You did not mention the Year or Engine Size of your Ranger.
If that "elbow" looks like the picture I have attached and if I recall correctly, replacing this is fairly straightforward. I believe that the threaded end goes into the coolant port of the manifold and that the Temp Sensor (temperature sending unit) threads into the top part and that a coolant hose attaches at the bottom. Which is easier said than done, considering yours has broken off and you did not specify where exactly, so you may very well have to remove the threaded end before replacing this part.
You might also want to check your coolant level when finished and top it up if necessary.
There are several things in the way to install this. What do I need to remove to get this installed. There is another elbow next to this that needs to be removes. Next to that elbow there is a bracket plus the AC unit. Does all of this need to be removed just to get this elbow installed? I have a 1999 Ford Ranger 3.0.
I remember the SOB......well a little bit anyway. You pull the all the stuff you mentioned or the intake to get the OEM part in BUT...........IIRC I just used a brass tee and a couple nipples all plumbed together.