Slow cooked bone broths are one of the most nourishing foods that we can eat. They are simple to make, but they take a little bit of time to cook. I use a slow cooker and turn it on when I know that I’m going to be gone for the day and just let it simmer away. When it’s done, I freeze it in ice-cube trays and mason jars so that I always have a good base broth if I need it. In addition to being full of vitamins and minerals, a home made bone broth really is mom’s best recipe for a cold. You can use the broth to cook vegetables, beans, rice, as a base for soup or stew. You can use the bones of a leftover chicken that you’ve roasted, or you can use just bones. This is the way that I usually make chicken broth:
- 1 lb Organic Chicken Feet (the butcher will remove the claws for you)
- 2 lbs Organic Chicken Backs and Necks
- 1 lb Organic Chicken Wings
I mix up the weight distribution of these items, but I usually use about 3-4 lbs of the above in my stock. Rinse all items. You can brown then briefly in some butter and garlic if you’d like. Then, place them in either a large dutch oven or slow cooker. Cover with water. I use a 7 quart crock pot and I fill it up until all the bones are covered, plus an inch or two. You can add any vegetable scraps you have lying around. I normally add an onion and a couple of celery stalks, all roughly chopped into a few large pieces. Sometimes I add carrots, garlic and parsley as well as a handful of peppercorns. If I have thyme, marjoram or bay leaves those can go in too. I don’t salt the broth, as I never know what I’m going to use it for and that way I have better control over the taste of the final product. Add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and turn on the crock pot to it’s lowest setting, on mine, this is 10 hours. Cover and walk away. If you are using the stovetop method, then bring to a rolling boil and then turn it down to a simmer for about 8-12 hours. After my crockpot cooks it for the first 10 hours, it then has a “warming” function which keeps it at a very low simmer and I usually leave it for another 10-12 hours.
By the time this broth is finished cooking, the bones have started to disintegrate. Strain off the liquid into the containers that you will be using for storage and let it cool before you refrigerate or freeze it. You’ll notice a gel layer forms on the top. You can scoop this off and use it for cooking, or just leave it be, whatever you do, don’t throw it out!
If you know a new mom, this is one of the most awesome foods you can make for her. It helps to reinvigorate a postpartum woman’s body by replenishing minerals and vitamins lost during the labor and delivery. A woman who eats good quality food like this broth will have better milk for nursing her baby. This is a great base to make food for anyone who is recovering from an illness or surgery.
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