Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bone Broth Every Week - Easy Peasy!

This is how I make sure we get our bone broth in every week.  This method is really so easy there's no excuses not to have homemade bone broth for your family regularly!  And if you follow the steps in order, you will have two night's dinners cooked as you go!

Here is a great blog post about the health benefits of bone broth and also links to how this blogger makes and stores both chicken and beef broth.

And here is a great article by Sally Fallon about the health benefits of bone broth.

Here's how I do it:
1. Slow cook a whole chicken in your crock pot on day 1.  Have chicken and what ever side dishes you want for dinner that night.  (I also make this with rabbit and turkey.)

If you have a large family and eat a whole chicken at one meal, put two or even three whole chickens into an inexpensive roaster like the one below, (You can buy them for only twelve bucks here.) and slow cook them, covered, in the oven at 250 degrees.

These are two very large chickens, going into a low oven. 

2. After dinner, debone the chicken(s) and throw the carcass(s) back into the crock pot or roaster with the original juices, some coarsely chopped onions, celery, carrots, 2 T apple cider vinegar (per chicken), and what ever seasonings and herbs you like.  There are many recipes on the internet. I tend to use rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper.  You can leave a little meat on the carcass to add flavor to your stock.  Add enough water to just barely cover the bones and slow cook over night or longer (If using the roaster, bake at 200 degrees).  (I don't bother with skimming my broth.  I'm not going for perfectly clear stock to serve to company.) Save your left over deboned chicken meat in a container in the fridge.  

After my stock cooked for 12 hours, I took it out
added my herbs and spices.  Then I popped it back
into the oven for another 12 hours. 

3.  In the morning or later that day, strain the stock and discard all the bones and veggies.  Put the stock in the fridge.  

4.  The next evening, or even a few nights later, skim your stock of the fat that has collected at the top.  This is Schmaltz and it is excellent for cooking.  Melt the fat in a narrow jar (I use the microwave) and let it separate.  Then use a turkey baster to collect the pure fat and put it into a class container.  Store this in the refrigerator indefinitely.  (Can also be frozen if you have more than you will use in a few months.)

 5. For the soup, put some stock in a pot with the left over chicken meat and what ever vegetables you like in your chicken soup.  This soup will be ready to eat in only a few minutes, as soon as the veggies are tender.  

Here's my recipe for Chicken Vegetable Soup.  

6.   Freeze what ever bone broth you have left over in mason jars or other containers. 

Of course you don't have to do this every week, but the point is that it is simple enough to do so, especially since you end up with at least two meals cooked as you go.  You can certainly use the left over deboned chicken meat and the new, homemade stock in any other recipe.  

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