- 1 whole chicken
- 6 – 8 chicken thighs or drum sticks
- 6 – 8 chicken wings
- pork bone (unsmoked ham hock, neck or ribs, optional)
- 1/3 c apple cider vinegar (with the mother, for example Bragg’s)
- 3 – 4 stalks ea rosemary, sage, thyme
- 2 – 3 stalks of celery (and 4 leafy tops)
- 2 – 3 carrots (scrubbed or peeled)
- Any other scrap veggies you have. I often add broccoli stems, radish greens etc.
- Large pot
- Liquid measuring cup (or other measuring cups)
- Cutting board
- Large knife
- Large storage container
- Oxo Good Grips Silicone Molds
Step 1: The Meat
Place all of the chicken and pork (if using) into a large pot (one used for soup or stew or a dutch oven). Then fill with water until all of the meat is covered. Add apple cider vinegar to the pot. This is what makes it bone broth not just broth or stock. The vinegar helps break down the bone and cartilage and leaches the nutrients out. Place over low – medium heat uncovered. Begin preparing and rough chopping (big chunks, no need to be neat) veggies and wait until the water starts to simmer (tiny bubbles rising to the surface). If you let your water / broth come to a boil it will be cloudy but it won’t be ruined. Just turn it down so it doesn’t continue to boil. It will still be delicious and have all of the same health benefits. Once it begins to simmer you may notice foamy bubbles on the surface. If so, skim off the foam.
Step 2 : Add The Veggies & Forget About It
Now put all of the veggies and herbs into the pan. Feel free to get creative here. You can add whatever you like and your broth will have deeper more complex flavor. I usually keep a bag of scraps in my freezer and add them to my broth.
Let the broth simmer for around 8 hours. I often let mine go for 10 – 12 because I forget about it. Just make sure that you are keeping it under a boil.
When you’re finished turn off the burner and let the broth cool in the pan. It doesn’t need to come all of the way to room temp but you don’t want it so hot it will burn you either.
Step 3: Strain & Save
Get out a bowl or cutting board for all of the chicken. If you try to remove it from the pot before straining it will make the broth more cloudy. This is because you will likely squeeze the chicken while trying to get it out and it will break up. I don’t mind if my broth is cloudy. I find it makes pouring and straining the broth so much easier if the larger pieces of chicken are removed first. So, I remove the bigger pieces of chicken with tongs.
Place a large container to catch the broth in your sink then place a colander lined with cheese cloth inside it or over it (depending on the design). Pour the broth into the colander. Make sure that the broth level doesn’t go above the cheese cloth. You are trying to strain out even small impurities and bits so you want all of the broth to go through the cheese cloth not just through the colander. Leave this to continue cooling on the counter or in the sink.
I like to munch on the soft veggies while I remove the chicken from the bones. You can also set them aside and use them for soup or toss them into different recipes. They are soft and delicious having cooked so long and absorbed the broth.
Remove the chicken from the bones. Toss the skin and bones and place the chicken you’ve removed into a container. I like to use this in soup or dinner recipes. It will stay good for about a week in the refrigerator and it makes cooking quick and easy.
Step 4: Cool & Store
When the broth is approximately room temperature cover it and put it in the fridge. The next day get it out and skim the fat off of the top (it will have hardened to a solid). I usually use a fork to lift it off and dispose of it in the trash not the sink (it can cause plumbing problems). Your broth might be gelatinous or thin. Either is fine though gelatinous is preferred. Scoop broth into jars or other freezer safe containers. Place in freezer. Your broth will stay good in the freezer for up to a year. It will only be good in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
My favorite way to freeze bone broth is in these Oxo good grips containers. They are silicone so it is easy to get the cubes out once they are frozen. Because they have a hard plastic tray and top they are also easy to move from place to place. Each square is about 1/2 c so it’s easy to measure and thaw just enough for recipes. Each container holds about 1.5 c. This recipe will yield about 7.5 c so you will want to get a few or empty and refill them twice a day.
Step 5: ENJOY!!!
I sometimes use my broth for recipes but usually I just warm it up and drink it. I love to add grated turmeric and ginger along with fresh cracked pepper to it while it warms. Of course I strain it to drink. This is an excellent treat any time of day or year. There are many health benefits to drinking bone broth from improving gut health to preventing and shortening the duration and intensity of the common cold. Also, drinking bone broth is extremely satisfying and helps to prevent over eating and eliminate sugar and carb cravings. It’s worth the effort to make it homemade!
I can’t wait to hear how yours turns out! My husband and I love to take “broth breaks” a couple times a week. I warm some broth and we drink it in the afternoon and check in with each other. What do you like to use bone broth for? Let me know if you have any questions about the recipe or instructions.