just the superior taste element of homemade broth, I could also go into the whole spiel about the health benefits of actual bone broth versus sodium/preservative/additive store-bought broth, but I won’t. From all the e-mails I get, I know y’all are a lot smarter than me. You probably eat a lot better than I do, too, so I’m not going to lecture you about how good broth is for you. But it is. Just so you know.
Anyway, I just wanted to wrap this up by telling those of you who have reached out to me about my running: Thank you so much for caring. I took two months off and feel much better. I always forget how exhausted I am by the end of the year. I’m like the little kid who keeps wailing, “But I don’t need a nap! I’m not tired! I just want to play!” right before she falls asleep on the living room floor. I was tired and disappointed in my performances, but I didn’t want to admit it. I hate working super hard and then failing.
But, I’m training again, have a few races on the horizon, and am back in the kitchen. The long nap (and white wine and cake) helped and I’m ready to go back out and play.
Love you guys! Thanks for reading!
Homemade Chicken Broth
Really, there isn’t much more to tell y’all. Just take your leftover whole chicken carcass, throw it in a big pot of water (enough to fully cover the bird), add a chopped onion, a couple of carrots, a couple of stalks of celery, some garlic, thyme, bay leaves, a tablespoon of white vinegar, salt and pepper and let it simmer for as long as you have time. I let it go for at least 6 hours (the longer you let it simmer, the more of the “bone broth” benefits you will get). If you aren’t going to around most of the day, do it in a crock pot – it all works!
When it’s done, just strain the liquid and toss the solids. Use the broth just like you would any other broth. It really will make a difference in your food, especially soups and stews. As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, I used mine for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – super easy and delicious!