By Vida Gustafson
There are numerous great reasons to make your own bone broth from scratch, not the least of which is the expense of buying the good stuff premade.
Real bone broth is highly nutritious, it contains readily bioavailable forms of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, zinc and manganese. Bone broth is also rich in collagen, so it’s great for our skin and joints. It’s also a good source of vitamin A and K. The amino acids found in bone broth, like glutamine (not to be confused with gluten) and glycine have been linked to better sleep and improved digestion by studies published in the journals “Neuropsychopharmacology” and “Nutrients” respectively.
It’s simple to prepare, requiring only basic ingredients and patience. You can easily incorporate it into your daily diet, either sipping it on its own, adding it as a cooking liquid or using it as the base for a soup or sauce.
Lastly, preparing bone broth is a very powerful tool in the fight against waste. Not only are we making something wonderfully beneficial for ourselves, but we’re also utilizing every part of the meat/poultry that we purchase for consumption.
This recipe is specifically for a chicken bone broth. You can do the same with good quality beef or lamb.
- 1-2 pounds of chicken bones, (or the remainder of one roast chicken)
- 1 Gallon purified water (enough to cover the bones by 1 inch)
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 carrots
- ½ onion
- 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4 garlic cloves
In a large stock pot, combine bones, water and vinegar and pepper. Don’t discard the skin or connective tissues, those go in the pot too. Make certain that you add enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and let cook for at least 4 hours, though 6-8 hours is better. If you’re making a bone broth from other meats, like beef or lamb, a longer cooking period is advised.
Do not boil the broth at a high temperature, low and slow is the only way to go. Do not omit the vinegar, it’s useful for the extraction of nutrients and you won’t taste it later.
I like to make my broth tasty enough to sip by itself, so in the last 90 minutes or so, I add carrots, onion, garlic and herbs, like thyme. These also boost the nutritional profile. The amount of broth you end up with, depends on how long you cook it and how tightly your stock pot’s lid fits. Some people find it useful to cook the broth uncovered for the last hour to have a more concentrated product that takes up less space.
When you are done cooking your broth, let it cool for around half an hour and then pour through a strainer lined with cheese cloth or through a large sieve. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to seven days.