Master Chicken Broth
For me, chicken broth is the soul of Chinese cooking and an indispensable East-West ingredient. We use it for innumerable dishes, from soups and stir-frys to braises and sauces, including the dishes that follow.
What makes my version different from most is the addition of star anise, ginger, and soy sauce, which not only salts the broth, but provides depth of flavor. This chicken broth is so simple to make, and keeps so beautifully, it's almost a shame not to have some on hand at all times. If you don't want to bother freezing the broth, you can extend its refrigerated life by boiling it every 5 days or so, cooling it, and then re-refrigerating it. That way, it will last 2 to 3 weeks.
Makes about 7 quarts
Lasts about 1 week refrigerated (but see above) or 1 month frozen
5 pounds chicken bones, such as backs, wings, carcasses, and feet
1 head of celery, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 star anise
Two 1/4-inch-thick slices of ginger cut lengthwise from a 2- to 3-inch-long piece
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
- Rinse the bones and place them in a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the bones by 3 to 4 inches and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim the scum that rises to the surface as it appears, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until chicken fat rises to the surface, about 1 hour. (Ladle the fat into a bowl and reserve for other cooking.)
- Add the celery, carrots, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, star anise, ginger, and soy sauce. Continue to simmer until the stock is well flavored, 3 to 4 hours more. Strain the stock and allow to cool to room temperature. Use or store.