I get sentimental when I cook. I think of friends, family, travels I’ve had and those trips I have yet to take. When I made this recipe, I dreamed of Paris. I have never been to Paris.
Still, dreamlike sequences, snapshots from movies, from photographs combined with stories from friends about the foggy mist making mysterious dark haired classic beauty that Paris transforms herself into at night…dazzling with the lights of her lean, long Eiffel. This is where I go when I cook.
This Classic French broth was inspired by a recipe from Saveur cookbook – because I consider them an authority on “getting flavors right” and from some personal taste tests I did over the course of a few broth experiments. It consists of two parts – the first part is roasting some chicken in the oven to add depth of flavor. The liquid from that roasting gets added to the stock pot for part two – making the broth. Please try this recipe with the lights dimmed, music in the background, a candle lit and let the smell of roasted garlic lemon chicken draw you into your own dream.
Table of Contents
Traditional French Recipe for Chicken Broth
- 1 lb chicken legs and chicken feet
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- to taste Salt and pepper
- 1 whole 4 lb chicken
- 3 quarts water
- 4 leeks trimmed, washed and chopped (they get a lot of dirt in the leaves as they grow)
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 large Shallot chopped finely
- 1 white onion
- to taste Black Peppercorns and salt
- to taste Bouquet Garni
- 1 lb chicken legs and chicken feet seasoned with 1/2 lemon juice squeezed over, salt and pepper and 2 cups water, Roast at 375 for one hour. Reserve the liquid in the pan and add it to the stock pot. Eat the leg meat for dinner or save it for another meal – discard the chicken feet.
- Complete step one and drain the liquids from the pan into the stock pot. Heat liquid and add shallots. Stir for 5 minutes – allowing them to soften over medium heat. Add water and place whole chicken breasts up in the pan. Add all vegetables and place bouquet garni on top.
- Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer partially covered for 2 hours. You can add more water if you wish. Season with salt as you go.
- Remove chicken from the pot (you may have to strain it from the broth as it might have fallen apart).
- Pour stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth – into a bowl. Discard vegetables or chicken carcass remaining. Transfer stock to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until cold (overnight is fine).
- When broth is cold, you can skim off the fat that has formed on the surface and discards it OR chooses to keep the fat in a separate container for cooking recipes (this chicken fat is called Confit by the French and Schmaltz by German and Yiddish cooks. Confit is used by the French to preserve meats and often to cook duck and other tender meats flavorfully. It is used in Germany as a spread on loaves of bread and to make rich stews and sauces. Schmaltz is most commonly used in the US to make Matzo ball soup according to this recipe on Cookography.com which I am making soon.) I personally like leaving the fat because I feel like it provides more rich heartiness to the broth …but the classic FRENCH style calls for it to be skimmed from the broth to make it very clean. It becomes a more neutral palate when prepared this way.
- The subtle lemon and shallot flavors mixed with the herbs and the richness of the roasted chicken just added at the beginning make this broth one of my absolute favorites! I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!