Chicken Bone BrothPosted: August 29, 2013
I now keep homemade chicken bone broth stocked in my freezer. Which is funny to me because I was a vegetarian for 10 years. Then when my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, my perspective on nutrition really changed. And we started including meat in our diet. I think there is great nutritional and healing value in bone broth, so I feed it to my kids regularly. Sometimes they will have it on its own as soup, but typically I use it to cook rice and gluten free pasta.
Now that I have my system down, it is very easy to make. So here is what I do – you will need the following:
Large crock pot
Apple cider vinegar
3 chicken backs
1 package of chicken necks (optional)
Large metal bowl
Large metal colander
Quart sized ziplock freezer bags (about 8)
I purchase chicken backs and necks from Otto’s at the Royal Oak Farmers Market (that’s Detroit area). I usually buy 3 packs of backs and 3 packs of necks. Whole Foods did have chicken backs once – I asked at the meat counter, and she pulled them from the freezer. Using those parts for stock is the cheapest, but you can use any part of the chicken that has bones. I keep the packs of backs and necks in the freezer and take out one of each pack and put it in the fridge the day before I make the stock.
The next day the backs and necks will be defrosted enough to start the stock. I remove the packaging and place the parts in a large crock pot. I fill the crock pot with water until it is full. I add salt to the water, probably about 1 tablespoon. I also pour in about 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar. This seems to help break down the bones so that more nutrients are dissolved in the broth. I then turn the crock pot on high. After an hour or so, the water will be boiling, so I turn the setting to low on my crock pot. My low setting will keep the broth going at a low boil. I leave it for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, I turn the crock pot off and remove the lid. I let it cool there for about an hour. Then I get a large metal bowl ready, lined with my colander. I pour all of the crock pot contents, the broth and the chicken parts, into the colander/metal bowl. I pull the colander up so I am left with just the broth, and backs and necks are left in the colander. I set it on the counter to cool down considerably, which takes a few hours.
When it is mostly cooled off, I use a one-cup measuring cup to scoop the broth into quart-sized freezer bags. One cup is enough for each bag because this broth is concentrated. Then all the bags get placed in my freezer chest. When I want to use the broth, I take a bag from the freezer and run it under water for about 30 seconds. That loosens the frozen broth from the side of the plastic bag. Then I slide the frozen broth out of the bag and into a pot. For one cup of rice or pasta, I use one cup of broth and one cup of water.