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Jan 10, 2010 10:44 AM

Save my chicken broth!

We had a delicious chicken dinner last night (the famous chicken w/2 lemons). I didn't want the left overs to go to waste, so I decided to make broth for chicken soup for tonight's dinner. I consulted my copy of The Joy of Cooking and read all about broths and stocks. I decided I was making a broth and followed the recipe- chicken carcass with leftover meat clinging to it, enough water to cover the carcass plus finely chopped carrots and onions. I also threw in 2 whole garlic cloves and a few springs of rosemary. I brought the chicken to an almost boil then turned down to a simmer, added veggies, garlic and rosemary and simmered for about 50 minutes according to the recipe. Then I strained the veggies, garlic and rosemary and removed the carcass. I tore off piece of chicken and put them in the strained broth then put the post in the fridge. I just checked on it (3 hours out) and it has a nice yellowish color but it tasted very bland. It had smelled heavenly on the stove earlier. What can I do to make it an edible and enjoyable soup for tonight?


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  1. I usually cook much longer than 50 minutes. That said, salt would probably make a noticable improvement.

    1. Broth (or stock) will be bland. That's normal.

      That said, you've got to simmer longer than 50 minutes. At less than an hour, you're making something closer to "chicken soup" than "chicken broth". Next time, go at least a couple of hours, if not 3 or 4.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        That's what I thought, but the cookbook specifically said 40 minutes for broth- as opposed to 4 hours for stock (it also differentiated as saying broth is better for soups, hence I went for that as opposed to the stock).


      2. I second the idea of salt. It should make all the difference.

        1. Definitions, and cooks' understandings, of stock and broth vary. That said, you get less flavor, and sometimes a duller, grayish color, when using a cooked carcass without the addition of raw meat and bones. Pre-cooked bones and meat have less to give up to the pot, so you'll need to reduce the liquid a lot more. This is better done on a simmer than a boil, so it's going to take at least twice as long as you cooked it. You can always doctor it up with some bouillon or chicken base.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            Also let me add that if you want to get THE ABSOLUTE MOST out of your carcass, add just a dash of lemon juice or vinegar to your pot when you make broth or stock. It'll help break down the bird and extract more of the flavor.