Homemade Bone Broth

homemade-chicken-broth-300x300Cooler weather is upon us, and if you’ve never made home made bone broth, then now is the time to learn. Back in the day, the only way to make chicken or beef broth was by boiling the bones of an animal. Today, we are totally removed from that notion and consider broth something that comes from a can or a cube. The tradition of making chicken soup for loved ones who are sick is rooted in the idea of the healing properties of the nutrient-rich stock. Where does the broth get these nutrients that are amazing for your body? Not from a can. And sure as heck not from a cube. These awesome nutrients are extracted from the animal bones as the soup cooks. People get grossed out at the thought of boiling animal bones. Why? Ever eaten a drumstick? Gnawed on a rib? Devoured a delicious bone-in steak? Then what’s the aversion to throwing some bones into a pot? Bone broth is truly one of the most nutritious foods for your body. The bones leach all kinds of good stuff into the broth like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and glycine. Most people are in desperate need of these nutrients. When you use the appropriate bones – like joints or knuckle bones from larger animals or chicken necks, backs, and feet- your broth will also be rich in collagen. Hear that, ladies? Collagen!  It’s like a facial in a bowl.

So, forget those cubes full of MSG and hydrogenated fats. Skip the cans when you can. Make rich, nutritious homemade bone broth for you and your family. Sip on it. Use it as a soup base. Boil your rice in it. Make extra and freeze it. You’ll need it.

One tip: I recommend roasting your bones first (if you’re using a rotisserie/baked chicken, this will already be done for you!). Doing so will give your broth a better flavor.

Chicken Broth

  • 2-4 lbs bones     good: use the bones leftover from your rotisserie chicken                                  better: use bones from organic chicken                                                                best: use bones from pastured chicken                                                                turbo: add chicken feet
  • 4 quarts of cold, filtered water
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • Carrots, celery, onion and/or any other vegetables you have laying around.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
  • other optional add-ins: garlic clove, jalapeno, bay leaf, peppercorns

Place the bones in a large pot and cover with the water. Add the vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar helps draw the minerals from the bone. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 8-24 hours. The longer the better (you could even go 48 hours!). Allow to cool and then strain. Add salt to taste. Pour into storage containers and place in refrigerator or freezer. Store in refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months.
This can also be made in a slow cooker.

**Use same recipe for Beef Broth using an assortment of meaty bones, knuckle bones, and marrow bones.

Don’t worry if your bone broth becomes gelatinous once refrigerated. This is GREAT! That means it has lots of the good stuff in there – especially collagen. Once heated, it will become liquidy again.

Love for the busy mama:  homemade is best, but in a pinch, use something like this:

chicken-broth-2-156x300

4 Comments

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  • Stephanie Donato Posted January 14, 2014 12:28 pm

    Silly question I guess- but can I just buy the bones somewhere? I don’t have knuckle bones or chicken feet laying around and I rarely eat chicken off the bone. 🙂 I am scared to see the market that sells those but would a Whole Foods sell them? Or a Sprouts?

    • Chelsea Posted January 16, 2014 6:04 am

      Stephanie – Many stores DO sell these assorted soup bones. Once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised how easy they are to find. Even the chicken feet. Ha!

  • Erin Posted February 27, 2014 5:46 pm

    Does one chicken have 2-4 pounds of bones? Just wondering how many chickens we should eat to make some yummy broth! Thanks!

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