The best broths usually contain chickens that have been butchered with fully attached heads and feet; this little known fact was made abundantly clear to me when I asked my grandmother when she would be removing these parts after slaughtering chickens for a large family meal (I won’t elaborate on her response but you can take a guess). The simple idea is that cooking the entire chicken produces the most flavorful chicken broth (Brodo di Pollo); in fact, our mother adds any bones available for her delicous chicken broth including capon (rooster) parts and, paradoxically, beef bones!
You can serve chicken broth as is (or either with any small pasta shape <even cut up angel hair> or tortellini). At times, we add some shredded chicken to our brodo and some of the intact carrots (diced into small pieces). You can also use brodo to make risotto, other soups, stews, etc.
- 2-3 carrots, diced roughly
- 1 onion, diced roughly
- 4-5 stalks of celery, diced roughly
- 1-2 plum, Roma, or San Marzano tomatoes, diced roughly
- 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
- Parsley, chopped roughly
- 4 quarts of fresh, filtered, water
- 1 whole chicken (anywhere between 3.5-4.5 pounds) buy the best chicken you can afford as this ingredient will dictate how well your broth or brodo comes out
- Roughly butcher the chicken into 8 pieces (11 if you're lucky enough to have the head and feet), making sure to remove the skin and any unnecessary fat. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Move all the ingredients into a large pot and cover; bring to a boil over a high flame. Once a boil is reached reduce the heat.
- Thereafter, simmer for 2-2.5 hours. Depending on the amount of fat in the chicken you may want to skim the excess fat from the top layer contained in the pot.