Homemade Chicken Stock or Bone Broth is incredibly healthy and super easy to make. A five minute search of the internet and you will find a multitude of health and healing benefits.
We have been making our own for years now, and nothing can compare. I keep it in the freezer in small containers for when need I just a cup or two as well as gallon bags for big batches of soup. Sadly, with our family size, I need to supplement with Kirkland organic chicken stock. I can’t keep us supplied, especially in the winter.
Some of the benefits from home made bone broth include.
- Very healing for leaky gut syndrome
- Helps with joint health
- Boosts immune system
- Improves digestion
- Supplies minerals and nutrients that are easy to digest
- And so much more
My grandma’s chicken soup could cure anything! I am sure of it. I giggled when I read this quote from Sally Fallon,
“Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”
There are three different ways I have made it. If you have either a crock pot, big pot or pressure cooker, you are in luck. I prefer a pressure cooker, as I am usually in a hurry and you can get a very quick, rich stock with it. A crockpot also makes a very concentrated stock, you can let it simmer for hours, days, even, if you want to. The traditional method would be in a big pot, which is just fine. There is something so ‘homey’ about a bit pot of stock simmering on the stove all day!
I always and only use organic chicken carcasses, as I am going to be simmering every last ounce of goodness out of it and I do not want a concentrated, non-organic, chemical cesspool. Sorry, maybe a little dramatic. If you do not have access to organic chicken bones, just buy organic chicken stock from Costco.
We make a whole roast chicken dinner each week. Typically, our Winner Winner Chicken Dinner on Sundays. After we have eaten the chicken and picked the bones clean (no where near as clean as my grandma could pick a chicken, I assure you) I either bag them and freeze them for a later stock making day or use one of the following methods immediately. If you only use one chicken for a meal, it might be better to wait until you have a few carcasses saved. We eat two birds for a meal. The more bones, the richer the stock.
Chicken Bone Broth/Stock
- Organic Chicken Carcasses (meat picked and used for meals, salads, etc.
- Washed carrots, with ends cut off,
- Celery, cleaned and rough chopped, leaves and all (here is where I use the outsides of the celery stalks, the not so pretty ones)
- Onion, large, peeled and cut into quarters
- Peppercorns, optional
- 1-2 T of salt. (I prefer to salt it to taste after it cooks, but like a little in for the cooking process)
Put all ingredients into pressure cooker, no more than 2/3 full and put it on ‘full whack’ until it starts hissing at you. Turn it down to a dull roar and let it go as long as you like, but at least an hour. Know that if you let it go for 3-4 hours you will likely have the most intense, concentrated bone broth that you have ever had. I have no idea how long I let it go, it changes all the time. I do know, after an hour or so, it is decent broth, but go longer if you can. If you don’t use your pressure cooker often, perhaps you should consult the owner’s manual instead of trying to discern what ‘full whack’ and ‘dull roar’ means for your model.
Crock Pot/Slow Cooker:
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and enough water to cover, upwards of 3/4 full or even more, if you dare. I put it in the garage overnight, as I don’t love the house smelling of bone broth all night. I have let it go for over 24 hours. Twelve (ish) hours is just fine. I start it out on high and then turn it down to low once it really gets simmering. If I needed it done in 6-8 hours, I would keep it on high the whole time.
Fill a large stock pot or dutch oven with all ingredients, bring to simmer and let simmer for at least 8 hours. The longer the better.
When simmering is done, let cool for a bit and then strain into mason jars. I like to put them in the fridge over night and in the morning scoop off the fat before portioning and freezing. Not that the fat isn’t good for you, it is. I just don’t love it. Some use the skimmed fat to sauté with. If all went swimmingly and you let it cook long enough, you will likely have some degree of gelatinous yumminess in your jars.
Warming up a small portion for my after bike ride replenishment.
If it is not super firm, it does not mean you did it wrong or that it has no health benefits. It probably just means you had more water and is a less concentrated version. I end up almost adding equal amounts of water to ‘water’ my broth down, it is that strong. Mostly I do this to save on space and I totally get all geeked when it it looks like finger Jell-O !
That’s it! Really is super easy. Next time I make it, I will video tape so you can see just how easy it is. Any questions? Just ask! I know I get all rambly and may not have been clear. I’d love to hear if you tried it.