Chicken bone broth is one of my FAVORITE things to make! It’s very easy, and so, so, so good. It is a true healing food!
The bones provide your body with much needed minerals, amino acids, and gelatin. Gelatin is full of collagen, and can help reduce joint pain, heal digestive issues, and cavities.
Bone broth is definitely a superfood, that most of us rarely consume. Store bought stock cannot compare in taste or nutritional value to the homemade bone broth. I use bone broth instead of water when I cook legumes, or rice, then the minerals are absorbed into them, and it gives them great flavor.
Every time I make a whole chicken, I keep the carcass in the freezer, and when I collect a couple, I’ll make bone broth. I always have a stash in my freezer 🙂
In addition to the carcass, I use the neck, giblets, feet, and head of the chicken. Those parts are the most nutritious, and are sure to infuse the stock with lots of gelatin. I purchase those parts from local farmers, that pasture raise their animals.
It’s not necessary to include those parts, however, your stock may not have much gelatin. Even without the gelatin, your homemade bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse. I’ve included ingredients and instructions for chicken bone broth. Also, if you continue you scroll down there is a step by step picture “tutorial.” My first time making bone broth, I would have greatly appreciated some pictures of the process, I hope you find them helpful!
- 1 or 2 chicken carcasses, or one whole, uncooked chicken. Be sure to include the necks, and giblets if it came with it.
- 4 chicken heads (optional)
- 6-8 chicken feet (optional)
- 8-10 giblets (optional)
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- One bunch of parsley
- 1/4 to 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 4 quarts of water, or enough to cover the bones, and other parts
- 2 tsp of sea salt
- Add all chicken parts, and chopped vegetable to your stock pot
- Add 4 quarts of water or enough to cover the items in the pot completely. You shouldn’t need much more than 4 quarts
- Add 1/4 apple cider vinegar, I prefer Braggs brand
- Cover the stock pot and let stand for one hour
- Turn stove top to high and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low, and skim off any brown foam that rises to the top
- Keep the pot simmering for 6-12 hours
- About 10 minutes before the simmering is set to be complete, add one bunch of parsley to the pot
- Once simmering is complete, allow it to cool and then strain the broth into a large bowl
- At this point you can use the broth as is or store it in quart size jars to freeze and use for later. Some people prefer to move the broth to the refrigerator and allow the fat to rise to the top and skim it off before using the broth
- If you are going to freeze the broth in quart size jars, I recommend putting them in refrigerator before moving them to the freezer to prevent breakage
*DISCLAIMER* Some of the images may be disturbing as they contains pictures of various chicken body parts. I’ve gotten used to looking at chicken heads and feet 🙂
After the one hour soak, turn burner to high, and bring to a boil. There maybe a white or brown colored, foamy, scum that rises to the top, skim it off, and turn the heat to low. Cover, and simmer the stock for at least 12 hours, and a maximum of 72 hours. I typically start my stock on a Friday evening, and stop the simmer Sunday evening. I turn it off overnight, leave it on the stove top, and turn it back on then next day. About 10 minutes before I’m ready to finish the simmering, I add one bunch of parsley, this adds flavor and minerals to the stock.
Once the broth has cooled, the chicken parts, and vegetables need to be removed. I put a large colander over a large bowl, and strain the broth. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight. Make sure to throw the cooked chicken parts, and vegetables in the garbage outside, otherwise the smell will overtake your kitchen 🙂
The next day, remove the bowl from the refrigerator. There should be a thin layer of fat on top, skim off the fat, and the stock is ready to use. If your stock is “jello like” it has lots of gelatin.
Congratulations, if it “gelled” that’s the best sign of a great bone broth!
If it isn’t “jello like” that’s also fine, it still has the good minerals, and gelatin. I like to divide my stock into quart size mason jars. I add three cups of stock to each jar, and freeze the jars. This makes it easy to defrost, and use quickly for soap, stews, or just to have a nice cup of warm broth!
If the thought of making stock doesn’t appeal to you, gelatin can be purchased in bulk from Great Lakes Gelatin, or individual cans at Amazon. The red can will gel, and it best used for cooking, to make jello, gummies, add to store bought stock. The green can is cold water soluble, and can be added to any liquid. I even add a tablespoon when I’m making baked goods.. It won’t “gel” those items, and makes it easy to consume on a regular basis.
Here’s the finished product!
Let me know if you make your own stock, and how it turns out.
May 27, 2014 at 8:21 am
I’ve never heard of adding vinegar to a homemade chicken stock. What is its purpose? I get a vague sense that it must neutralise…something…am I even close?
May 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm
Good guess! My understanding is that the vinegar makes the water slightly acidic. This helps to draw out the vitamins and minerals in the bones.
October 2, 2014 at 8:08 am
Could I please ask why you turn it off at nights? And is it ok to sit all night long without any heat? I would love to do that. Since you start it on Friday do you drink some from it and replace with more water or do you just leave it alone all weekend without taking some out ?
October 2, 2014 at 11:19 am
Hi Bertha, I turn it off at night because leaving it simmering while I’m sleeping makes me nervous 🙂 Many people let their broth simmer overnight. You leave it alone the entire time it simmers, then you strain out all the cooked bones, veggies, etc. After that you can drink or cook with it or let it cool in the fridge and skim off the fat before drinking/using it. That part is totally personal preference!
October 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm
Hey Jen! I would love to find some carcass’, feet and heads locally. Any ideas where to get them?
October 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm
You can usually get feet at the downtown farmers market from Fogline Farm. Sometimes they have heads and necks too, but typically you need to call and place an order before. I usually freeze my whole chicken carcasses after I’ve made a whole roast chicken. Once I get one or two carcasses saved up I make stock. You can also make stock using a whole chicken with the meat still on. Then you can use the cooked meat to make chicken soup!
Another local resource is Fiesta Farm, not sure if they sell to individuals. Other less local options for ordering heads and necks via Marin Sun Farm, I think they will ship direct to you. Real Food Bay Area, has a pick up in Los Gatos every Tuesday.
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