Soak: Place chicken and/or chicken carcasses and optional parts in bottom of stock pot and cover with cold water and add vinegar. Let sit for 30-60 minutes. Soaking bones in cold water with a little vinegar helps to pull the minerals from the bones. This is not mandatory and if you’re short on time it’s OK to skip it.
Skim: Bring to a gentle rolling boil and skim any scum that forms on the surface. True to its name, “scum” is not very pleasant looking but it can’t hurt you. Simply skim it off with a ladle or a small mesh strainer which will easily latch on to the scum. Once you’ve skimmed the broth add in your chopped vegetables.
Simmer: Turn the temperature to low and simmer very gently, covered, for 4-24 hours. The key is to GENTLY SIMMER and not boil the bones which can prevent gelatin from forming (but won’t ruin the broth). So once the water has come to a boil and the scum is skimmed, immediately turn down the heat. Simmering should only be slightly perceptible – a few bubbles rising to the surface here and there are a good indicator of a nice, gentle simmer.
Strain: Let the broth cool to about room temperature. Strain broth from bones, parts and veggies using a fine mesh strainer.
If using a whole chicken, remove the chicken and place on a cutting board. Remove the meat from the bones and save for use in meals.
Store: Ladle the broth into your storage containers. If you’re filling glass jars that will be stored in the freezer, always leave a few inches of headspace at the top of the jar. Broth will expand when frozen and can crack glass jars if they’re overfilled. Store in fridge for up to 7 days. Freeze whatever you won’t use within a week.