Carrie’s Chicken Bone Broth

I’m one of the moderators on the Facebook group “Bone Broth Sippers” so I often get asked for my bone broth recipes. (Please request to be added to the group and join the bone broth discussion!)

One of the main tenants of holistic nutrition is not “you are what you eat,” but rather “you are what you assimilate.” Bone broths are one of the most easily digestible/absorbable nutrient-dense foods available.

 Bone Broth is more than just broth (which is made from meat) or soup stock (which has a shorter cooking time). Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours for beef bones).  This long cooking time along with the addition of acidic vinegar helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients and as much of the gelatin and collagen as possible from the bones.  At the end of cooking, the bones crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.

Today I’m sharing with you my recipe for chicken bone broth.

Thinks to Know Before You Begin

You need about 4 or 5 pounds of chicken bones. Sometimes I’ll be able to buy chicken backs and necks from the butcher, these are great choices. Other times, I’ll use chicken bones and carcasses that I have been saving in the freezer from chickens I’ve roasted or used to make soup stock.

And if I can find them, I will often put 3 or 4 chicken feet into my broth. This really helps to increase the gelatin and adds keratin from the chicken nails, which is wonderful for your hair.

I like to keep my broth’s simple and unseasoned (no salt) so that I can use them in a variety of dishes and adjust the flavor as I see fit. This has huge benefits especially when I make a bone broth smoothies. See the notes below the recipe for more ideas of ways to cook with bone broth. But remember that if drinking it straight, your broth will need to be salted before it tastes like much else than dishwater! This much broth can easily take a full tablespoon of salt to bring out the flavor.

I also make bone broth in a variety of different vessels depending on my mood and schedule. So I’ve provided instructions for a pressure cooker (the fastest), a crockpot (the safest), and a regular old pot for the stove (the tastiest)!

As you’ll see in the recipes, I try to add my vegetables closer to the end of the cooking time if possible. This helps to preserve the vitamins they transfer into the broth the and I think gives it a superior flavor.

Carrie’s Chicken Bone Broth

Yields about 14 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds chicken bones such as backs, necks and/or carcasses
  • 4 chicken feet
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 gallon filtered water (equals 16 cups or 4 quarts)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 stalks of celery, scrubbed clean and broken to fit into pot
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed clean and broken to fit into pot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Conventional Stove Preparation:

Place chicken  bones, feet, apple cider vinegar, and water into a large stock pot (6 quarts or larger)

Bring contents to a rolling boil for 2 -3 minutes

Reduce to a slow simmer. You’ll see wisps of steam and astray bubble or two but not much activity.

After 10 -12 hours, add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

Top off with water to cover veggies, only if necessary

Return to rolling boil for 1 minute, then reduce to slow simmer for 1 hour.

Remove from heat, let cool slightly.

Strain the broth, discard all solids.

Place the pot of broth in an ice bath to quickly cool it and prevent foodborne illness

Divide into mason jars or other containers of choice. If freezing the broth in glass, allow at least a full inch of air at the top of the jar. If freezing in plastic, make sure broth is room temperature before storing placing in these containers.

Pressure Cooker (Instapot) Preparation

Place all ingredients into the liner of a standard 6-quart instapot

Set to manual, high-pressure, for 2 hours.

Unplug the pot. Carefully vent the pot to release the steam (do this by an open window or outside).

Open the lid and let cool slightly.

Strain the broth, discard all solids.

Place the pot of broth in an ice bath to quickly cool it and prevent foodborne illness

Divide into mason jars or other containers of choice. If freezing the broth in glass, allow at least a full inch of air at the top of the jar. If freezing in plastic, make sure broth is room temperature before storing placing in these containers.

 

Crockpot Preparation

Place chicken bones, feet, apple cider vinegar, and water into the liner of a standard crockpot (water may have to be reduced).

Set temperature to high for 1 hour.

Reduce temperature to low and cook for 8 hours.

Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

Top off with water to cover veggies, only if necessary

Increase temperature to high for 2 hours.

Unplug the pot. remove the lid and let cool slightly.

Strain the broth, discard all solids.

Place the pot of broth in an ice bath to quickly cool it and prevent foodborne illness

Divide into mason jars or other containers of choice. If freezing the broth in glass, allow at least a full inch of air at the top of the jar. If freezing in plastic, make sure broth is room temperature before storing placing in these containers.

How to Eat Bone Broth

  • Sip as a warm drink – remember to salt to taste!!
  • Use as a base for soup, stew, gravy or sauce
  • Steam veggies in it for added nutrients
  • Use it in smoothie recipes to replace nut milks and other liquids

Heal Your Gut With Bone Broth

Overly processed, overly sugared, overly fried diets reek havoc on our digestive systems causing inflammation that can eventually lead to leaky gut syndrome (the literal leaking of toxins from our intestines into our blood stream) which creates food intolerances, headaches, immune system issues, and the development of autoimmune disorders.

The amino acids and gelatin in bone broth are especially helpful in reversing leaky gut syndrome and other digestive problems. A nutrition consultant can assist you in figuring out the best protocol for your symptoms.

More Benefits of Bone Broth

  • Keeps the skin smooth, firm, and reduces wrinkles by providing the amino acids necessary for collagen production.
  • Supports joint health because it contains glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphate.

Mayo Replacement & Chicken Salad with Red Cabbage

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Creamy gooey tuna salad and chicken salad made with mayonnaise used to be one of my main comfort foods.  But now that I know more about healthy fats and oils, jars of mayo no longer have a place in my fridge.  This isn’t because I’m worried about cholesterol.  (The US government’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reversed it’s stance on dietary cholesterol and now states that dietary cholesterol has little to no effect on blood cholesterol levels.) But I am concerned about the oxidized oils that are used to make mayo. (The chemical processing of soy bean oil, canola oil, and most vegetable oils renders them rancid at time of bottling.)  So when I don’t have time to make my own homemade mayo from organic egg yolks and extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, I improvise by adding a healthy and quick mayo replacement using avocados for that creamy texture.

Avocado Cream (Mayo Replacement)

Yields about 1/2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation:

  • In a small bowl combine all the above ingredients.  Mix vigorously with a fork until combined and smooth.

 

Use immediately as a mayo replacement in your favorite chicken or tuna salad.  Here’s my favorite:

Chicken Salad with Red Cabbage over Escarole 

Yields 3-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken
  • 1 cup of finely chopped red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup of jicama or celery for crunch
  • 1/2 cup Avocado cream (recipe above)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • In a bowl combine all the above ingredients.
  • Serve over a bed of greens (I love escarole) tossed with 1 tbs of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

 

Sources:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.