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Since I recently shared our favorite recipe for roasting chicken, I figured I might as well share how we make homemade chicken bone broth. I do this every time I roast a chicken, which is at least once a month. I take it for granted that we always have healthy, homemade chicken broth on hand to use in a variety of recipes. Some folks don’t take the time to make chicken broth and throw out the chicken carcass after cleaning off the meat. We love to use as much of the animal as we can so making chicken bone broth is a natural step for us.
Health benefits of chicken bone broth
Chicken broth is healthy and easy to make. You may have heard some people encourage a sick person to eat chicken noodle soup. Chicken bone broth is touted to have immune boosting powers and is full of all sorts of healthy goodness like gelatin, calcium and phosphorus to name a few. Here’s a great article listing out all the health benefits of bone broth that you can read to find out more.
I know some folks who drink a cup of chicken broth everyday as part of their daily health routine. I tried this once but I only made it two days and decided it just wasn’t for me. Instead I use it in a lot of the foods that I cook. If I’m starting to feel sick, I might drink a cup of chicken broth or eat some homemade soup with a chicken broth base for an added immune system booster. When Little A was sick recently, she didn’t like the bone broth plain but wanted it mixed with some juice. She loved it so we figured whatever works to get her to stay hydrated and nourish her body with the healthy homemade bone broth.
Uses for Chicken Bone Broth
There are so many uses for chicken broth. It is a healthy alternative to water in a variety of recipes. Here are a few of our favorite uses for chicken bone broth:
- Use instead of water when making rice
- Homemade soup base
- Added liquid when stir frying vegetables
- Making homemade cream of chicken soup for casserole recipes
- Liquid base when making a homemade cream sauce for pasta
- Replacing the water in a homemade bread recipe
How to Make Chicken Bone Broth
You can make bone broth in a slow cooker or in a stock pot on the stove. I personally always make it in a large stock pot like this one on the stove top and let it cook on low all day. This works best for me since I always use some of the broth in a homemade soup for our meal that evening so I can reuse the stock pot and have one less dirty dish!
A few months ago, I read a tip about adding some vegetable scraps to homemade chicken broth. Our vegetable scraps end up in the compost bin, but I loved the idea of being able to use some of them to continue to nourish us instead of being composted. Basically all you need to do is keep a container in your freezer where you place vegetable scraps to be tossed in your next batch of chicken bone broth. The best vegetables to use for this are onions, garlic, and carrots. Try to steer clear of strong flavored vegetables like broccoli or cabbage.
1 roasted chicken carcass or chicken bones
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
optional: vegetable scraps (carrots, onions, garlic are best)
1. Place the chicken carcass/bones and vegetable scraps in a large stock pot.
2. Pour water into the pot until the bones are covered.
3. Add the apple cider vinegar
4. Cook on medium/high heat until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for a minimum of four to six hours.
5. When done, turn off heat and let it cool a little. Remove the large bones and vegetable pieces with a slotted spoon. Place them on a clean plate to sort through and glean any chicken meat you see. I often get about another two cups of chicken meat off the carcass to use in another meal.
6. Place a fine mesh sieve over each container you want to store broth in and pour in the broth.
7. Refrigerate or freeze your broth. Recommended refrigerator times are three days maximum. Broth can be frozen for several months, although ours never lasts that long!
Storing Chicken Bone Broth
There are several ways to store your chicken bone broth for use. I have a stash of large plastic yogurt containers and these freezer safe containers with twist on lids that I keep reusing to freeze chicken broth. Some folks freeze chicken broth in glass canning jars. I had a bad experience with broken glass in the freezer so I stick with my plastic yogurt tubs!
We also pour chicken bone broth into an ice cube tray, pop them out when frozen and store in a bag in the freezer to use in small quantities when cooking. Another option is to can your chicken broth if you don’t plan to use it in the next few days and don’t have freezer space to store it.
Now that you have homemade chicken bone broth, you can start using it in a variety of meals you cook. Not only will it add more flavor to your food, it will also give your body extra nutrients and an immune system boost.
How do you use homemade chicken bone broth?