Nourishing, traditional chicken broth should be part of everyone’s diet.
The advantages are numerous, and it’s hard to come by at the modern grocery store. Why is that? Well, canned broth, or stock, is mostly made from meat, and generally it’s from conventionally raised chicken, not pasture-raised. Grandma’s hearty chicken soup, served up at the onset of the sniffles, was an entirely different product.
Traditional bone broth is rich in gelatin, glycine, collagen, and minerals. These can help digestion and gut health, and even boost that immune system (Grandma was right). And, luckily, it’s easy to make.
Traditional broth isn’t just meat-water. It’s simmered from the bony bits and parts leftover after you’ve enjoyed roast chicken, or made fried chicken from a whole bird. Think of the back, wing tips, neck. Add the rest of the bones too, if you like, when dinner is over. Raw, or already cooked, either is fine (although I’ve always thought the broth was tastier from a roasted carcass). Ready to make your own?
- Place the bones/parts in a pot* and cover with water.
- If you have time, add a quartered onion (even the dry layers, but not the root end), some coarsely chopped carrot and celery, a few garlic cloves (these are all for flavor, but won’t be in your finished product). If you don’t have time, leave them out. You’ll still get the advantages of a nourishing broth.
- Add a splash of vinegar or a sprinkling of vitamin C powder and let it sit about hour (the reason for this is the acid helps draw some of the minerals out of the bones and into the broth, but you won’t taste it).
- Bring to a boil and remove foam as it rises.
- Cover and simmer 6 to 8 hours.
- Remove and discard bones and vegetables, and reserve any meat for soups, casseroles, etc (it freezes well).
- (optional) For a clearer broth, pour through a fine sieve. I like my chicken broth pretty “clean” and have found the best results by pouring it through a 5-gallon paint strainer (it’s a mesh bag with elastic at the top. Stretch over a pot or juice pitcher, pour the broth in, remove the mesh bag and contents, and wash well.).
- Refrigerate or freeze broth (leave headspace if using jars, or use quality freezer bags) for use in soups, gravies, even enjoy as a beverage.
*An alternative method with which I’ve found success is to use an electric pressure cooker. I follow the same procedure as above, but set it to pressure cook for 2 hours. One advantage to this is that most electric pressure cookers use a “keep warm” setting when it’s done, so turn it on at bedtime and finish the process in the morning. Here’s a link with details, if you like.
Check our shop for pastured chicken and when you’re done with your first meal, enjoy all the benefits of a healthy, nourishing broth too.