Homemade Easy Chicken Bone Broth
Free, easy, healthy, delicious. Whole30 and Paleo compliant, and did I say FREE?
Look at all that goodness. Isn't it beautiful?
Why do I do this?
It's nearly free. This is made with just the carcass of the chicken, stripped of all of the meat (after we've eaten the main stuff for dinner and then stripped all the remaining bits for making soup), that would otherwise be thrown away. I say "nearly" free, because I suppose I should account for the cost of electricity to run the crockpot (cents?) and the tablespoon of ACV.
It has no other "extra" ingredients, so it's a super clean food. It's difficult to find chicken broth in the stores that are clean and aren't super expensive.
It's delicious. Honestly, it makes the best soups!
It's so easy. Bones in water. Leave for 12-24 hours. Done.
My method requires two chickens, so I'll keep the bones (whole carcass, plus the neck) of the first one in a bag in the freezer until I have a second one. We have roast chicken for dinner once or twice a month, so it's not a long wait before I have both. I like to store my broth in glass mason jars, but please note, this is not shelf stable! I freeze mine - just make sure to leave space at the top so it doesn't crack the jars when it expands. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for a few days if you're going to use it soon.
The chickens should also have been pre-roasted. The idea is that you're using scraps from a meal. Use the method you like best, but keep the seasonings simple if you want basic broth. Simple salt & pepper and/or dried herbs and an olive oil rub. I don't season the broth when I'm making it - I'll save the seasoning for when I'm actually using the broth in a recipe. That way you can use it for a variety of different recipes!
The apple cider vinegar is not for flavor, but it helps to pull the minerals from the bones and into your broth, making it very good for you.
2 roasted chicken carcasses, stripped of most of the meat. Leave some of the skin on.
Approximately 1 gallon of filtered water
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Place the bones into a 6-quart slow cooker and cover with filtered water (this takes about a gallon).
Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Turn slow cooker to high, let it come to a simmer and then turn down to low. (Note: bringing it to a simmer in a slow cooker will take hours).
Leave on low for 12-24 hours. I feel like the broth gets richer the longer you cook it, so I prefer to let it simmer overnight. However, if you're uncomfortable leaving it overnight, 12 hours is sufficient.
When the broth is done, place a large metal bowl with a colander inside in your sink. Very carefully, pour the broth through the colander into the bowl. Throw away the bones. Let the bowl cool off on your counter for a little while, until it's cool enough to handle - maybe half an hour.
Pour (or use a ladle) your broth again, filtered through a mesh sieve, into your desired storage containers. If you are planning to freeze it, don't forget to leave room for expansion! Otherwise, keep in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
Note: You can also do this in a large stock pot on the stovetop. Follow the same instructions, but don't leave it overnight for safety reasons. It will cook quicker on a stovetop, so 12 hours or less is plenty of time.