Traditionally broth was simply made in order to use up the parts and pieces of an animal that would otherwise be discarded due to being hard to digest. These included parts like bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments.
Essentially what happens is that these parts are simmered together with vegetables and other roots and herbs for a few hours. This allows for the goodness and rich beneficial compounds to be released in a manner that is easy for your body to absorb.
I am pretty sure we all know that chicken broth is the liquid part of chicken soup that is made from the meat of the chicken. You know the one that you always get for your loved one who is suffering from a cold or flu.
Chicken broth which is also known as “chicken bouillon”, is a food item that can be used to prepare quite a number of other different foods. It adds flavor to any recipe. It can be used as a cooking liquid for grains like quinoa and rice.
It is also a no brainer that it is used to make soups and stews. Chicken broth can also be used in the kitchen as a braising liquid for chicken and vegetables.
How long does chicken broth last? This is usually dependent on whether the broth was store bought or homemade and if it was stored in ideal conditions. Usually, for best results homemade stock can be stored in the refrigerator for between 4 – 5 days, frozen for between 6 – 9 months, or canned for up to 1 year. Store bought chicken broth will normally last up until its expiry date or until contaminated.
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How can you tell if chicken broth is bad?
When handling an unopened can of store-bought chicken broth, carefully examine the packaging and if you notice any defect with it, the broth inside should probably not be consumed. When we say defects, we mean if there is anything wrong with the can or packaging.
These defects range from the can leaking or having started to rust or having bulges anywhere on its surface. If you examine the can and it still looks intact and in good condition, you can opt to carry out another test just to make sure that the broth inside the can is still of good and optimum quality.
Once the can or packaging is opened or you are dealing with homemade chicken broth, checking on whether the broth is spoiled or not, a few more aspects that need to be considered in order to wind up with the best decision whose effects will not be harmful or detrimental to you.
From a point of smell, obviously a bad smell is the first indicator of bad chicken broth. If you open the can you have of chicken broth and it smells rotten or just not like it is supposed to, throw it out because it has probably started to go bad and will not do you any good.
Further, if you look at the opened can of chicken broth and you see any signs of mold growing on the surface, without second guessing yourself, throw the whole thing out.
Always note that if your chicken broth looks and smells alright, you can do a taste test in order to ascertain the true position.
Can you get sick from eating old chicken broth?
First of all, I would not advise you to consume spoiled chicken broth. Yes, even if there was a sale at your local supermarket or grocery store or you brewed a storm and you stocked up but somehow forgot about some cans that you still have laying around and you just don’t want to waste any.
Eating spoiled chicken broth could expose you to more or less the same dangers that you would experience from consuming any other form of bad food. The symptoms of which usually include; stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea or a low-grade fever.
Even though these symptoms tend to be fairly mild and should pass on their own without treatment, you need to be very keen when treating yourself at home.
You will want to ensure that you remain hydrated, this is especially the case if you experience a lot of throwing up or have diarrhea, for instance, if it lasts for more than two days and is slowly progressing in intensity.
Note that if any of the symptoms mentioned present more severely and last for a longer amount of time, this could mean a fever above 37 degrees Celsius or vomiting and diarrhea that lasts longer than two days, you may need to seek medical attention as soon as possible since these are signs that you might have a more serious infection.
How to make your own chicken broth at home
One of the easiest and most common ways of making or preparing chicken broth at home is without a doubt mixing all the necessary ingredients needed in a pot with leftover chicken bones and vegetables from the fridge and letting it do its thing.
The process is quite simple and goes as follows;
- Prepare all the ingredients that you like to add to your chicken broth. These include; chicken legs or bones, onions, carrots, a few cloves of garlic, some parsley and ginger, bay leaves, some salt to taste, and of course water that will carry all these elements.
- Cut up all your ingredients and in your pot, add all ingredients and slowly cook on low heat for four and a half hours or overnight.
- Proceed to take the bones and meat out of it.
- Pass the chicken stock through a sieve and voila, you have your healthy immune-boosting chicken broth.
Nutritional benefits of consuming chicken broth
Chicken broth is generally packed with so many nutritional benefits and advantages. Some of the good results to expect from the consumption of chicken broth include but are not limited to:
- Leading to the promotion of good digestion and the protection of the digestive tract
- Eating or drinking chicken broth, helps contribute to the development of strong bones, connective tissues, and tendons, and healthy brain growth.
- If you have been wondering why chicken broth is mostly recommended to people when they are sick, it is because it helps in boosting the body’s immune system.
- Chicken broth is also quite rich in glycine which is an essential amino acid for our bodies.
- Provides our body with essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and other trace minerals.
- If you want to die for skin, healthy hair, and nails, chicken broth is the way to go. Why? Because it is rich in collagen.
How to store chicken broth
If you enjoy making or purchasing large batches of chicken broth for use, this section will probably do you the most good in helping you avoid wasting food.
When it comes to store bought, unopened, packaged chicken broth, it should be stored in a cool and dry place that is away from direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. This can be anywhere from a kitchen cabinet to the pantry, or even in your house store where you keep extra supplies just in case.
Once the can or packaging has been opened, the chicken broth should be stored in the refrigerator. For this option, ensure that the chicken broth is stored in a container that seals tightly.
Also note that in the case of chicken broth that was canned, any leftover chicken broth ought to be transferred into another resealable airtight container.
Homemade broth should be allowed to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, and stored in the fridge.
Can you freeze chicken broth?
If you want to keep your chicken broth even longer, it would be wise to consider freezing it. when doing this always make sure that you freeze the chicken broth in a container that is resealable, airtight, and freezer safe.
It would also be best to freeze the chicken broth in smaller quantities that are enough for a meal. You could also use an ice tray to do the freezing then transfer the ice blocks into the container. Alternatively, if your ice tray is too small then you could use your cupcake or muffin baking tin. This method will make the thawing process a whole lot easier.
Even though chicken broth will technically stay safe to eat for up to six months or more in a freezer with a constant temperature, it will eventually begin to degrade and decrease in quality.
In this state, the chicken broth can also start to develop strange flavors over a period of time. Remember that for the best and optimum quality, chicken broth should be frozen for six months.
In order to thaw your chicken broth, leave the frozen bit in the container overnight in the refrigerator, or simply transfer the frozen block of chicken broth from the container immediately into a pot, and low heat and let it defrost.