This soup is worth it.
Tips to making the perfect homemade chicken broth:
Tip #1: collect the ends of carrots, celery, fennel, and/or other root vegetables throughout the week, and save them in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer until the bag is full. the more veggies the more flavorful your broth will be. Fennel is a must.
Tip#2: Save the carcass of rotisserie chickens or chicken "scraps" in the same manner. I like to have at least two chickens worth in the freezer before I make broth. Some recipes suggest roasting chicken before making broth which is why I save rotisserie chicken scraps. Roasting the bird really does give the final product a more refined and smoky taste. Waste not, want not.
Tip#3: For a clear broth, peel the onion. For a deeper color, keep the peel on. I always keep the peel on.
Tip#4: Always simmer, never boil. Boiling makes for a cloudy broth.
Tip #5: Following these tips without the chicken also makes the perfect vegetable broth.
Chicken and Dill Soup with Homemade Broth
- 1-2 chicken carcasses
- 5 quarts water
- 1 large onion, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Frozen vegetable scraps, to include at least:
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- The scraps from one fennel
- 1 3 ¼ pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 cup onion, sliced
- 1 ½ cups peeled carrot, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- ½ lb mixed fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
- Place both carcasses, 5 quarts water, halved onion, 2 whole garlic cloves, reserved frozen vegetables, 2 bay leaves, parsley sprigs, and thyme sprigs in 8-to10-quart pot. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer 1 1/4 hours.
- Strain broth; return to pot and simmer until reduced to 7 cups. Turn down heat to low. Add chicken breasts; poach until cooked through. Remove chicken from broth and allow cooling; straining broth and setting aside. Shred chicken breast; reserve on side.
- Heat oil in another large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion, sliced garlic, and 2 bay leaves; sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced carrots, celery, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 7 cups broth; bring to a high simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken; season with more salt and pepper. Garnish with a lot of fresh chopped dill.