Don’t let the term bone broth scare you. It’s just another word for stock made from leftover animal bones just like your grandma made (or at least mine did). What every chicken broth is based off of. I am not a scientist or health and nutrition expert. I am just a regular mom who has worked in kitchens her whole adult life and has studied books on primal nutrition and spent hours on end in her own kitchen creating food and recipes to share with you all. With that being said, I will leave it up to the experts to do all the big words and scientific stuff about how bone broth is one of the most healing foods on the planet. However, I don’t think you have to be an expert on the subject to realize the healing power of a bowl of homemade soup. Even up until last year, my mom would bring me a bowl of homemade chicken noodle or rice soup when I was sick. Now I have grown up to be the weird family member that asks for the turkey carcass at Thanksgiving if it’s just going to be thrown out. I mean, why would you WASTE such a beautiful thing?! Here are some things that will make you reconsider next time you think about chucking the bones of your next roasted chicken (or turkey, or pot roast, or pork shoulder):
1. It’s free. It costs absolutely nothing to throw it into a pot with some water and boil away. We usually want to add a few things for flavor and maximum benefits but if it was all you had you could still do without those.
2. Glucosamine, gelatin, and glycine. All in one bowl (or coffee mug on the go), no pills necessary.
3. You may think, “I could just buy it from the store and save myself the two seconds it takes to throw it on the stove and let it simmer for a few hours while I’m doing something else…”. True. You COULD buy it from the store. There are two reasons I think this is a horrible idea. Numero uno: it costs money. Duh. And secondly, EVERY brand I’ve come across has additives. Even the organic ones. Sugar and thickening agents (cornstarch, guar gum, carageenan) NOT what you want when you are trying to heal your body.
Do I have you convinced yet? I hope so. Here is my usual go-to recipe for a quick chicken stock.
1 organic, pastured chicken carcass (leftover from a roast or after breaking it down for separate meals)
3 stalks organic celery
2 or 3 cooking onions, roughly chopped, skin and all
2-3 carrots, scrubbed and unpeeled
1 bay leaf
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
Break the bones with a cleaver if you have one. This helps expose the marrow. Place all ingredients except salt into stock pot. Add cold water until everything is covered. I don’t have a magic number for cups of water, but I usually fill it up about 2-3 inches above the bones. Bring to a boil (uncovered) on the stovetop and lower heat until just simmering. Now you can walk away for a few hours. After it’s been reduced by about half add some salt and taste. If it tastes weak, continue boiling. You will know when it’s ready. Strain all solids and store refrigerated in glass containers when cooled.
This is a very basic, quick stock. I use it mostly in soups. You can also simmer your bones for up to 24 hours (wait until the last few to add vegetables if you are) to make a very dense nutrient-rich broth. Keep adding water a little at a time as it evaporates.
Good luck on your bone broth adventures. I promise after some practice, you won’t even think twice about tossing your bones before getting every last bit of nutrients you can from them!