If you’re not already making your own bone broth in your kitchen: you’re spending either too much on the good stuff or too little on the imitation of the good stuff. Chicken bone broth is so versatile in home cooking, as well as extremely nourishing and sustainable.
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Benefits of Bone Broth
According to the book Nourishing Broth – An Old Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, bone broth has the ability to support a number of ailments. It improves the gut by aiding digestion. It strengthens bones and joints and stabilizes moods. This liquid gold even restores the weak and ailing back to health and a normal appetite with it’s many provided minerals and nutrients.
Nourishing Broth is another must have book by Sally.
It’s no mystery why we think we need chicken soup every time we get sick. There is truth behind that notion, but the stuff we find in a can today doesn’t cut it. True bone broth, slow simmered for hours over heat, has the ability to work wonders for various ailments. However, broths we find on the grocery store today are a terrible substitution for this wonderful food that has almost vanished from our kitchens. Thankfully, in a pinch, you can find decent ones in the freezer section, but you’ll certainly pay a steep price for it. This is one great reason to make chicken bone broth at home.
Uses for Bone Broth
You can easily replace stock in any soup recipe you come across with homemade bone broth. It takes a basic soup recipe and majorly improves the nutritional quality of that soup. Green Soup is my household’s favorite way to utilize this homemade chicken broth. If you haven’t tried it yet, get it on your meal plan ASAP!
Another great way to add more of this liquid gold into your diet is making rice with it. It can even replace water in a homemade mac n’ cheese recipe like these ones from Jovial. This will also increase the protein content of your rice or mac n’ cheese, which is great!
The simplest way to use homemade bone broth is by reheating it on the stove, adding a bit of salt, and sipping on it throughout the day like a cup of tea. Especially when you or someone in your home is ill, this is a great way to boost your immune system and strengthen your gut and body.
Store-Bought vs. Homemade
We don’t always realize that something like Better Than Bouillon isn’t the best option for us, health wise. Sure, it’s tasty, but it’s not contributing to our health. Just because something has a label with “organic” doesn’t equal nutrient dense, either. A handful of the ingredients in Better Than Bouillon are: cane sugar, maltodextrin, flavoring, and natural flavor. A quick search online will bring up a description of maltodextrin:
It is commonly used for the production of soft drinks and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods.Wikipedia
Can sugar is one of the furthest things from a healthy food option. My recipe below includes no sugar added to your homemade broth. It’s simply not needed. Consider researching how highly-addictive sugar is and you’ll begin to understand why it’s put in just about every commercially produced food product that is marketed to us.
Natural flavorings can be just about anything. Again, research these things so you have a more well-rounded view on what you’re reading on your food labels while shopping for your family.
The cost to purchase the really good options in a store are more than double that of their watered-down imitations. In a pinch, I have purchased store-bought broth before, but I wasted a lot of money on it considering it costs me close to nothing to make at home. The best options in the store won’t be sitting on the shelf, though. You typically want to look at the options in the freezer section of the store to find the actual bone broth.
Storing Your Homemade Broth
The best method I’ve discovered for storing homemade bone broth is in the freezer in a food saver bag. I freeze my chicken broth in quart-sized bags, and lay them flat to dry. I’ve yet to have a bag break on me using this method. You simply seal one end, fill the open end with cooled broth, and lay your bag down with enough edge to seal without it seeping out. You can carefully remove all of the air out by hand and use the moist button while sealing. Do not use the function that removes the air, or you’ll have a big mess.
Lay your bags flat in the freezer and then you can store them how you’d like once they’re solid. I hope this helps you as much as it has me!
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||12-24 hours|
|Passive Time||12-24 hours|
- 2 whole chicken carcasses (bones) from whole cooked chicken; may include skin, gizzards, etc.
- 1 lb chicken feet optional, but really great to include
- 1 lb chicken heads optional for those who have access to and desire to use the whole animal
- 2 large, roughly chopped yellow onions include clean skins
- 1 head garlic cut in half, slightly smashed, include clean skins
- 6 large, roughly chopped carrots do not peel
- 4 stalks with leaves, roughly chopped celery
- 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 4 whole bay leaves
- 2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1 Tb whole peppercorns
- 24 cups fresh, filtered water Berkey water is a great option
- Place carcasses and any other chicken parts (feet and heads) using on bottom of heavy stockpot. Top with onion, garlic, carrots, celery, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns.
- Top with water, ensuring everything is submerged under the surface of the water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered for 12-24 hours, stirring a handful of times if desired. I like to keep an eye on mine.
- After your preferred cooking time is up, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle without burning, ladle broth through a cheesecloth into your largest bowl to filter (you may want 2 bowls available to make this easier as your bowl fills).
- Allow to cool further, if needed. A layer of fat may be visible on surface of broth, this will harden once cooled and can be skimmed off before or after freezing. Place broth in desired storage container and freeze until needed. Tips available below for freezing.
If you have a smaller or larger stockpot, you can adjust the recipe accordingly by either halving or doubling. I prefer to simmer my broth on my stovetop on low for the full 24 hours, but if you prefer to only simmer for 12 hours you can do that as well. Make a habit of always dumping your leftover chicken carcasses into a freezer bag and toss them in your freezer. You can simply pull out how many you need when you need them each time you make broth. This keeps you from feeling pressure to cook broth anytime you have a carcass available, and instead can do so when it’s convenient from you. No need to thaw before starting your broth recipe. For simple storage, use a food saver without the air tight feature to seal bags of broth and lay flat to freeze. You can easily thaw them as needed, and store them more efficiently. Use broth for anything that calls for chicken stock, for cooking rice, or add some extra salt at time of serving for sipping as desired or for immune boosting.
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