Homemade bouillon cubes are actually not difficult to make! Such a relief not to have to buy those who-knows-what’s-in-there cubes anymore.
I don’t know about you, but I always felt a little icky when I made a recipe calling for bouillon cubes. It was a “mystery ingredient” to me – I didn’t feel good about what was in it, but I didn’t think it was possible to make myself.
Even though I felt iffy about using store-bought bouillon cubes, there were so many recipes I loved that needed them and I didn’t want to give those recipes up. The solution? Homemade bouillon cubes! Thanks to my husband’s ingenuity, now I can enjoy these recipes in a healthier way!
Here’s the process for making your very own homemade bouillon cubes, thanks to Mr. Nurture.
First, you need the right tools:
Two stock pots, a strainer that fits the rim of the stock pots, a potato masher, a clean cloth, tongs, an immersion blender, ice cube trays, and a mixing bowl. You are going to make a traditional bone broth, using the leftover ingredients to make your cubes. No waste here!
1 whole chicken (or bone-in cut of beef), 2-3 onions (wash them, don’t peel the dry outer layer off – it adds flavor and color), 1 stalk celery, 5 large carrots. 4-6 bulbs of garlic (washed & whole), turmeric (1 Tbsp powdered or 1 knuckle fresh & grated), salt (5 tablespoons to the marrow out of the bones), 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (also helps draw nutrients out of bones – optional).
Extra tip: I keep a zip lock bag in the freezer for vegetable scraps when I’m cooking. I’ve used cabbage, broccoli, onions, carrots, even apple scraps. I also add bones and skin from rotisserie chickens, beef bones, etc. to the bag. Keeping all your scraps reduces waste and makes your end product even better. Once the bag is full, you can add it to the stock.
Place your fresh chicken and all the ingredients in a large stock pot and cover with fresh filtered water. Boil gently for about 3 hours. Using tongs, remove the chicken and separate chicken from bones. Set the meat aside to use for a meal later. Put all the bones, giblets, etc. back into the stock and return to the stove. Simmer for several more hours, or even all day!
Making the stock:
Remove your garlic bulbs, setting them aside to cool. They should still be intact.
Set your strainer on the empty stock pot and strain all the contents.
While you strain the stock, pick out the carrots and onions and any loose pieces of chicken. I get the liver, kidneys and any large pieces of veggies and add them to the mixing bowl. Use the potato masher to mash the strained bones and bits and get the last drops of goodness into your pot.
Throw away what’s left in the strainer rinse it. Rinse out your empty stock pot as well.
Put your strainer back on your pot and place a clean cloth over the strainer. Strain your broth one more time through the cloth. This separates the fat and marrow from the pure liquid gold. Scrape this fat and marrow into your mixing bowl which contains the vegetable pieces you set aside earlier. There is amazing flavor and probiotic nutrients in here! Chicken fat is highly nutritious as well, so don’t be put off by the thought.
Salt the stock to taste and pour into mason jars. Set aside one cup of stock to use in making your bouillon cubes. Once cool, freeze the jars for later use in soups, stews, and sauces.
Making the homemade bouillon cubes:
Retrieve your bowl full of yummy goodness, containing the veggies, chicken bits, and fat/marrow. Now take your cooled garlic bulbs (the KEY to the taste of your boullion cubes) and remove the skin. To do this, squeeze the individual cloves and the garlic will ooze out like butter 🙂
Add 3 tablespoons of salt to the mixing bowl and a cup of your strained broth. Now blend it up with your immersion blender.
Pour the mixture into your ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag and you are done!
To use in your recipes, use one homemade bouillon cube in place of one store bought cube. Enjoy your dishes even more, knowing they are made with the freshest and most nutritious ingredients!
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Do you use store-bought bouillon cubes? Tell me how you like this recipe!