Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bone Broth- gotta have it!

It feels so good to make bone broth!  You know you're making something tasty, nourishing, and practically free- trifecta!  We had a roasted whole chicken (farm fresh bird) last week & I had put the carcass,  skin, fat, & etc. with extra roasted vegetables in a baggie in the freezer.  I thawed it out a day ahead of time in the fridge & then yesterday I happened to be cooking up a bunch of pinto beans (I hate throwing out cooking water- seems so wasteful!) so I poured that bean water over the carcass/vegetables.  I added water to cover it all, plus some garlic, and then 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to make those bones leach out minerals.  Let it sit for 30 minutes, then bring to boil, cover & simmer for hours & hours & hours!  I use the recipe from Nourishing Traditions, which isn't much more than what I just told you.  If you don't have roasted vegetables just throw in some whole carrots, celery ribs, and an onion.

Last time (my first time making long cooked bone broth) I cooked it for 24 hours.  This time, when I woke up this morning I checked it and the skin & onion on the top of the broth were dark brown, almost looking burnt, so I turned it off.  It had cooked for about 18 hours, but it was a more active simmer this time than last time (I hope you know what I mean by that).  :)

Probably the easiest thing to do next would be to get another pot, put a colander in it, and pour the broth in so you can pick out the bones and things you don't want in there.  HOWEVER (this is where you find out, "yes, I am just that lazy") I avoid dirty dishes if at all possible, so what I do is- once it's cooled completely on the stove- just run my hands around in there & pick up whatever I run into!  I pick any remaining meat off the bones (if you're using a roasted bird remove as much as possible before boiling- put meat scraps in the freezer & use for chicken soup or enchiladas later).  I leave some of the fatty parts in the broth but take a lot out.  If you happen to have some gizzard, heart, etc I would leave that in there too.  I also leave the vegetables in.

Now, the broth got a lot of the minerals out of those bones- if you look at this picture you may be able to see the ends of the bones are gone- they were like crackers in my hand & I gave those to the lucky dog!  (I didn't give her any other parts of the bones, just in case, you know those warnings about chicken bones being splintery...)  You can also see from this picture that I am so determined *not* to dirty another dish that I put the pulled out pieces into the lid of the pot!

I wanted to show you what got left in the broth- bits of meat, fat, skin, celery, carrot and potato, but sorry this picture is blurry (my camera & my skill are probably both lacking- what can I say?)  The reason I can leave all that in there is because I then throw it all in the blender.  It would probably be better to make a little pile of the bits of meat to keep them whole, but, again, I was too lazy!

After running a few batches in my blender I put it all back in the pot again to make sure it's all the same consistency, then pour it into glass jars & freeze them (don't fill all the way to the top- remember about expansion).  This broth makes the best chicken soup ever.  I know chicken soup is supposed to be good for you, but when it's made with this broth it's really  good for you!  I also use it for cooking rice- yum!
By the way, that's froth at the top of the broth- LOL- in case you're wondering.  :)  Beautiful rich broth!
Here's another blogger's idea for adding immune boosting herbs to your broth (I keep forgetting to buy the herbs ahead of time, so I haven't tried it yet).



  1. How wonderful! I love you description of how you do this. It's just as if I'm standing next to you and you're showing me how to do it. Thank you!


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