This chicken bone broth is another way to add nutrition to your soups, or you can just drink it on its own. Humans have been making and drinking bone broth for its nutritional benefits for hundreds of years.
This recipe calls for chicken bones, but you can make this bone broth with any kind of bones you have that you want to use up. Want to make a bone broth but don’t know where to start? Go to your local butcher and ask for beef bones or leftover chicken bones. They’ll cost you around 50 cents a pound and you’ll be able to make this super nutritious recipe.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Yes, bone broth is highly nutritious. Since it is made by boiling down the bones and connective tissues of the animal, in this case chicken, you are releasing the collagen and vitamins that are in bone marrow.
Adding an acidic ingredient, such as apple cider vinegar or wine will help further break down the protein in the connective tissues of the bones. Adding an acid will help produce a collagen-rich broth. The protein is what you want when you drink a bone broth.
Simmering your bones at a lower temperature will allow the proteins and minerals to come out into the broth. It will also allow give you a clear broth and a low temperature will allow the broth to gel.
Bone Broth vs. Chicken Broth
Is there really a difference between the two? Well, not really. The difference between bone broth and regular chicken broth is that chicken broth is made by boiling the chicken meat and vegetables, while bone broth is made by boiling down the bones with the addition of vegetables and herbs for added flavor.
- Broth: Both is generally made from meat that is simmered for a short while. Broths often have a lighter flavor than their alternatives.
- Stock: Made from bones and joints. Cooks often use stock as a base for stews, soups and gravies.
- Bone broth: Bone broth is made from bones, joints, skin and any other animal product that would generally be discarded. Bone broth is simmered for an extensive amount of time, generally a minimum of 6 to 8 hours and has a deeply rich flavor. It can be drunk on its own or added to soups or gravies.
These three terms are often used interchangeably. However, bone broth is a much more rich version of regular broth or stock, since it boils down the bones and allows the collagen and protein to meld into the broth it’s being cooked in.
Tips for Bone Broth
While making a chicken bone broth is very straightforward and easy, there are a couple tips to make your broth taste just a little bit better.
- Roast your bones: Popping your bones in the oven before adding them to your large stock pot will give you a depth of flavor.
- Cover with water: Make sure everything in your pot is covered with water. Adding enough water is absolutely critical to this recipe, especially since so much of the water will be evaporating
- Continually add water: Because your stock pot will be constantly simmering, a lot of water will be lost to evaporation. Make sure to check on your broth to make sure all your water doesn’t boil out.
- Skim off any foam: When you check your pot, take a large spoon and skim off any foam that begins to come to the surface. It’s just made up of excess protein and won’t hurt you to eat it, but it will muddy your broth and isn’t the most pleasant to look at.
How to Make Bone Broth
Making bone broth is incredibly easy. Just add your leftover bone and meat scraps. I usually use the leftover chicken carcass after I’ve taken all the meat off of it, and throw it into a pot. You can even use the carcass from a leftover rotisserie chicken.
After adding the chicken bones to a large pot of water (I use a dutch oven), add the vegetables. Roughly chop an onion, some celery stocks and a couple of carrots and throw those into the pot. These aromatics will add to the flavor of the broth, even though they will be stained out before serving, so the chopping doesn’t need to be pretty by any means.
Also add some herbs to your pot- fresh or dried thyme, dill and parsley. Really whatever herbs or vegetables you have in your pantry or in your vegetable drawer will work.
Make sure everything in the pot is covered with water and let it simmer for a couple of hours. The longer it simmers, the more nutritious it will be. Since the water will evaporate, you can continually add water to your pot. You are also welcome to season your broth as it cooks.
Which Bones to Use for Bone Broth
This specific recipe uses chicken bones for a rich chicken bone broth. You can use any bones that have a good strong marrow to them, as a bone broth gets its characteristic collagen proteins from the marrow, connective tissues and ligaments.
- Chicken bones: This recipes talks at length about using chicken bones for a strongly-flavored chicken bone broth.
- Turkey bones: Use your entire turkey this Thanksgiving season by adding the bones to a large stock pot and boiling them down. Use the turkey necks or parts of the carcass to make a turkey-flavored bone broth.
- Beef bones: Replace the chicken bones in this recipe for beef bones to make a beef bone broth. It’s equally as delicious and has that rich meaty flavor to it.
- Pork bones: Use ham hocks, necks bones, even pig feet will work for replacing the chicken bones in this recipe.
How to Use Bone Broth
Bone broth can be used just as you would use regular chicken broth. Here are some recipes where you can use your freshly made broth: