Bone broth has certainly been growing in popularity lately and that’s a great thing. It is healing for the gut (which can benefit us all regardless of if we’re dealing with chronic inflammation or not), boosts immunity, is full of minerals, and also tastes great too. I gained most of my knowledge of broth from the GAPS (gut and psychology syndrome) community, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Sally Fallon, author of a traditional foods cook book. Today, I’d like to concentrate on the recipe.
Before we dive into the 8 Important Preparation Steps below, I’d like to clear up a few things regarding the terminology around bone broth :
- Professionally trained chefs will refer to broth as a “sipping drink” one that has been made from simmering meat and vegetables for a relatively short amount of time (~3 to 4 hours).
- Chefs will refer to stock as a soup base that has been made from simmering bones for a long period of time (at least 12 hours).
- In the online community of food bloggers (Paleo, GAPS, SCD, etc.) the terminology is reversed. Say what?! I know. Confusing. So, on my blog (like others in my community), stock is meat stock (cooked for a short time, from bones with meat on them), and broth is bone broth (cooked for a very long period of time with only bones).
- Personally, I use bone broth in most of the recipes on my blog. Stock has a milder flavor and thus I reserve stock for sipping (I serve it as a drink for my kids with meals) and cooking gluten-free grains with.
Now that we’re all thoroughly confused about terminology (oh I hope not!!), let’s move into the why I wanted to post a dedicated recipe on my blog:
- I’ve found important steps missing from many other recipes I’ve seen out there.
- Not many recipes talk about the most cost effective (this is important to me!) way to make this nourishing food.
Now onto the Method …
8 Important Steps when Making Your Bone Broth
- Save kitchen scraps (organic carrot skins, kale leave stems, broccoli stems, small garlic cloves, cauliflower leaves etc.) to add to your stock or broth to up the nutritional value. This will also make your broth more cost-effective to make.
- Buy the highest quality whole chicken you can afford. Pasture-raised are the best for their nutritional value and obviously for the life of the chicken. Buying directly from the farmer is usually the most cost-effective way to get a high-quality chicken. (Find farmers near you here.) I buy mine from a farm near my home and our local CO-OP. Whole Foods Market even sells pasture-raised chickens from Vital Farms.
- If you can get access to chicken feet, this will greatly improve the collagen content of your stock and broth. They are the secret!! Asian markets typically carry them and if you buy your chicken directly from the farmer, they should be available there as well.
- When first bringing your broth to a low simmer, do so slowly. Bringing it to a boil too quickly will greatly increase the glutamine content in your broth, which can be tough on those with severely leaky guts (according to Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride creator of the GAPS diet).
- In the first 30 minutes, when the temperature of the broth is rising, a white or brown scum will settle on the top. Be sure to scrape this off with a large spoon before it is absorbed back into the liquid.
- Use vinegar with both stock and broth to help get minerals out of the bones.
- When preparing the stock and the broth, try to never bring to a roaring boil. Always keep the liquid at a slow simmer, with a few bubbles rising up.
- Cool off stock and broth quickly and leave fat layer at the top for preserving purposes. I never skim the fat off when I use the stock. Fat should not be feared!
Enjoy making this incredibly nourishing food. It is time intensive (not labor intensive), but worth every minute. It will create the most amazing base for your dishes and your health! See below for the printable recipe which includes the steps above.
Heal Your Gut Chicken Broth, Stock, and Meat
- 1 whole chicken any innards removed from cavity
- 10 chicken feet divided (optional)
- 2 carrots washed and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks washed and roughly chopped
- 1 whole onion outer layer removed, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves halved
- Handful of fresh parsley and thyme
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar divided
Place whole chicken and 5 chicken feet (if using) in a stock pot. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a simmer on low heat.
Over the first 30 minutes or so (a bit longer if chicken was frozen), a white or brown foam will form on top of the water. Scrap this off as it forms.
Once the foam is no longer forming, add in the vegetables, herbs and vinegar.
Keep the stock on a simmer (never a rapid boil) for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 170 degrees at the end of the cook time.
Remove the chicken from the pot and allow it to cool for a few minutes. While the chicken is cooling, using a colander and a large bowl, strain out the vegetables from the stock. Then, using a small strainer with a tight mesh, strain out the remaining pieces from the stock.
Transfer stock into mason jars or other containers and place into the refrigerator to cool with the lids off. When stock is cool, place the container lids on and store either in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Working with the chicken, separate the meat from the bones and skin. Add the bones and skin back into the stock pot with other 5 chicken feet (if using). Once again, fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones. Add 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Keep on a low simmer for at least 24 hours and up to 48. Water will need to be added periodically. I turn my burner off when I go to bed and start it up right away again in the morning. Because I turn the burner off, I do bring the broth up to a boil for 5-10 minutes the following morning and then lower the heat again.
In the interest of cost savings, I do not add any other vegetables to the bone broth. However, adding vegetables will only improve the flavor and nutrition. If you'd like to add vegetables, do so with 4-5 hours remaining on the broth's cook time.
Strain, cool, and store broth using the same method as the stock.