Almost Free Bone Broth

It’s that time of year, when we fight the flu and colds. Bone Broth is a super-nutritious way to fortify your body. I have regularly made chicken soup with a whole chicken, but I’ve never made broth from bones. This recipe is a way to have a nutritious broth (and then soup), at a fraction of the cost.

I purchase whole organic chickens from Costco. They come two to a package and they’re usually quite plump, about 5 pounds each. Presently, the cost is about $2.30 per pound.

My daughter, loves to cook as much as I do. This is her slow cooker bone broth recipe. I made a roasted chicken one night and saved the bones, neck and innards. (Click Here for the roasted chicken recipe.) The next morning put the bones, innards and veggies into a slow cooker for a yummy bone broth. This couldn’t be any easier and you’ll get the most out of your organic chicken!

Just getting started on my Bone Soup. After the photo was taken, I added more water.

Bone broths are a little different from soup. They’re extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids, because the slow cooking draws out the nutrients from the bones (and the apple cider vinegar also aids in this). Bone broths are also a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline.

This is a broth (all the solids are removed), not a soup. (If you are freezing some of the broth for later use, it takes less space in the freezer without the added water.) In addition, this broth will be concentrated. For soup, dilute equal parts of broth and water and add noddles or rice and pieces of cooked chicken and veggies.

You’ll Need:
6-quart slow cooker
Fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth
1 to 2 frames from organic baked chicken
2 sweet bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
5 celery stalks
2 carrots
Several sprigs of parsley
1 onion with yellow skin
2 cloves of garlic with paper skin
(You may use vegetable scraps)
2 teaspoons organic apple cider
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups filtered water

Optional: Two slices Astragaus root. (Astragaus helps to support the immune system and has been found to improve insulin resistance.)

1. Place the roasted chicken bones into your slow cooker.
2. Cut the onion, and the veggies into large pieces. Add all the ingredients: sweet bay leaves, black peppercorns, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic and vegetables. Cover with filtered water (about 8 cups) and cook on high for about 6 hours. Allowing any soup or stock to boil for too long will cause the fat to emulsify with the water and make it cloudy. Simmer by turning to low for two days.
3. If foam collects (I haven’t had any foam with organic chickens), skim off once. You will need to add more water as the broth cooks.
4. After two days, strain off all solids (bones and veggies) in a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard. The longer you cook the broth the more the minerals and amino acids leach from the bones into the broth.
5. Cool broth overnight in the refrigerator. Skim off fat (save the fat for other use) and store the broth. Serve as healthy bone broth or soup.

Note: This is concentrated broth. For soup, additional water is recommended;  add in leftover chicken pieces frozen from your roasted chicken, salt, poultry seasonings such as sage and thyme, and cooked rice or noodles.


2 thoughts on “Almost Free Bone Broth

  1. Kara Q. Noble says:

    I have been experimenting with the best way to maximize the nutritional content of my chicken bone broth. Essentially, the longer you boil the bones, the more they break down, the more calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, proline and glycine you get in the broth. By 48 hours, the bones are so brittle that you can eat what’s left of them when you strain your broth (which I do and find delightful). I make this on my stove top, but this would be a great time to break out the crock pot if you have one (I still don’t, but it’s on my wish list). I like to get my bone broth started first thing in the morning for supper the next night (or the one after that). Enjoy on its own or use as the base for soups and stews. Yields approximately 8-10 cups.

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