RECIPE: Italian Brodo (Chicken Broth)

by - December 05, 2023

There are some dishes that are more than just food. Comfort, memories, family, heritage... Brodo, an Italian chicken broth, is made when ill, when you have weary travellers arriving, and even when celebrating. A version of this is found around the festive period with mini veal meatballs and even weddings with tiny tortellini.

If my kids come home from school and smell that this has been cooking during the day for them, the sound of bags and shoes hitting the floor (ffs) is always joined by excitement and thats-exactly-what-I-wanted sighs. I love knowing this will definitely form part of their childhood food memories. 

Easy to do with just a little faff.

Into a large pot throw:
  • 1kg chicken drumsticks
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 1-2 carrots, halved
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped in half
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • Contentious, but I always throw in a Knorr Chicken Pot too.
  • Optional: a small piece of brisket or stewing beef. This will enrich but nit essential.

Cover with about 1.5 litres of water, or juat enough to cover everything. The size and shape of your pot will determine this.

Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 1.5-2 hours. The broth will reduce but don’t let it reduce too much. Remove any scum that forms on top, but I don't tend get much using drumsticks.

Turn off the heat and ideally allow everything to cool down a little.

Pour the whole lot into a colander over a large bowl. Give the pot a clean them pour the broth only back in, keeping the chicken, bones and vegetables aside.

Put some small pasta shapes on to boil (pastina, orzo, tiny tubes) and in another pot boil some finely shredded leafy greens (spring cabbage, cavolo nero, savoy).

Meanwhile pick though all the meat carefully, discarding bones, skin, veins. Set aside in a bowl. Lightly shredding any large pieces. If you've added any brisket or beef, chop this up roughly too.

Optional: In a separate bowl, using a hand blender, blend one of the reserved carrot pieces, a piece of tomato if that exists still, a couple of celery pieces and a half ladle of broth to make a paste. Add just a heaped tablespoon or two of this back to the broth pan to give a little body to it, but not much.

Taste broth for seasoning. May need a pinch of salt but not much. Reheat gently.

Drain pasta and cabbage.

In large soup bowls add some shredded chicken, pasta, cabbage to each, then top with a few ladels of your hot broth.

Add peperoncino flakes or some grated parmesan.

Feel 1000% better. Mamma knows best.

You May Also Like