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What’s So Great About Chicken Bone Broth?
Tradition tells us that broth is nourishing. Made from bones and marrow, science has assured us that it is rich in collagen, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Collagen helps to build connective tissue, keep our skin and hair youthful, our arteries strong and our joints healthy.
Trained chefs will tell you that broth is made from meat and is seasoned, and that stock is made from bones and is left unseasoned to be used in other dishes. In the “real food” world, the term “bone broth” is used to refer to stock made from bones, seasoned and ready to drink. The term rolls off the tongue so nicely, doesn’t it?
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The health building properties of the chicken bone broth you make will only be as good as the bones you use. Be sure these come from healthy animals raised on pasture. Use skin, wings, and feet, as well as bones, for higher collagen levels.
The amino acids in muscle meats need to be balanced out with those found in skin, cartilage, bones, marrow, and organ meats. Eating all of the animal helps to assure a more balanced diet.
For more ways that chicken bone broth can benefit your health, be sure to check out the book Nourishing Broth.
Making Bone Broth
- 1 chicken carcass, including the neck, skin and wings (this can be raw or cooked bones)
- 4 chicken feet (if available)
- 2 -3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- cold, filtered water
- 1 whole carrot
- 1 celery stalk with leaves
- 1 whole onion, with skin
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 1 – 2″ piece of ginger (optional)
Wash the vegetables. Place the bones, feet and vegetables in a slow cooker. Add the vinegar and cover with cold, filtered water. Begin cooking on high just until the broth begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for up to 24 hours. Skim any scum that forms on top. Remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Cool and store in your refrigerator for 3 – 4 days, or freeze.
Why Your Broth Didn’t Gel
Bone broth should gel once refrigerated. This means that your broth is collagen-rich. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. If your chicken bone broth doesn’t gel, it’s still good to use. Here a few tips that will help to ensure a gelatinous bone broth next time:
- be sure to include skin, backs, necks and wings
- include chicken feet if at all possible
- don’t use too much water; the water should just cover the bones
- don’t bring the water to a rolling boil since this will break down the collagen
- be sure to cook the broth for at least several hours; a shorter cooking time will not extract the collagen.
Using Bone Broth
Bone broth really does make everything more delicious (and nutritious). I cook rice and beans in it, use beef bones to make tomato sauce, drink it by the cupful, and use it in stews, soup and gravy.
Here are some great recipes that use bone broth (in no special order):
Do you make bone broth? What’s your favorite way to use it?