Homemade Chicken Broth – And How to Freeze Perfect Portions

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

Nothing compares to the richness of homemade chicken broth. I know the canned varieties have organic and “low-sodium” options now, but I am talking about the cold-curing, hearty broth that can only be achieved at home. Nothing will elevate your soups and sauces to that next flavor level like homemade chicken broth.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

I abhor waste almost as much as I detest canned, watery broth or stock, so I came up with a method for freezing the perfect portions of homemade chicken broth for any recipe! Muffin tins. The first time, well every time, my fiancé sees me do this, he calls it unnatural. Nonsense. It’s genius.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned


The process starts when you serve a whole chicken for dinner even if that chicken came pre-roasted in a bag from your local grocery store (GUILTY!). Throw all the remaining chicken bones and meat into a freezer bag. When I have two chicken carcasses, I make broth.  My Mom used to do this and I always thought it was a little creepy having a whole chicken carcass in the freezer. Nope. It was genius.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

You freeze that beautiful, rich homemade broth in muffin tins (a perfect ½ cup portion each), store them in a freezer bag, and then thaw exactly the amount needed for your recipe. My fiancé may never have seen anything like it before, but last time I checked, that was the definition of ingenious!

 

My Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe

(Followed by step by step instruction for freezing perfect portions)

 

Bones & remaining meat from 1 medium-large chicken

3 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 2” pieces

2 medium carrots, cut into 2” pieces

2 medium onions, quartered

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (heaping)

½ teaspoon dried thyme (heaping)

8 whole peppercorns

2 quarts cold water

pinch of salt

 

Place all ingredients into a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer for at least 3 hours. I usually let it simmer for 5-6 and then cool on the stovetop for several more hours. More time, more flavor.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

I strain the broth in a two-step process. First I scoop out all the large pieces of chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a large colander over a bowl. Pour the rest of the broth through the colander. Set colander aside over another bowl.

The second step is straining the broth through cheesecloth. Place cheesecloth over top of the original pot and secure with a rubber band. Pour broth slowly through cheesecloth. Pour all the broth that has drained from the colander through the cheesecloth. Remove cheesecloth, squeeze, and discard. Squeeze the liquid from the celery into the broth. [My fiancé told me that this is what his Grandmother used to do, so that is what I have done ever since.]

Refrigerate over night and skim off all fat. Now you are ready to freeze it!

**I always double this recipe because this process is time consuming and I am busy!

Note: There is absolutely a faster way to strain your broth, but I really don’t like waste and my method ensures that every last drop of broth is captured! My Grandmother always said “Waste Not, Want Not”.

 

How to freeze perfect portions for later use:

Pour ½ cup of broth into each muffin cup. A standard muffin tin is almost exactly ½ cup.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned Place muffin tin in freezer. Mine take about 2 hours to freeze completely. You can wait longer – they won’t get freezer burn that quickly!

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

Place muffin tin upside down over clean sink.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned Pour or spray warm water over the back of the tin to release the broth cups.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned Pick them up immediately as they fall into the sink and place them in a freezer bag. You want to avoid them melting more than they have to.

Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

Place bag in freezer. Repeat process until all broth has been frozen. I have a tiny freezer and I actually have to remove my icemaker to make these. Commitment.

  Homemade Chicken Broth - Perfectly Portioned

To thaw: I place however many muffin cups (1/2 cup each) needed in a Pyrex measuring cup and thaw in the microwave on half power until just melted.

 

Now that you have perfect portions try making:

Chicken in Wine Sauce

Meyer Lemon Chicken

10 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Broth – And How to Freeze Perfect Portions

  1. Pingback: Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce - American Heritage CookingAmerican Heritage Cooking

  2. Love that you used cupcake tins for this – super fun idea!! Thanks for stopping by Cupcake Project and I’m so I’m glad that you told me you are from St. Louis. Any chance you are coming to Food Media Forum? Would be great to see you there.

    • I’m not, unfortunately. I don’t arrive in STL until August 12th for another round of wedding planning! I’m sorry I’ll miss you. :-/

  3. Pingback: Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup | American Heritage CookingAmerican Heritage Cooking

  4. What you are doing is the *only* NATURAL way to acquire broth. EVERYTHING one buys from the store–even the Kitchen Basics in the box–uses MSG or a variant to give it flavor; they are totally fake broths.

    I buy whole chickens (for 99 cents/lb) and cut them up; learned how to properly cut up a chicken from youtube videos–very good at it now! I save the backs until I fill up a couple 1 gallon zip lock bags, then make stock from it. I pinch off the bits of chicken from the back and save for a chicken soup or salad.

    I really enjoyed your cupcake tin idea for freezing the broth–that’s how I came across your blog (because I was looking for other people that have done this). I want to do this for beans as well. Cooking up a HUGE pot of beans and freezing the portions is MUCH MUCH more affordable than canned beans (which I seem to use a lot of each month). Beans are good for yoU! :)

    Thanks again!

    • I’m so glad you stopped by Jennifer! I love always having homemade chicken broth on hand in reasonable portions. It would be so much easier to freeze them in 2 cup containers but not as versitile! I’ll have to try freezing portions of beans in tins as well, but I think I’m going to need a bigger freezer!

  5. Your welcome! I know the feeling about freezer size limitations! I want to buy a freezer chest or perhaps another refrigerator with auto-defrosting freezer on the top.

    Anyways a $1 bag of dry beans produces the same yield as like $4 in cans. If you eat a lot of beans like me (I’m diabetic), then it’s definitely a money saver!

    • I could definitely use a freezer chest! I’ll have to put that on my list for my dream home. I’ll have to give the beans a try!

  6. Pingback: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup | American Heritage CookingAmerican Heritage Cooking

  7. Pingback: Homemade Beef Stock and Atlanta Wintergate 2.0 | American Heritage CookingAmerican Heritage Cooking

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