chicken broth

Here's the thing about all this; if you roast the chicken instead of boiling it then you get flavor added to the chicken instead of flavor removed from the chicken. If you bust up the bones, all of the marrow within them is pulled out into the liquid. Using a pressure cooker assures maximum marrow extraction and speeds the whole process plus it's fun. This whole thing could be done using a single pot and just boiling the chickens, but the resulting cooked chicken will have donated whatever flavor it had to the broth. It's how my mother made chicken and dumplings, which was fantastic. A good deal of marrow comes through the bones even if you don't break them up. Or, you could roast the chickens in the same pot you later use to boil the carcass. You could add onion, carrot and celery, the usual mirepoix, except in careless big chunks and unpeeled onion adds color. I didn't do that here because I don't need added flavor, I want the purity of straight broth to use for several purposes, and I'll add those things later.

The broth chilled in a tall container forms a layer of fat at the top that is easily removed, a bowl, less easily. I like to keep some of the fat because I like a bit of fat mixed into the broth. The layer underneath the fat is usually uniformly gelatinous. That giggly gelatin is aspic that formed from bone marrow. It melts when cooked and it's what spectacularly differentiates your homemade broth from commercial broth. You can use chunks of this chicken gelatin for bowls of broth, or for sauces, or wherever a flavor liquid is desired. I like to scoop out about a cup, throw in a tablespoon of miso and a handful of fresh vegetables for a rapid emergency meal, or just a feel-good meal.

This is one of my favorite things to do and it's a 100% improvement over canned or boxed broth. There simply is no comparison.

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