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If you could travel back in time to the kitchen of any mama in America 100 years ago or more, you would find homemade broth. Broth was a staple in the kitchen and still is in many countries and for good reasons. Not only does it add wonderful flavor to many dishes, it is extremely nutritious and healing. And making broth was second nature to the home cook. Making broth was a way to make meals stretch further, was soothing to body and mind, and was just plain efficient use of ingredients.
Unfortunately, making broth has become a lost art in today’s society. With our fast paced, pre-packaged society, if broth is used in a recipe, it’s a store bought version. The problem is these are usually filled with chemical preservatives, colors, and even artificial flavors. Nothing like the nutrient dense versions of days gone by.
Before we get into how to make chicken broth, let me clear up a few questions you may be asking or have heard others ask. You’ve probably heard of chicken broth, but may be asking, what is bone broth? Or why should I make bone broth too? And then you’ve probably seen a recipe call for chicken stock, so how does that fit in? First, let’s look at what a stock it.
- A broth is the liquid that remains after a meat (usually chicken or another bird) has been cooked in water. This is very flavorful and adds flavor and nutrition to a meal, but can also be consumed alone.
- A stock is the liquid (including the gelatin) that remains after bones with marrow, connective tissue, and other parts like feet have been cooked. It is typically a darker color, will not be as flavorful, is cooked much longer to release the nutrients, and will have a much higher gelatin and nutrient content.
So you see, a bone broth is really stock. And because of the parts of the bone extracted into the finished stock, they are truly a powerhouse for the gut. Both broths and stocks are packed with nutrition, so whichever you decide to make will be a welcome addition to your health.
Making broth is such a simple practice and money saving tool that every homemaker should know how to go about it.
Just how simple is making broth? Let me share with you what you need and how to go about it. And I recently did a video on how to make chicken broth and bone broth. You can watch the video below.
First let’s go over what you will need:
Chicken Broth Ingredients
- 1 raw whole chicken-preferable free range
- 1 large stock pot or dutch oven
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- vegetables of choice (onions, garlic, carrots, celery)
- salt and pepper
Bone Broth Ingredients
- Bones saved (frozen) from chicken *I freeze all my chicken leg bones and other larger bones each time I cook chicken then make broth once I collect a gallon bag full.
- Beef joint bones
- Chicken feet (optional, but great to add if available)
- 1 large stock pot or dutch oven
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- vegetables of choice (optional-onions garlic, carrots, celery)
- salt and pepper
Whether you are making chicken broth or bone broth, you will start out the same way. Place your chicken or bones and any vegetables in your pot. Cover with water that reaches up to 1 inch of the top of your pot. Add your apple cider vinegar. (Don’t worry, your broth won’t taste like vinegar. This just helps break down the nutrients and extract them into the water.) As for the salt and pepper, I tend to wait until the end to add those so I can taste to see how much is needed. Now that your pot is full, it’s time to begin cooking. Start by bringing your pot to a boil, then lower the heat so that your water is at a simmer. At this point you will notice some scum beginning to float on the surface of your water. Go ahead and skim this off then let the broth continue to simmer.
Cook the Chicken Broth for about 6 hours.
Cook the Bone Broth for 24 hours or up to 72 hours.
Once the broth has finished cooking, use a colander to strain off the liquid. Don’t bother with using a cheesecloth to get it crystal clear. You will actually trap some of the gelatin in the cloth too and you really want as much gelatin in your broth as possible-remember, it’s one of the healing ingredients so don’t strain it out!
Store your broth in canning containers in the freezer for several months or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can even freeze them in ice cube trays to add to smoothies or recipes that don’t require that much liquid (think taco meat). Be sure to label your broth-especially if you make meat and bone broth. They are hard to tell apart once frozen, and they do have a different taste to them.
Now that you’ve made your own broth, you can relax knowing you are stocked up and prepared for meals and for those times when you just need a little gut nourishment and healing. Now you can get creative and see what all recipes you can add it to-soups, chili, sauces, taco meat, smoothies-the list is endless. But once you begin, come back and let us know how you add chicken and bone broth to your meals to get extra nutrients in your diet.
Want more ideas on chicken or bone broth or how to incorporate broth into your diet? Check out these other articles.
More on how to store chicken broth.
Some of the healing benefits of bone broth.
Meat stocks are essential in the GAPS Diet for healing.