You get two recipes for the price of one, today. I wanted to post a recipe for Chicken Bone Broth before we get too immersed in the flu season, but realized that many people are intimidated by roasting whole chickens. No need to be! Roasting chicken takes very little prep time. I think I spend more time cleaning up my counters and sink afterward than actually getting the chickens in the oven (do remember that raw chicken can have salmonella, so make sure that you clean appropriately; but also, don’t let this deter you from this recipe!). If you still don’t want to roast your own chickens, you can make bone broth with the carcasses leftover from store-bought rotisserie chickens too.
Roasted whole chicken is so easy and tasty, but it’s also extremely economical. I buy two chickens at a time at Costco for only $0.89/pound (of course, it would be healthier to buy free range chickens, but my budget doesn’t allow this). In addition to enjoying this great cheap meat, I also always make bone broth with the chicken carcasses. Waste not, want not! And, homemade broth is an unbeatable base for any soup. I always keep a plastic tub or two of it in my freezer just in case we get sick.
I always roast two chickens at a time. After our meal, I carve up the chickens and store enough meat for a couple of meals of leftovers in the fridge. I freeze the rest of the meat in single family meal portions, which is great when I need something quick during the week and can also be used on salads or as the base for a quick stir-fry. I store the giblets and chicken carcasses left over from roast chicken in the freezer until I have a day where I’ll be home for most of the day to mind chicken stock simmering away on the stove top. You could make the broth in a crockpot too, but I don’t have one.
Let me just assure you that both of these recipes are ridiculously easy. You don’t need to do anything special to your chicken out of the package, except throw some spices on it and throw it in the oven. The bone broth does need to simmer a long time, but there’s no need to chop vegetables into tiny pieces. I don’t even bother fully peeling the onions and garlic, if they are clean. I use my colander to strain out the bones and veggies at the end (you could use any kind of strainer for this job). I also throw out the used bones and veggies, since there isn’t much flavor left in them.
- 2 whole chickens, giblets removed and reserved for broth
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp paprika, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place chickens on a roasting pan (the kind with a wire or metal rack so the fat can drip down into the bottom during cooking).
3. Remove giblets and reserve for making bone broth(sometimes these are in a little bag, sometimes not).
4. Sprinkle with pepper and then liberally with paprika, until entire surface is well coated.
5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes per pound for your biggest chicken (the ones I buy are typically about 5 lbs each). Carve and enjoy!
Ingredients-Chicken Bone Broth:
- Giblets and carcasses from two chickens (or one turkey!)
- 2 medium yellow onions, roots cut off and halved
- 4-5 carrots, washed and cut in half (or about 2 cups of baby carrots)
- 6-8 celery stalks, washed and cut into thirds
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 gallon cold water (enough to cover the ingredients)
1. Place chicken giblets and carcasses, vegetables, garlic and bay leaves into a big stock pot. Fill with enough water to just cover the ingredients.
2. Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove, then turn down the heat to keep a simmer for 4-6 hours (or longer!), stirring every half hour or so. Let simmer with lid off for the last hour (or two).
3. Strain all the ingredients by pouring bone broth from one pot to another through a colander or strainer.
4. Enjoy on its own or use as the base for soups and stews. Yields approximately 12 cups.