One of my favorite ways to stretch a whole chicken is to cook the chicken for several meals during the week and save the bones and carcass for homemade chicken broth. While it is gross looking, it is worth the effort.
Homemade chicken broth is a staple in our house. Whether using it as a base for soup, as a substitute for water while boiling potatoes or cooking rice, or enjoying a warm cup of broth when feeling under the weather, your home should never be without chicken broth.
The real, nutritious broth, not the stock in a box. While fine in a pinch, it's not the same.
We try to get our chicken from a local farmer to make sure they truly are pasture chickens, but that's not always in the budget. We do buy organic chicken when possible from the store. Make sure you check the label for carrageenan, and avoid it.
If at all possible I start making the chicken broth after I finish dinner. But life happens. Sometimes I put all the extras in a plastic freezer baggie until the next day.
You will not believe how easy it is to make nourishing homemade chicken stock.
It's so easy and delicious.
Nourishing Chicken Broth
1-2 whole chickens leftovers (bones and carcasses)
1 onion, cut in chunks
2-3 carrots, cut in chunks
¼ C olive oil
1 T seasoning salt
1 garlic clove, or dried garlic seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Place chicken bones/carcasses on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over the bones
3. Sprinkle all seasonings over the bones
4. Add the chopped carrots and onions to the pan
5. Bake for 1 hour or until bones are very brittle and vegetables are very soft
6. Let cool
7. In a large soup pot, put bones, cooked vegetables and any pan drippings in and add water till 1” above the bones. * see note #2
8. Begin to heat and bring the bones to a high boil for 3 minutes and then bring to a SLOW simmer. Simmer the broth for 12 hours. (yes, 12 hours). Please keep a lid on the pot to prevent evaporation. If the broth evaporates below the bone level, add just enough water to bring it back to level. Adding too much water dilutes the flavor.
9. After 12 hours, let the broth cool slightly, and pour into a colander that is resting inside a bowl, in order to capture the broth.
10. Lift the colander with the bones out of the broth and set it inside another bowl to drip and cool.
11. Place a fine sieve over another bowl and pour the broth through the sieve to further remove any smaller bits that fell through the colander.
12. Place the sieved broth in the fridge to cool. *see note #3
At this point, the bone broth is complete. You can use it to drink warm as a beverage for the beneficial properties of bone broth, or steam vegetables, cook rice, mash potatoes or make sauces for extra flavor.
#1 – I began this recipe using 2 old laying hens that I buy from a local farmer. I buy them very cheap and use them for this purpose, however, you can use store bought chicken soup bones at a great price. If you bake a chicken or make any sort of baked chicken pieces dish, reserve all the bones in a freezer bag in the freezer until you have enough to make this recipe. If there are any bits of meat on the bones, (cooked or raw), leave them on the bone to cook further in the broth. It adds to flavor and be used for other purposes later on. (see #3)
#2 – You can at this point add other vegetables from your fridge that might be too soft to use. E.g.: celery, carrots, onions etc. Don’t be afraid to add onions with skins still on them, celery leafy tops, clean, unpeeled carrots.. etc. Also, add any pan drippings/fat/brown bits from the bottom of the pan. You can “deglaze” the pan with a bit of water to lift the stuck on bits…. This adds extra flavor!
#3 – When the bones are cool, remove any bits of meat, skin and cartilage from the bones and reserve this to supplement pet food if you have pets.