Bone broth from pastured chicken

Broth ready to strainBone broth must be one of our most nourishing foods.  Just recently my daughter and my husband were having intestinal problems.  A quart or so of homemade broth was all it took to get them back to normal.  I always keep bone broth on hand in the freezer, as well as the pastured chickens for making more broth whenever necessary.  If I’m lucky I can find some chicken feet for the broth.  They really increase the gelling, the flavor, and the nutrition.  Mostly I follow the instructions for chicken stock in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.

Here’s how I made my chicken stock:

What you need:

one chicken, preferably pastured, organic is next best
2 to 4 chicken feet, if available
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 quarts filtered water
2 tablespoons of vinegar (I use raw apple cider vinegar but any will do)

Whole chicken and feet

 

If your chicken has organs included (heart, gizzard, liver), take them out and reserve for another use.  Depending on the time available, sometimes I cut up the chicken and sometimes not.

 

 

Chicken-cut up for broth

 

 

For this batch of broth, I cut off the wings, legs, and thighs.  A sharp knife and Gerber bone shears are useful.

 

 

 

Chicken and veggies in pot

 

Put the chicken pieces and chopped veggies in a large stockpot, 10 to 12 quart.

 

 

 

 

Vinegar and water

 

 

Add the filtered water and vinegar and soak for 30 minutes to an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

Skimming foam

 

Bring the stock to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises–look for the colored foam.  Simmer for 6 to 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Finished broth

 

This broth was simmered for about 9 hours.

 

 

 

 

Nourishing Traditions recommends adding a bunch of parsley to the broth about 10 minutes before you remove from the heat.  I don’t always have fresh parsley available when making broth, but do add it if you have some.

Colander and bowlUsing a colander and a large bowl, strain the broth from the meat, bones, and veggies.   Separate the meat from the bones and use for chicken salad, chicken soup, casseroles, curries, etc.  The meat of the chicken will be somewhat bland after the long simmering, so plan to use it with other flavorful ingredients.

I pour the strained broth into a clean pot and cool quickly in a sink full of ice water before putting it into the refrigerator.  Freeze any broth you will not use within a week.  Nourishing Traditions recommends removing the fat after it cools in the refrigerator, but I like to keep the fat with the broth.

For maintaining good health, I think it’s good to drink one cup of bone broth every day.  When someone is not feeling well, a quart or more per day can help them feel better.  I’m continually amazed at how effective drinking homemade bone broth is in helping people feel better.

You won’t get the same nutrition and healing effects of homemade bone broth if you use commercial canned or boxed soups.  Make your own, it’s worth the time and trouble.

There are many variations of bone broth.  Here are just a few of the ones I’ve found and more information about the health benefits:

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock by Cheeseslave
Beef Bone Broth by Real Food Forager
The Wonders of Gelatin (and How to Get More in Your Stock) by the Healthy Home Economist
5 Reasons Why Your Stock Won’t Gel by the Healthy Home Economist
Video: Traditional Stocks and Soups by the Healthy Home Economist
How to Make your own Homemade Chicken Stock/Broth by Kitchen Stewardship
Broth is Beautiful by Sally Fallon
Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin By Kaayla Daniel

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9 Responses to Bone broth from pastured chicken

  1. Do you know of any commercial sources of organic pastured bone broth (beef or chicken) in the Houston Area? Friends hoping for healing cancer treatment have relocated to Houston and would love to get some bone broth to them. I’m thinking of something like:
    http://www.threestonehearth.com/.

    Thanks!

    • Carolyn says:

      I wish I had a better response, but I don’t know of a commercial source of organic pastured bone broth in the Houston area. We do have sources of grassfed beef and pastured chickens for making broth. Local sources for pastured meat: http://www.wapf-houston.org/wapf-houston-wp/local-food-milk/

      Three Stone Hearth seems to be a wonderful resource, but I don’t know of an equivalent in Houston.

      Bone broth can be ordered online or by phone, although I have not personally ordered or tried any of them. For example, U.S. Wellness Meats sells Beef Marrow Bone Stock Broth made with Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions recipe. Link: http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Categories.bok. There are 15 others in the 2012 Shopping Guide from the Weston A. Price Foundation, although I don’t know if delivery is limited. If you need more online sources, let me know

      BTW, I don’t receive payment from any retailer for mentioning their products.

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  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful information. I am 56 and my recent bone density test shows Osteoporosis in my lumbar spine and my doctor wants to put me on Fosamax. I want to try to build up bone mass with all your suggestions; however, I am a Vegetarian and so the idea of bone broth does not appeal to me. I might re-consider adding this to my diet if you feel that strongly about it. Any other suggestions? Thank you, Elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I do strongly believe that bone broth is an important, and even essential, part of a healthy diet. All healthy traditional diets included bones, usually as bone broths, but sometimes by adding ground up bones to their foods. Briefly, here are some important reasons to include bone broths in your diet: they supply calcium and other important synergistic minerals in an easy to assimilate form; bone broths help build cartilage; they supply amino acids that help the body use animal protein properly; and they provide gelatin that aids in digestion, which ensures that the nutrients you eat are available for the body to use. The articles I have linked at the end of this post provide much more information about the benefits of adding bone broth to your diet.
      I drink a cup of bone broth every morning and have noticed my nails are much stronger. It is easier to see and feel the nails, but I am sure that my whole body is healthier as well.
      The health benefits will increase over time as you add bone broth to your diet.
      Before you decide to take Fosamax, read my post Pros and Cons of Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia. Several years ago, I was advised to take Actonel for osteopenia but did some research and opted to improve my diet and exercise instead.
      I believe eating a nutritious diet is much more beneficial that taking drugs, which only treat symptoms and do nothing for the underlying cause. Read my post How to get started with a Traditional, Real Food diet to learn about more ways to improve your health through a nutrient-dense diet.
      I hope you can improve your health and bone strength.
      Carolyn

  6. Dawn says:

    Hello,

    Where in Houston can one purchase Chicken feet, necks or other bony parts for making bone broth?

    I like the broth, however have made it using an entire chicken from Whole Foods( Whole paycheck). Its costly and wasteful because I never finish the meat( even with the cat and dog eating it).. I want the broth anyway not the meat.

    If location helps, I now work downtown & live off the 290 mess.

    Thank you!

    • There are several ways to get bones for broth. You can save bones from cooking chickens, whole or parts. You can ask the market, e.g., Whole Foods, if they have organic and/or pastured bony parts they could sell you. You could also ask local poultry farmers if they have parts like this for sale. To find local chicken farmers, look on the Local Food & Milk page on the website of the Houston chapter of the Weston A. Price foundation.

      The same recommendations would apply to bones for beef or other types of broth. Ask the market and ask the farmer about bones.

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