Homemade Chicken Bone Broth
Bone Broth has been around since the Stone Age but is making a comeback.
Healthy minded individuals are always seeking out foods that are good for our bodies. For 1000s of years this simple bone broth has held the key to not just a healthy gut, but also to our joints and immune system.
Bone broth is packed with vitamins, minerals & amino acids. When cooked for a long time, collagen is extracted from the bones in the form of gelatin. Which makes drinking this broth not just healthy for you, but also for your hair, and nails. Many believe it’s an alternative solution for Botox.
Growing up my grandmother would make Bone Broth on a weekly basis with the leftover chicken and meat bones. The broth was like “penicillin” and always seemed to cure whatever ailed us. Grandmothers always know best!
Today you can purchase ready-made Bone Broth at the stores in boxes where soup is sold. While ready-made is certainly quicker than making your own, homemade, is always best!
You can use any leftover bones or go to your butcher and purchase some. Whether you use chicken bones, beef, turkey, lamb, pork, duck, bison, or fish bones the end product will be the same. The bones will provide a rich, hearty, and nutritious, protein broth.
In the recipe below I asked the butcher for hormone & antibiotic free, USDA-certified organic, pasture-raised chicken bones, with some meat on them, and chicken feet. This way the bone broth provides both the nutrients of gelatin and the flavor of a well-seasoned broth. The chicken feet provide the greatest amount of collagen.
- The best beef bones to use are grass-fed knuckles, joints, feet, and marrow bones.
- For added flavor incorporate meaty bones like oxtail, shank, and short ribs.
- if making a fish bone broth look for wild-caught fish.
These qualifiers are important as all should be USDA-certified organic, certified, humane, no antibiotics added, and hormone-free. Using bones from healthfully raised animals ensures the fat in the broth is less inflammatory because the animals were fed as nature intended.
For starters, I recommend roasting the bones for approximately 20-30 minutes, until they’re golden brown. This allows them to develop an intense flavor, creating a rich and savory broth.
After much research and varying opinions, simmering chicken Bone Broth for 6 hours is all that’s needed. This allows enough time for the collagen to leach out into the broth. You can cook the bones as long as you like though, you won’t ruin it. However, once the bones become brittle and break, further cooking has no additional benefits, other than possibly creating a more concentrated broth.
Beef bones are recommended to cook at least 16-18 hours to ensure the collagen breaks down into the broth.
You know you’ve created the perfect bone broth when the broth turns to gel once refrigerated.
Quite frankly it nauseates me to look at the gel sitting in my Mason jar. Once it’s heated though, it’s like liquid gold. I can’t even describe to you how delicious this is!
I didn’t add any salt to my broth and I think it was perfect!
Initially upon adding the bones to the stockpot I added enough water (filtered is preferred – no chemicals) to cover the bones by about 2 inches. I brought the liquid to a gentle boil, then skimmed off any of the impurities that rise to the top.
Then after skimming away any impurities (foam) I added in:
- a whole onion, cut in half, with the skin left on
- head of garlic, sliced in half across the equator
- 2 carrots, sliced in thirds
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced in quarters
- 1 tablespoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (this helps to break down the connective tissue, extracting the collagen from the bones).
Once finished simmering after 6+ hours, I discarded the bones and veggies. Then using a fine mesh strainer, I strained the broth into a separate pot and after 20 minutes poured into Mason Jars to refrigerate. Do not leave the broth out too long to cool since bacteria can form.
Although the cooking time is long, the process is simple. In fact, I started my bone broth at 1:00 pm and turned it off at 11:00 pm.
Drinking bone broth has been shown to improve a host of bodily functions, from gut health to joint inflammation, and now protecting the heart can be added to that list according to a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It works like this: Bones contain proteins, which after a long and slow cook time, release smaller pieces, or peptides. Researchers found that these peptides inhibit enzymes responsible for cardiovascular disease.
I find drinking bone broth so soothing that I’ve been having sips of it in the morning in lieu of my hot green tea.
There’s a wealth of information on the web about Bone Broth. Don’t take my word for it, browse the web and see. It really is quite amazing that something so simple could have such a huge impact on our lives, and to think it’s been around since the Stone Age!
Below is my recipe for Homemade Chicken Bone Broth. I hope you’ll give it a try. Please let me know your thoughts after your first sip.
Homemade Chicken Bone Broth
- 3 1/2 lbs. chicken bones with meat
- 1/2 lb. chicken feet
- 1 Tbsp. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (aids in releasing collagen from bones)
- 1 yellow onion, halved, unpeeled
- 1 head garlic, cut on equator
- 2 carrots, cut into thirds
- 3 stalks celery, quartered
- filtered water (preferably) to fill stock pot 2 inches about bones & veggies
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees
- Place bones on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and roast until brown and caramelized, 20-30 minutes
- Rinse all vegetables well. In a large stockpot, add bones, and cover with filtered water (if possible) about 2 inches above the bones. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, and skim off the impurities that have risen to the top.
- Add in vegetables and vinegar. Cover partially and allow to simmer gently, for 6 or more hours.
- As the broth simmer, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables or bones become exposed.
- Remove and discard the bones, then strain the broth through a large, fine mesh sieve into another pot.
- Allow to cool approximately 20 minutes cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- There will be a white layer of fat on the top. Skim that off the top then portion into Mason Jars or airtight containers and store up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator or all will last in the freezer for months. Note: fish broth is good for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
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