Bone Broth is like a magic elixir!
You've probably heard the recent health buzz about how excellent bone broth is to your diet. Many companies have started marketing it all over the place, and it's going at a premium price. I'm here to teach you how you can make your own. Not only is it tons cheaper, but it's also better for you. You can make a stock out of any, beef, lamb, pork, shellfish, chicken, and even fish. The two I make most often are chicken or beef. Bone broth can be made from chicken, beef, or lamb, or pork.
First of all what is bone broth and how is different from stock or just broth?
That is a great question. If you think about this in terms of milk, broth would be the skim milk in this comparison. A clarified stock is also known as a consummé. It's a clear broth that is flavored with chicken or beef, but most of the fat and proteins are filtered out. A broth is usually made with little or even no bones. A lot of the time flavor in the broth comes from the meat itself being boiled in filtered water.
A stock is like two percent. A stock is richer in flavor and has a more substantial mouthfeel that broth. The proteins and fats have been left in or only clarified partially. I prefer to cook with a stock over a broth, just for that reason. You can usually get stock and broth very easily in most commercial grocery stores.
Now for the creme de la creme of meat stocks – bone broth. A bone broth is made using a lot of bone and specifically bones that contain a high amount of connective tissue. As the cartilage and connective tissues break down during the cooking process collagen is liberated into the stock. This collagen is what contributes to the gut-healing nature of bone broth. Bone broth is highly nutritious and contains proteins that help to heal your gut.
These proteins are also great for the health of your connective tissues - your joints, your skin, your nails, your hair. Once you realize how easy this is to make (and how much more flavorful it is) you won't ever buy another can of broth!
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A correctly rendered bone broth will be slightly gelatinous in the fridge.
It should be a little bit like a meat JELLO. If it sounds weird, bare with me. This gelatinous texture occurs when you have a sufficient amount of collagen in the bone broth. The collagen is the gut healing stuff that you want to see in your bone broth. Collagen is the magic elixir.
In order to get a collagen-rich broth, it is necessary to boil the bones for and then simmer them at a pretty high simmer. Many people claim that you can make bone broth in a slow cooker, but I haven't found that the slow cooker gets hot enough to render out enough collagen. Maybe my slow cooker is just lame.
What's the deal with meat JELLO.
FUN FACT: Aspic was a common dish served in Europe. It is basically meat JELLO. Do you think you would try this? Aspic is still commonly used as a fancy layer in paté.
Check out a few bloggers adventures with making Aspic. Ukranian Aspic Recipe from Natasha's Kitchen and The How and Why of Aspic from Nourished Kitchen.
Homemade bone broth is inexpensive to make and packed with nutrition. Get in that habit of making bone broth anytime you have some leftover bones. I typically roast a chicken or two each week, and after I remove the meat from those chickens, I save the carcass so that I can make bone broth. Same with the turkey at Thanksgiving. Turkey broth is fantastic and is a must for my Dumpling Noodle recipe.
Pasture Raised Meat Resources:
Bones from leftover steak, think doggie bags when you go out to eat. You can freeze bones until you are ready to make a batch of broth. If you don't have enough left over bones, you can get bones at the butcher. Sometimes you can get them for free.
What are the best bones to use for chicken bone broth? Leg and thigh bones have a ton of collagen yeilding connective tissue. For beef or pork broth think shank bones or knuckle bones. You can always ask your butcher. Just tell them you are making a bone broth and need some good bones. They should hook you up. There are a few great places to order grass fed and pasture raised meat and bones online if you don't happen to have a great grocery store in your area.
If you don't have a great source for pasture raised meats in your area check out these sources.
This bone broth recipe is what I typically use for poultry (either turkey or chicken).
When making chicken broth, I usually do one of two things: take the entire chicken, meat and all, and put it in a large stockpot with the remaining ingredients. Or I use the leftover bones of cooked chicken that we have had for dinner early in the week. If you don't have time to make stock right away store the remaining bones in the freezer.
If I've made roasted chicken or turkey, after all of the meat is carved, and only the leftover bones remain, I add the bones to a large stockpot with carrots, onions, and celery. Then fill the whole thing with filtered water and a few spices and make my bone broth from that. I finish the bone broth with a little bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
These are just a few of the recipes that I make when I have a whole boiled chicken.
If you choose to use the entire chicken, once the broth is done cooking you can pull the chicken meat from the bones and save it for soup or other recipes. Making a point to make bone broth, even just once a month, is an excellent way to have lots of extra lean protein. You get shredded chicken for easy meal prep and a lovely gut healing bone broth for sipping all week.
Homemade Turkey Soup (this recipe can also be used with chicken)
The pulled chicken keeps well in the fridge and is super easy to measure out for your weekly meal prep!
The Herbes De Provence Dressing is Great with leftover pulled chicken on top of a salad.
Easy Chicken Bone Broth (Paleo)
- Whole Chicken or Turkey including the giblets and neck bones
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion quartered leave skin on
- 2 carrots broken into large pieces
- 3 stalks celery torn into large pieces
- 1 bunch parsley torn
- 1 tsp all spice berries
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried juniper berries
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- Add everything to a large stockpot, using the whole chicken or turkey, including the giblets and neck bones. (For turkey broth I use the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner).
- Cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes, but be careful not to let the pot boil over.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours (add extra water if needed), then let the mixture cool.
- Pour the liquid through a strainer, and save this bone broth in a large container for storage!
- Once the meat is cool enough, pull from bones and save for other recipes. Discard the vegetables.