Broth is a saving a grace in this house. Anytime one of us comes home with a cold (or I just want to make risotto) having homemade broth handy in the freezer saves the day. I have only followed Alice Water's instructions for making broth, and have yet to ever be disappointed by its outcome. It may seem excessive, but go ahead and use a whole chicken to make your broth. After an hour or so of cooking, you may take the chicken out of the pot, remove the breast, and then return the rest to the pot. The poached breasts can then be turned into a delicious meal while your broth continues to cook.
For me, the meat you chose makes all the difference. If you have left over chicken with bones that you don't want to go to waste, choose the meatiest parts such the neck, back, and wings. This will help your broth from being too thin. (Notice I didn't mention the livers... save those for a mousse, to fry, or really just anything else).
1. Put your chicken, gizzards, heart, and neck in your large, heavy bottomed, pot.
2. Then fill the pot with cold water (about 1.5 gallons)
3. Add 1 onion halved, 2 carrots peeled, 1 head of garlic halved, and 1 stalk of celery
4. Season with salt, 1/2 teaspoon (I always do more) of peppercorns, parsley, thyme, and 1 bay leaf
5. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer the broth for about 4 to 5 hours followed by straining. If using immediately, skim the fat and season with additional salt to taste. Serve hot, or allow to cool completely and then freeze.