***I apologize in advance for the usage of the words: raw, bones, leach, fat plug, and gelatinous.***
When you purchase most broths from the grocery, you are buying salt water with flavoring. There is really no nutritional value. You can purchase pre-made bone broths now, but making it yourself is a more inexpensive option. If you feel like it, you can Google the health benefits of drinking/eating bone broth. Personally, I can not sit down for a warm mug of broth. *Insert heaving noise.* But, I do like to have this on hand to cook with. ****Vegetarian/vegan option below!****
Here’s a recipe for homemade bone broth (aka chicken stock) from Against All Grain. I make mine (almost) the same way. I typically save my chicken bones in a bag (from about 3 chickens) in the freezer, so I can make one big batch of broth. I have done this using a raw chicken, and it works out just as well (I don’t know how the chicken doesn’t dry out…but it doesn’t and it’s actually quite good). I don’t measure the water…just pour (filtered) water to cover the bones. I leave out the salt, because I don’t drink this on it’s own, and I figure I’ll just add salt to the recipe I’m using with the broth. Most of the time, I don’t even add vegetables. Lastly, I start making this around 8pm, and let it go (on low) overnight. Why apple cider vinegar? Well, the vinegar helps to leach the calcium and minerals out of the bones. By the time your broth is finished, the bones will literally crumble.
I let this cool a little before straining. Then pour into glass containers, let cool completely and refrigerate. If you’ve used quality chicken/bones, you will notice a fat plug on top when your broth is cold. This protects the broth, “sealing” and preserving it. You’ll also notice, that your broth is very gelatinous when it’s cold. Again, that’s not a problem. That’s the healthy fat and nutrients that help heal your body. You can drink this daily if you’d like, use in recipes, and give it to your baby dog like I used to…she couldn’t get enough of it.
The quality to chicken you use is important! For one, you can not use boneless skinless breasts for this….you need the bones and fat. Though not inexpensive, you need to look for non caged, organic, raised without antibiotics…I could go on, chicken. If you see, “chicken with rib meat,” or, ” XYZ% water, ” walk away.
For VEGETARIANS/VEGANS, you can make broth too. The same general rules apply. Save your vegetable peelings, and use any vegetables you have on hand. Load up the crock pot, add whatever herbs and spices you like (adding organic miso &/or Nutritional Yeast will add depth of flavor and some nutrients), and let it cook on low overnight. If you’re into Superfoods, add some Reishi, coconut oil, ginger, &/or umami.