Chicken Bone Broth

By Lydia Soucy

We’re all coming down from a hectic couple of months of big Holidays. Big get-togethers, lots of none stop hectic running around, and loads of stress. Which means, reaching for those easy meals that can be loaded with preservatives, grabbing fast food/foods on the go which may not have the nutritional values we need, on top of lots of sugar-packed deserts and high fatty holiday meals.

Our immune systems take such a beating during these couple of months, and because of that illnesses surge. I personally refer to this time as sugar poisoning season. During the Holidays, I try and find ways to help boost my immune system, and one of those steps is to up my intake of bone broth. It’s easy to make and it’s packed full of nutrients. It’s soothing, healing, supportive to our gut, and provides minerals that we are all depleted in, as well as a way to help give our bodies and immune systems the gentle boost and support it needs.

Ingredients needed

· The bones of a whole chicken, organs, neck, and feet are important as well (I often don’t have feet, but they add that extra needed cartilage to your broth).

· Herbs of choice, Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage are great herbs to pare with bone broth.

· Vegetables: whole onion, whole bulb of garlic, 2 carrots, and celery (if you have other veggies that you enjoy feel free to add them).

· Salt, either sea or pink Himalayan

· A tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother

I prefer to use the slow cooker when making my broth. Some people will cook it on the stovetop on a low simmer, others take advantage of their instapots. I don’t have the time to babysit a simmering pot on the stove for most of the day and currently don’t own an instapot, so I make use of my slow cooker.

I rough chop my vegetables and herbs and crush my garlic, and add them with the chicken bones, organs and feet into the slow cooker. I then fill the pot with filtered water. This is important, you’re trying to make something nutritious and healthy, please find a way to use filtered water that has removed all waste, toxic metals, and fluoride. I then pour in a tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon full of salt and cook on low in the crockpot overnight.

The next morning, I check on how it’s doing, re-add any evaporated water and check to see if the bones are soft enough to crush. If so, I take the larger bones, like the legs, and break them in half. I don’t know if there is any benefit to doing this, but I like to think that this will help draw out the marrow and minerals that are deep in the bone. After that, I let it continue to cook on a low simmer for the rest of the day.

Late afternoon, I turn the crockpot off and gather my next set of materials.

You will need

· A stainless steel bowl

· A mesh strainer

· Ladle

· Glass jars with sealable lids for storage

· Funnel

· Cloth Towel

Before you begin make sure that all the items are clean and sterilized. Ladle the broth into the bowl, using the mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the solids. Once the broth has been strained, you can now ladle it into your glass jars. Place the funnel onto the mouth of the jar and begin to pour or spoon your broth into the jars. I personally like to keep my jars on top of a towel, it catches any spilled broth and helps keep the heat from the still very hot broth off the counter. Once done I give the mouth of the jars a quick wipe off and then secure the lids in place. I do allow the broth to cool down a bit before either storing them in the fridge or freezer.

The shelf life is about a week when stored in the fridge, longer when in the freezer. I leave out what I’ll use within that first week, and the rest goes into the freezer for future use.

The beauty of bone broth is its simplicity. Each batch I make can vary depending on what I happen to have on hand. I always make sure that there are onions and garlic, but the herbs and other vegetables that I use can change.

My last batch of bone broth contained a lot of left-over herbs from our thanksgiving meal, thyme, rosemary, and sage.

I typically make bone brother with the leftovers from a dinner of roast chicken. Which is once or twice a month. Sometimes more depending on our family budget (a whole chicken is often cheaper than buying just chicken breast or thighs and comes with enough meat to last a couple of meals. It’s a great way to stretch a main ingredient when on a tight budget).

I enjoy using my bone broth in many ways, I use it in my soups which saves on purchasing broth from the store, I cook my rice in it as it has the benefits of adding a soft subtle flavor while bringing in the nutritional values to the starch ingredient, and I’ll drink a nice warm mug of it in the morning. I struggle with eating breakfast but providing your body with something nutritional and supportive in the morning is so very important. I’ll add a bit of salt and pepper, maybe some other seasoning depending on my mood at the time.

Bone broth is also a great beginner step to creating things in your own home with ease that are sustainable, utilizes many different parts of an animal that we would typically throw away, and puts to use leftover vegetables and herbs that might otherwise end up in a garbage bin. And is a great first step towards a journey of healing our bodies.

I would love to hear ways that you make your bone broth, and how you enjoy using it!

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