Make Ahead

Ginger-scented chicken broth

March  2, 2010
Author Notes

When I was a kid, coming home from school to the aromas of cinnamon, star anise and ginger meant that we would have pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) for dinner. This was always a good thing. I’d come home to watch my grandfather char onions halves and ginger over the open flame of a burner until they turned black, and he’d let me add them into the pot. When I got older and moved out of the house, I took those scents along with me. Nowadays, it seems I can’t make a stock or broth without using those ingredients to flavor them. There’s always a little Vietnamese inspiration in even the most American soups I serve, like chicken noodle or split pea. For this recipe, you start with a huge pot and 6 quarts of water, but you’ll reduce it to less than half of that in order to concentrate the broth’s flavors. You may only need a smidge of salt at the end, but sometimes I find that I don’t need it at all. The broth is finished with lime to perk it up a bit. - Furey and the Feast
Furey and the Feast

Test Kitchen Notes

This broth is like a modified pho, with star anise, cinnamon, and charred onion and ginger. But instead of beef bones, the broth is made with roasted chicken bones, and lots of them -- 4 pounds! Call your butcher ahead of time. We were able to get some from a butcher who stores them in the freezer. The only tweak we have for this very simple, aromatic broth is to pour off the fat from the roasting pan used for the chicken bones and use 2 cups of the water to deglaze the pan, so you don't lose those tasty bits in the broth! - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 2 1/2 to 3 quarts
  • 4 pounds chicken bones (carcasses, or necks, backs, wings, etc.)
  • 2 medium onions, cut in half
  • 1 4-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 quarts water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken bones in a roasting pan. When oven comes to temperature, roast bones for 1 hour, or until thoroughly browned. Remove from pan and place in a 10-12 quart stock pot.
  2. Place onion halves (peels removed) over the open flame of a gas burner. Use tongs to turn onions when needed. When onions are blackened, place in stock pot. Repeat method with ginger, but cut ginger into 1-inch pieces before placing in pot. Add carrots and celery to pot.
  3. Make a sachet of spices: Pile star anise, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves and garlic in a cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen string to make a little pouch. Add pouch to pot, as well as cinnamon sticks.
  4. Fill pot with 6 quarts of cold water, making sure to cover all ingredients (add more if you need to). Bring pot to a boil and immediately turn heat down to medium-low. Let the pot simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 4 hours. Refrain from stirring here, so that you'll end up with a clear broth.
  5. Remove all bones, veggies and spices from pot. Turn heat up to medium-high, and reduce to about half of its current amount. Taste, and add salt if needed. When broth is full-bodied and flavorful (and this depends on personal preference), remove from heat and cool. Add a healthy sprinkle of lime juice, if desired.
Contest Entries

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Furey and the Feast
    Furey and the Feast
  • Priscilla
  • Helenthenanny
  • arielleclementine
  • mrslarkin