You can make chicken broth with as little as a left over rotisserie chicken carcass and a carrot, but when you make chicken broth—a stock, really—with a whole uncooked chicken or an assortment of pieces, you have a completely different creation: a bone broth rich in collagen that can stand on its own or be dressed up in many ways. If you choose to add noodles for a classic chicken noodle soup, cook them separately from the broth then add them in to keep the broth from getting overly starchy.
MAKES ABOUT 2 QUARTS
6–8 chicken pieces with bones, or 1 whole chicken, about 3–4 pounds
1 onion, peeled and quartered, plus ¼ diced onion
2–4 carrots, peeled and quartered, plus 1 diced carrot
2 celery stalks, quartered
4 sprigs Italian parsley
1–2 sprigs fresh thyme
8 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
1 strip lemon zest
Reserved shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken
Sprouted spelt, cooked rice, or noodles (see notes)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place chicken, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Fill with water to about 2-inches above ingredients. Cover pot and bring to a boil on stove top over medium-high heat, remove lid, sprinkle in the salt, reduce heat, and maintain a slow simmer for 60–90 minutes, or up to 12 hours if you want to extract every bit of collagen from a fresh, whole chicken.
If you want shredded chicken in your finished soup, remove the chicken at 45 minutes, let cool slightly, remove meat from the bones, and set aside on a dish in the refrigerator. Return the bones to the pot and continue cooking.
Once finished cooking, strain the solids from the broth, pressing to extract as much broth as possible, then discard or compost the solids. Give the pot a quick rinse then return the broth to it.
Heat unsalted butter or olive oil in a small skillet. Add additional onion and carrot and cook until soft ened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can omit the onion and cook the carrot directly in the broth. Add to broth along with strip of lemon zest and reserved shredded chicken. Heat to boiling and serve with sprouted spelt (or rice or noodles), black pepper, and salt.
To sprout spelt, add ½ cup spelt berries to a quart-sized Mason jar with a sprouting lid. Add water to cover by a couple inches and keep at room temperature for 24 hours. Drain and rinse with fresh water, drain again, then set jar on its side to rest for up to 3 days, rinsing and draining once every 12 hours. You should see sprouts aft er 3 days at which point you can drain and rinse the sprouted spelt and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Enjoy in soups or salads.