Nourishing bone broth is full of minerals, amino acids and healthy things like gelatin and collagen. Easy to make and inexpensive too. Great to make a big batch in your slow cooker and freeze for later.
Winter is coming and so I got out my crock pot and starting making my chicken bone broth. Bone broth is health in a bowl. It’s basically homemade chicken or beef broth that you make from scratch because it has minerals, amino acids and healthy things like gelatin and collagen. Not only is it healthy, it’s inexpensive, useful for many dishes you make, and perfect for sipping on those cold winter days. I continuously make big batches and use it to make soup all winter long. I also sip it if I feel a cold coming on or my stomach is bothering me. So hopefully after reading this post you will see how easy and useful Bone Broth is to make and will make some for yourself.
Buy a whole chicken.
It’s always good to buy the best quality ingredients you can. That being said, while I would love to buy an all-natural or organic chicken, many times I just don’t have to time or money to buy one and end up getting one from Aldi. It only costs around $5 and Aldi is close to my house.
Take your chicken out of it’s packaging, rinse and pat dry. Make sure that the innards are not in a bag of any sort. I learned from this mistake many years ago with my first turkey. I cooked it with the plastic bag of organs in the cavity. No one got sick but I will not make that mistake again so check first. If there is a bag, take everything out of the bag and put them back in the cavity of the chicken.
Season with whatever seasonings you like. I use Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning but you can use whatever you like….poultry seasoning, rosemary, thyme, oregano or just salt and pepper. Then you put the seasoned chicken in a crock pot and set on high for 4 hours.
Take out chicken and prepare broth.
Take the chicken out and clean all the meat off the bones. It will literally fall apart. Separate the skin and throw it away. Put the meat in a bowl and shred or dice for future use. I usually chop mine up and freeze to make soup at a later date. As you can see you get plenty of meat. Throw everything else back in the crockpot. If it’s skin — throw away. If it’s meat — freeze for later or use that day. Everything else goes in the crockpot. Some things are unidentifiable but I throw them back in the pot anyway.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (I like Braggs) to your crockpot. This helps draw out the minerals from your bones. Chop a couple of carrots, 1 onion and a few ribs of celery and add them to your crockpot. You could use other vegetables if you like. Sometimes I even like to use spinach, kale or parsley if I have it on hand. Next you want to add your seasonings I like to grate some fresh ginger in mine. You don’t have to but it gives it something extra in my opinion. I also add crushed garlic, bay leaves, salt & pepper. I don’t have any peppercorns but they are nice to put in too. Today I added turmeric for the first time. It’s known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, has a lovely yellow color and doesn’t have much taste. I just put in a teaspoon. This is optional of course.
Now cover everything with filtered water until it reaches the top. This is what mine looked like before it started cooking. You can see there is some oil from the cooked chicken juices. You can strain that off later.
Turn on to a low setting and simmer for 24 hours. You can even do it longer if you want. Or some people make perpetual broth by leaving your crock pot on for a few days. Just take some out and strain, add more water and continue cooking.
When it’s done cooking, turn off the crock pot, take the lid off and let cool for a bit. Then strain it into a huge bowl if you have it or into several small containers. You get quite a bit. I usually use some of it for a soup dish and the freeze the rest. If it seems to oily for you, just put the strained broth into the refrigerator for a couple hours. All the fat will come to the top and solidify and you can easily take it off. Or when you freeze it separates too and you can take it off then. That’s all there is to it. I may sound like a lot of steps but it’s really quite easy and becomes second nature once you make it a few times.
Nourishing Bone Broth
Also I wanted to mention that you can use this broth for many other things. I sometimes roast vegetables in it as it gives it some extra flavor without the added fat. It’s good in sauces too. I make a red pepper sauce for pasta that’s just onions, peppers and chicken broth. Very tasty. You can also use it braise meat or vegetables or to deglaze a pan. Lots and lots of uses! So hopefully you will try this and enjoy it as much as I do.
Recipe: Bone Broth
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 ribs of celery
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar I use Braggs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 clove garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
- salt and pepper to taste
- filtered water
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Check that innards are not in a bag in the cavity. If so, discard bag and put innards back into the cavity of the chicken.
Season with any herbs and spices you like. I ground some of Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning on mine.
Add chicken to crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours until chicken falls apart.
Take chicken out and let cool a bit so you can handle it. Then pull of the meat and set aside. Discard skin and throw everything else back into the crock pot. If it's not skin or meat, throw it in the crock pot.
Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, ginger, bay leaves, vinegar, turmeric and salt and pepper to the crockpot and then cover with filtered water.
Cook on low for 24 hours.
Strain and put into containers to freeze. Or if you want, put into refrigerator to cool. Then take out and discard the fat that solidifies at the top. Then freeze.
Use in soups or for roasting or sautéing. Or just season and sip.