It is hard to not buy something from a guy at the Farmers market who is wearing a Roast Turkey Hat. This was the case with my visit to the Ann Arbor Market this Saturday. There were full sized frozen Turkeys displayed on the table. Not in the market for a 15-20 LB bird, I was about to move on, but this cheerful vender started talking turkey (literally). He also had some old stewing hens which he said made the world best chicken stock. These were not birds to buy for the meat. It was all about the stock/broth.
FYI: Stock is a flavored liquid made from the use of the bones and veggies. A broth, usually heartier is made from both the bones, meat, and veggies. I alway get them confused. When thinking about broth, think about the whole chicken in the pot.
With visions of a tasty chicken broth in my future with matzoh balls floating on top, I purchased an old hen. It was six dollars, and Mr. Turkey Hat said I should get 2-3 quarts from it. That is a pretty good deal considering a good quart of stock can run $7, or $4 in the grocery store.
This is a supper basic broth. It is just chicken with no veggies, aromatics, or salt. They come later.
Chicken Broth: Makes 2-3 Quarts
1 3-4 LB old hen
2-3 quarts of water
Place hen in a slow cooker. Turn on slow setting. Simmer 6-12 hours. Skim occasionally. Separate the chicken fat floating on top to use in Matzoh ball soup, potato dishes, and pastries.