Brown chicken broth is more flavorful than white broth, but for cream soups and white sauces, you need a white broth, which takes less time to make. For a clear soup, make white broth with chicken parts that contain meat (not with backs or just wings) because the bones will cloud the broth.
– Two 3½-pound chickens; one 5-pound stewing hen; 6 pounds chicken legs, drumsticks, and/or wings; carcasses from three 4-pound roasted chickens; or any combination.
– 1 large onion, root end trimmed and then quartered without peeling.
– 2 carrots, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced.
– 1 stalk celery, sliced (optional).
– 1 handful of fennel stalks (optional).
– 3 quarts cold water or more as needed to cover.
– Bouquet garni.
Step 1:If you are using whole chickens, cut them up. Separate the drumsticks from the thighs and cut each of the single breasts in half. If you are using leftover chicken carcasses, break them up with a cleaver so they take up less room in the pot. Put the vegetables in the pot first so they don’t float up and interfere with skimming, and then add the chicken.
Step 2:Add enough water to the pot to cover the chicken and vegetables, and nestle the bouquet garni in the middle.
Step 3:Bring to a gentle simmer, starting on high heat and decreasing the heat to medium once the liquid is simmering. Move the pot slightly off center of the burner, and turn down the heat so the liquid bubbles gently on one side. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, skimming off the froth with a ladle every 15 minutes or so. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container, letcool for 1 hour at room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate. Before using, pull off the fat that has congealed on top and discard. The broth will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. If boiled every 5 days, it will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.