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Chicken Broth

Chicken Bone Broth – Part Two

In Part One, I told you about the benefits to making your own chicken broth. Here’s a recap:

  • economical
  • healthy
  • healing properties

You’ve roasted the chickens and all (or most, it’s OK to leave some) the meat is off the bones. Now you are ready to make broth! Remember, this is just how I make broth. You don’t have to roast your chicken first. It’s important to remember that there is a difference in health benefits from chicken broth and chicken BONE broth. You want the nutrients and minerals that come from the bones. The broth you buy in the stores not only does NOT have this, they add all kinds of sodium, MSG, and preservatives. Due to my food allergies, I can’t risk buying it from the store. Once you get the hang of how easy this is… you won’t go back! Did you realize not all chicken broth is gluten free? This is!

Chicken Broth

Drop the bones back into the pot you cooked the chickens. There should be a gelatinous substance left in the pot. You can also put everything into a crock pot. Remember the innards you kept? (First step in Roasting Chickens.) Throw those in too. Fill the pot with water, add a Tablespoon or two of Apple Cider Vinegar (any acid will work – it draws the nutrients out of the bones) and cook on medium just until it starts to bubble. Turn it to low and simmer for 12 to 24 hours. For the last few hours add some veggies (completely optional). Some people have veggies in the whole time, but I’ve heard that onions can turn bitter after 8 hours.  Strain the broth and store in the fridge.  After it has cooled in the fridge, the fat rises to the top and hardens. I throw that part away. The broth can last in the fridge for up to ten days.

This is where I’m supposed to have a picture of the broth all done and strained – liquid gold… but we ate it all before I could take a picture.

Here’s a little secret most don’t realize – you can use the same bones to make more broth! Put all the bones BACK into the pot, cover with water and do the whole process again! However, I find that each batch will be a bit more watery, so I just do it twice, if that long. By this time, I’m ready to move on… but some people keep continual batches of stock brewing. I only use the second and third brewings for boiling rice or quinoa. I’ll immediately freeze this broth and label the bag accordingly.

What do you use the broth for? Anytime a recipe calls for it. But that’s just the start. I use broth  in place of water when cooking rice, quiona, or potatoes (as I just mentioned, this is usually the second-batch broth). For a quick lunch, I heat some broth and throw in some veggies, rice, or roasted chicken. It’s a great way to use up leftovers! Some people just drink it plain. I’m not there yet. I have to add something into my broth. What isn’t used after a few days, I store in freezer bags in two cup increments. Anytime I need some, I just thaw a bag enough to open it then heat the block of frozen broth on the stove until it’s liquid again. I haven’t had to buy broth at the store since I made my first stockpile. I probably have ten bags frozen now, with two birds ready to cook tomorrow.

Roasting Chickens

Chicken Bone Broth – Part One

There are many benefits to making your own chicken broth.
Not only is it economical, it is very healthy. I’m sure you’ve heard the old wives tales about chicken soup being good for a cold. There really is fact behind that statement. It’s not just any chicken broth that has healing properties. Chicken BONE broth is the type that heals. I first read about the health benefits at Divine Health. What I want to share with you is how my family makes bone broth. This will be a two part post. Part One tells you how I roast a chicken. Lots of people like to initially cook their chicken in a crock pot. I like the flavor of a roasted chicken better. Not to mention that I roast two chickens at a time and my crock pot barely holds one.

Why do I roast two chickens? Since I started doing this, we don’t buy lunch meat on a regular basis. Two chickens cost me less than $10 (that’s my goal, anyway)  and feeds us for one or two meals and several lunches. I just can’t say that about $10 worth of lunch meat. And have you read the extra ingredients in lunch meat??? Most are not even gluten free! (end rant… back to my two glorious chickens.) As soon as I pull the birds out of the oven, we eat part of one right away as a meal then use the rest of the meat in our lunches over the next few days. After several days if we have some left it becomes a quick meal (TACOS!!!!) or we throw it into the freezer.

Part One: Roasting the chicken

Roasting Chick1

  • Rinse your chicken(s) and remove any innards. (I save them for later.)
  • Place bird(s) in a pot.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it a good rub with olive oil.
  • This is the part you can add your favorite tastes and make it your own. I personally like onion, celery, and rosemary.
  • I place the breast side down. I feel like it keeps them moist. You can really do it whatever way you want!
  • Put the pot in a preheated (350 degree) oven.
  • Roast the chickens: 20 minutes for each pound of the heaviest bird.
  • When the outside is golden brown, they are ready!

yummm chickens

At this point, I yell the magic words and my whole family comes running. “Chicken Skin!”
Yes… we eat (and thoroughly enjoy) the brown and crispy skin.
We eat most of one chicken for our main meal. Perfect for Sunday lunch after cooking all morning while we’re at church. There’s nothing better than opening the door after church and having the aroma greet you! Makes my mouth water!

Now it’s time to debone the chicken.  It’s not hard, but lots of people think it’s gross. I’ve taught my older kids how to debone the chicken. After you do it a few times, it becomes easy. Don’t let that part keep you from trying this!

Every few weeks we take a break from this and buy lunch meat (gluten free, of course!) to take a break. It only takes about a week before someone asks, “Mom, when are we going to have chicken again?” One of my kids calls it “REAL chicken.” Chicken breasts don’t even cut it for her. She does have a point… with the additives even in lunch meat, it’s not quite so real anymore.

If you have a favorite recipe for roasting your chickens, I would love to hear about it!

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