Bone-broth is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It also happens to be one of the easiest things in the world to make. It will take you less than 10 minutes to chop everything and put it in a pot. Then all you have to do is simmer it for a day (or two). If you have a life and can’t babysit a pot cooking on your stove all day long – a crock-pot works great.
There are 2 starting points.
- Broth made with a whole, raw chicken
- Broth made with a whole, cooked chicken (minus the meat)
Bone Broth is a great way to use a “layer” breed chicken. There are 2 categories of chicken: layers and broilers. The broilers are the fat ones you buy at the grocery – to eat. The layers lay eggs. There are some cross-breeds that are useful for both, but that is for another post. Typically, layer chickens are not ideal for food, but sometimes they end up becoming food.
I use Starting Point #1 for Layers & Starting Point #2 for Broilers
Starting Point#1 – Broth made with a whole uncooked Chicken
When I have a gangster rooster, or other obstinate poultry from our yard (in other words – a free rangin’ layer-breed rooster), who needed to be removed from the flock, I toss the whole chicken into the pot & make the stock. Gangster Roosters are tough. Gangster Roosters are stringy. Gangster Roosters have purple meat. Gangster Roosters are ‘layers.’ At least, they’d be layers if they weren’t dudes. You can’t make chicken cacciatore from a Gangster Rooster. You pretty much can’t make anything from a Gangster Rooster except bone broth. Unless you like chewing… a lot (think: chicken-jerky).
Starting Point #2 – Broth made with a whole cooked chicken (minus the meat). In other words: a chicken carcass
If I happen to have an organic ‘broiler’ (a chicken raised to be meat – not lay eggs) then I prefer to roast the chicken for dinner and use the bones, legs, tendons, knuckles, organs, skin, back, neck, slime, glop, and anything else that’s left in the pan after we have dinner to make the bone-broth. Yummy.
I prefer to start with a cooked chicken because:
- I don’t like ‘boiled’ chicken (which is what I end up with if I cook the entire chicken when making bone-broth)
- I love roasted chicken
- I think the flavor of the bone-broth is remarkably better if the chicken is roasted first
To make this bone-broth, you’ll need to roast a chicken yesterday. If you didn’t roast a chicken yesterday, you can roast one today and make broth tomorrow. Or, you can throw the raw chicken into the pot and have boiled chicken. 🙂
Raw, cooked, yesterday, today. Just put the bird in the pot & let’s make some broth.
After your family devours the chicken yesterday, relocate all the left-over chicken parts into a large pot (today). You want everything: juice, grease, liquid, bones, legs, tendons, knuckles, liver, heart, gizzards, skin, back, neck, slime, everything that was associated with that chicken goes into the pot. Everything except the meat that you ate, yesterday.
Time to add some veggies! Veggies are actually optional when you make bone-broth. If you have some available, toss them in. They’ll boost the flavor and the nutrition. If you are short on veggies or only have 2 carrots and an onion. Great! That will work. No veggies? That’s OK too – just cook those bones.
See how easy I am to get along with?
There is no need to get fancy here. Just lop the veggies into large chunks and toss them in. I don’t even peel the onions or remove the tops & bottoms. I grew these. They are organic and healthy. I just throw the entire thing in the pot. If you grow your own veggies, or buy organic there’s no need to get too worried about scrubbing and cleaning. Rinse-chop-pot.
Now the celery. Again, large chunks, tops and all go in the pot.
Next, the carrots – tops and all.
Garlic goes next. I also grew this. I don’t even peel the garlic. I just pound the bulb with the heal of my hand & give the cloves a rough chop & toss’em into the pot – peel and all. A word of caution here. I am a garlic nut. I love it. I put in an entire bulb, which is a lot of garlic. Normal people will want 2-3 cloves.
2 tablespoons of raw apple-cider vinegar will help pull all the goodness out of those bones.
Last, fill the pot with filtered water. 1 1/2 gallons of water goes in.
Put the pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer is what you want. Don’t boil. Boiling bone-broths can prevent it from gelling. Gel is good. Gel is what we want – so stay with a nice, gentle, bubbly simmer.
If you want to add seasoning to your bone-broth you can do that now. You can also wait and season it later. You could also not season it at all. I like to add a little real salt, pepper, celery salt & Lawry’s.
In the first hour any yucky stuff will come to the top in the form of foam, just skim that off and discard.
Allow this to simmer for 8-10 hours or more.
Once cool, strain broth.
Now you can eat it, cook with it, save it in the refrigerator to eat this week or move into the freezer for future uses. You can even pour it into ice-cube trays & transfer broth-cubes into freezer bags. Bone broth cubes are a wonderful thing to have on hand.
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