Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

I use chicken broth frequently when I cook. It's a simple way to add great flavour to dishes - from rice to spaghetti sauce to soups. A simple way to cut down on the cost of buying is to make your own and freeze it. My favourite way is in ice cube trays. Most trays are 2 tbsp, making a perfect size for throwing a couple in a dish. Once they are frozen, I simply throw them into a ziploc freezer bag for more practical storage. I'll also freeze them in 1 cup bags for when I make things like soup. 

Making your own chicken broth is also super easy, here are a couple different ways:

With a turkey neck
You'll need: 
1 turkey neck
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp to 1 tbsp peppercorns
5 cups water

Place all of the ingredients in a pot and simmer on low for 2-4 hours. Strain. Broth will keep in fridge for up to a week, longer when frozen. 

This is my favourite way to make broth. I always make it when I cook a turkey, I just combine the broth from the actual turkey then freeze. The more broth the better!

When cooking a turkey or chicken
Place the same ingredients as above in a roaster with turkey (or chicken). Use less water, about 4 cups.  For a really flavourful tasting broth (and gravy), use chicken broth instead of water. Dress the bird as you wish. Cover to cook - you don't want all those juices evaporating!

Alternatively, you can cook a chicken in a crockpot. I use approximately 3 cups of water since the crockpot really traps all moisture. 

Making broth from chicken bones
You can do the same as the neck method with the carcass. Simply use enough water to almost cover the carcass, you may want to double the vegetables though. Since the bones are already cooked, this method takes considerably longer - approximately 8 hours. 

Whichever method you choose, taste test the broth to ensure it has the desired "strength". 

Happy simmering!

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