I apologize in advance – this recipe will be short on photos. Chicken carcass is not very pretty on film and I didn’t want unappetizing photos to dissuade you from attempting to make this easy and incredibly nourishing super food. All you really need for this recipe is time, skill in the kitchen is completely unnecessary.
Before I go into my cooking process, let me give you some bone broth history and highlight a couple of reasons that adding it to your diet is an excellent idea.
Back in the proverbial day, bone broth was a huge part of out diets. We relied on our local butcher to supply us with animal bones which we would use as a base to make soup, gravy, etc. These days people have little to no relationship with their local butcher so they look to MSG to flavor their broth. This is due to the rise in agriculture conducted on commercial principles and using advanced technology starting in the 1950’s. Industry severed that tie and we no longer look to our butchers for the bony leftovers that are so vital to our health. The bulk of the meat that we are eating today is the breast of the animal. The problem with that is, we are missing the good stuff. The bones are where the nutrient treasure trove awaits. The benefits of consuming bone broth are many but here are a few exciting ones to wet your appetite:
1. Strengthens your bones and joints
2. Improves look and strength of hair and nails- makes skin glow
3. Improves digestion and overall stomach health
4. Regulates hormonal imbalances
5. Improves sleep
(I can attest to all of these)
When you simmer bones on low heat you are pulling out compounds in the cartilage and tendons like glycine, glucosamine, collagen, gelatin and proline which are extremely beneficial to your health. Bone broth is also rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and sulphur. Honestly, I didn’t realize sulfur was anything I wanted in my body until a few months ago. I recently came across this article on the benefits of sulfur, check it out of you’re curious. Here are a few excerpts from another article touting the benefits of bone broth,
Dr. Francis Pottenger promoted the stockpot as the most important piece of equipment in the kitchen. He advocated liberal use of homemade stock because it attracts digestive juices to itself in a manner similar to raw foods. Foods that attract digestive juices are much more easily digested and assimilated by the body.
Homemade stock used frequently in the diet offers protection from gastrointestinal illness, as the natural gelatin acts a neutralizer of intestinal poisons helping to relieve diarrhea and even dysentery.
Convinced yet? Even without all of these health benefits, the flavor of bone broth alone will convert you. Store bought broth will be a thing of your past.
When you add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your broth, you help to draw out even more of these compounds and minerals, so be sure to do that!
The bones are typically roasted before simmering to enhance flavor, it’s not completely necessary if you find yourself without the time, but I would strongly recommend it. Who doesn’t want a tastier broth?
• 2 pounds or more of organic animal bones
I used a carcass of an organic chicken that I roasted that night and added another organic chicken back and 4 organic chicken feet. Chicken feet are loaded with gelatin.
• 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• Onion – green, white or yellow
• 2 celery stalks
• 2 large carrots
• 1 head of garlic
• 1 zucchini
• 1 bunch basil
• 2 sprigs rosemary
• 1 inch of ginger
• 2 tbsp turmeric
• salt to taste
You can use whatever vegetables you like. They add extra minerals to your broth. I just threw everything I had in the fridge in there. Onion, garlic and herbs will add an incredible depth of flavor.
1. Roast bones with a little salt in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
2. Place bones in a large stock pot and fill with filtered water until bones are just covered.
3. Add apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Bring water to a boil and skim off any foam that comes to the top. This foam consists of impurities.
5. Add all chopped vegetables, leave garlic and herbs until the last 30 minutes of simmering.
6. Cover pot, reduce heat to very low and leave simmering for 24 hours.
7. Add garlic and herbs 30 minutes before 24 hours is up.
8. Strain the broth of meat and veggies.
9. Store in airtight containers in the fridge if you plan to consume within the week or put in freezer to save for later use.
10. If all goes perfectly, your broth will gel when cooled. Once heated it will turn back into broth.
*Sometimes bone broth does not gel. There are many possible reasons for this.
1. You simmered on too high a heat. This will destroy the collagen and your broth won’t gel.
2. You didn’t add enough of the bones that are high in gelatin, like feet.
3. You used factory farmed animals for your broth.
4. You used too much water for the amount of bones.
Even if your broth doesn’t gel, it is still incredibly good for you as it is still packed with minerals. As long as you use organic free range animal bones, your stock will be a potent health tonic. If it does gel, the benefits will be even greater. My last attempt didn’t gel, I think I used too much water. So, I’ve been taking a gelatin supplement. This stuff has changed my life. My hormonal pimples have calmed down, my menstrual cycle has regulated; I’m enjoying shorter, less painful periods, I’ve even noticed that my flexibility has vastly improved. The best part? I’m sleeping through the night, every night, without tossing and turning before hand. This is huge for me. I’ve had trouble sleeping for years now. Victory!!!
Bone broth can change your life, it has certainly vastly improved mine. With improved digestion, better sleep, and glowing skin, I’m a convert.
Please let me know if you tried this and how it turned out. I’m going to try again in a few weeks and get that sucker to gel! 😉