The first question I’m usually asked is, “Why make my own broth?”…and I have to admit, that I used to fall squarely in the camp of making my own broth being a waste of time.  But then I read the labels on some of the broths and stocks.  I was dismayed to see the high levels of sodium, learned that many of them contain MSG, and compared the cost of purchasing broths vs. making my own.  The chase was on.

Bonus:  True Bone Broth is high in vitamins and minerals that our bodies process easily.  It’s kind to the tummy, so can be a soothing as well as healthful drink.  And it really amps up the flavor when used in recipes.  Um, win, win, win.

Because bone broth has been around for so many years (our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers made it as a way to stretch budgets and as a base for their soups and stews), there are a myriad of recipes out there.  Don’t be intimidated!  Start with a basic recipe like the one below and then customize to create the one you and your family love!

A few notes:

1.  Use bones that are from either a roasted chicken or roast the bones in the oven.  Roasting brings out a richer flavor.  If you choose to roast your bones, place them in a 450 degree oven to roast.  How long will depend on the bones, but long enough that there will be some burnt bits in the pan, not long enough that you have burnt the bones.  Use the burnt bits in your broth.  Generally every few weeks I will purchase a roasted chicken from the grocery store as the base for a quick dinner.  I can make half a batch of broth with one carcass, or freeze the bones until I have enough for a full batch.  Many butchers will give or sell you bones and “parts” for broth, also.

2.  I do like to add in celery, carrots, onions, garlic and some spices.  Purists will say the less you add, the better.  Personally, I like the flavor, so I add them.  Wash but don’t peel the vegetables, and include the leafy parts of the celery~there are additional nutrients to be found there, and they will add a richer color to the broth.  Like the bones, I place veggies in a bag and freeze until ready to make my broth.

3.  I like to make this in the crockpot, but you can use your stove instead.  The keys are low, slow heat and time to allow the minerals to be drawn out of the bones.

4.  If you want a fat free broth, cool then refrigerate the broth overnight.  The fat will rise to the top and form a layer that is fairly easily scraped off and discarded.

Ingredients

12 hrs.
6 serv.

2 pounds of chicken bones (works for turkey too!)

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Onion (washed, unpeeled)

2 Celery Stalks (with leaves)

2 Carrots (washed, unpeeled)

1 Head of Garlic (washed, unpeeled)

1 Tablespoon Whole Peppercorns

2 Bay Leaves

Parsley (fresh) to taste

Thyme (fresh) to taste

Directions

10 min. Prep | 12 hrs. Cook | 12 hrs. Ready In

  1. For best flavor, roast the bones at 450.  Place in bottom of large stockpot or crockpot.  I use my 6 quart crockpot for 2 carcasses (or a turkey).
  2. Coarsely chop the onion, celery, and carrots.  Place the vegetables and spices in the crockpot and add water to immerse.   Add Apple Cider Vinegar to the pot~don’t worry, the vinegar will not add a harsh flavor, but will help leach the minerals faster.
  3. Cover and cook in the crockpot for at least 12 hours and up to 24.  The time is flexible; generally the longer you allow the bones to cook, the fuller the flavor.  After 24 hours, chicken or turkey bones will begin to disintegrate and won’t add much in terms of flavor or nutrition.
  4. Strain the broth, cool slightly, then refrigerate overnight.
  5. After refrigerating, skim the fat layer off the top.  I divide the broth into ½ Cup and 1 Cup containers and freeze these.  They will thaw quickly for use and are recipe-ready.

Enjoy your bone broth either by the cup as a nutritious snack or accompaniment to a meal, or in any recipe calling for water, broth or stock to ramp up nutrition and flavor.