TIME: 8 - 12 HOURS; SERVES: 4+ QUARTS
I’m fortunate enough to share a property with some of the best growers of pastured pork and chicken. This is essential when making bone broth: that the source is the purest one you can find. You’ve probably heard of the benefits of bone broth and its almost “miracle-working” hype. Essentially, it’s the product of animal bones (chicken, beef, pork, etc.), acid (apple cider vinegar) and vegetables/seasonings, cooked on low for many hours. The bones themselves eventually break down into collagen, essential amino acids and necessary vitamins & minerals. This causes the ‘gel’ effect when cooled, similar to a rich gravy, or pan drippings.
After contracting a digestive parasite several years ago, bone broth was the only thing I could ingest without feeling terrible. From this experience, I do believe it has a great capacity to heal and nourish. When I’m feeling under the weather—especially from a stomach bug—bone broth is the golden elixir that brings life back into my being. I love it as a warming mid-day snack with lemon and salt, or first thing in the morning to jump start my digestive system. I also use it as stock for any soup, stew, or gravy. Bone broth is the perfect way to transform kitchen scraps into a nutritious & versatile staple.
If you have a crock pot, this is a great way to put it to use. If you prefer cooking on the stove top, I sometimes leave a pot covered, on the lowest heat overnight, and in the morning have a delicious savory treat to sip on. Make a habit of buying whole chickens (or stew birds!) and saving the carcasses in your freezer. Adding chicken feet is particularly useful in getting the most gelatin & collagen into your broth. Once I have enough carcasses or chicken parts to fill a large soup pot, I’ll make a big batch of broth and freeze it in plastic quarts or bags.
Chicken bones, enough to fill half of a large soup pot (necks, back, feet, etc.). After roasting a whole bird (Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken!) I’ll put the carcass into the freezer for easy prep.
A few glugs apple cider vinegar
A couple bay leaves
1 tbls. black peppercorns
The following veggies are optional:
1 bunch parsley with stems
A few carrots with tops
A few stalks celery with leaves, or 1 - 2 celeriac, chopped
1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
1 - 2 onions, unpeeled, cut in half
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Place the chicken bones/parts in the soup pot, enough to fill 1/4 - 1/2 way to the top.
Pile all the other goodies in, except the salt & lemon.
Fill with just enough filtered water to cover. Add the vinegar.
Turn the heat on medium-high and let slowly reach a steady boil. It’s important to keep an eye on the broth before it boils to skim off the brown scum that will rise to the top. This scum is filled with impurities and should be discarded.
Once it’s boiling, turn the heat to very low, cover, and let simmer for 8 - 12 hours.
Let cool, then strain. Everything left behind should be very mushy and flavorless. This is okay to compost.
Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Let cool completely, and place in glass jars in the fridge, or plastic containers / quart bags in the freezer.
Place all ingredients in the crock pot, and set on low for 8 - 12 hours.
Follow the remaining steps for straining and storage.