24 Hour Chicken Broth (Stock)
The nice thing about making chicken broth is that it doesn’t matter if you use a whole chicken or just the bones. When I first started making chicken broth, I just used the whole chicken. Now, I like to roast the chicken first, pick off the meat and just use the bones. If you want more nutrients in the broth, you can use the chicken’s feet, too. Using the best quality chicken is best. I use free-range chickens whenever possible. Organic would be my second choice. But, even if you can only find a conventional chicken at the grocery store, it will still have lots of benefits.
I swear by broth. Every time I feel like I’m coming down with something, I heat up a cup of broth on the stove. In my experience, it has made me feel so much better, so many times.
Disclaimer: I did not come up with this recipe on my own. I borrowed it from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I’ve slightly changed it to fit my tastes.
You will need:
1 chicken, either whole or just the bones
1-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks. It’s not necessary to peel, just wash.
1 medium to large onion. I usually use a white or yellow onion. Cut into chunks.
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed.
2-3 stalks of celery, cut into chunks. It’s not necessary to cut off the leaves or ends. Just make sure you wash it before using.
Seasonings, such as Italian seasoning or fresh parsley.
Optional: Add any veggie you would like. Or omit ones you don’t like or have on hand. My last broth didn’t include celery, because I didn’t have any.
Place the chicken (or bones) in a large pot and cover with water. Fill the pot within 1-2 inches of the rim. Add the apple cider vinegar and let sit for about an hour. This will help pull more vitamins and minerals out of the bones. After an hour, add the veggies and bring the water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low or medium low. You want it to just be simmering on the lowest heat possible. Skim any scum (foam) that comes to the top. At this point, you may wish to cover the pot. It’s going to be simmering for 24 hours, so it will start to evaporate. My extra large pot doesn’t have a lid, so I use a cookie sheet. Check the level of the broth every few hours, adding extra water if needed. I have an electric stove and keep my broth simmering on a very low heat, all night long. If I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I check on the broth; otherwise, I just check it first thing in the morning. Once the broth has been simmering about 20 hours, I add in the seasonings. I really like Italian seasoning, but the original recipe calls for fresh parsley. I think the best amount of time to simmer is 24 hours or more, but I don’t always have that much time, so I’ll simmer for as little as 12 hours. If this is the case, I add in the seasoning about 4 hours before I plan on finishing.
Once the broth is done, remove it from the heat. You’ll want to strain out all of the veggies and the chicken from the broth. I set up a large bowl with a strainer inside. Using two large spoons helps in removing the chicken before you strain. Set the chicken (or bones) aside. Once the chicken is cool, pull of the meat for later use. After you have strained the broth into the bowl, throw away the veggies. The vitamins and nutrients are in the broth now, and the actual veggies are mushy and tasteless. If you want to have veggies in your soup later on, you can add new ones. If you had simmered a whole chicken, remove the meat from the bones. This can be a little tricky, because the bones are very soft and some might end up in the meat. If you simmered only the bones, you can throw these away or feed them to your dog. Normally, you would never feed chicken bones to a dog, but these are very soft by this point. Use your discretion.
Cool the broth and pour into smaller containers for freezing. I have 1 and 2 cup bowls for freezing my broth. Or, if you plan on using right away, place in the refrigerator to cool completely. A lot of people skim the fat off of the top of the stock before using. I only do this if I’m not using a free-range chicken.
That’s it. Broth doesn’t take much work, just time. And most of that time, it’s just simmering. I’m not telling you what to do, but some people turn off the heat if they have to run errands, some don’t. I usually keep it going on a very low heat, even when I run errands. Make sure you clear the area around the pot, if you are going to do that. I move everything away at least 1 foot from the stove.
Let me know if you have any questions about making the broth! You can email me at email@example.com.