Homemade Chicken Bone Broth

chicken bone broth made with an assortment of vegetables

Bone broth is a winter staple at my house; I use it to make warm, comforting soups during the cold months. This broth contains minerals extracted from bones and a protein called gelatin which comes from dissolved collagen. You’ll also find good amounts of amino acids like glycine and proline, and a healthy dose of B vitamins. 

The magical nutrition in the broth helps our body in many ways, from joint health to gut health. Many health experts recommend bone broth for healing leaky gut issues and improving overall digestion. Broth is also great for boosting collagen production, which is key to more youthful skin and healthier joints. 

My standard broth plan is simple and flexible.

I love to make Roasted Chicken dinners during the fall and winter and the leftover carcass is the perfect start to my broth. A roasted carcass provides a richer flavor than uncooked bones: if you are using an assortment of raw parts and bones I recommend roasting them for several hours before making your broth. 

I also toss in any roasted garlic and onions that are left from my roasted chicken dinner. Then I include other vegetables that I have on hand. Feel free to substitute different veggies or herbs; broth isn’t picky. I like to finish it off with some fresh parsley when I remove it from the heat for an added boost of mineral ions and beautiful color. 

bone broth contains collagen and is good for youthful skin

One major key is to cook the broth for a long time. I try to simmer it for at least 8-12 hours, and up to 24. This allows time for all the cartilage, ligaments and bone to break down. A bit of apple cider vinegar (or another vinegar) is important because the acidity balances the flavor and aids the extraction of the minerals from the bones. 

Once the broth is done simmering you can strain it and save it in the refrigerator for several days or freeze it for several months. I like to use it right away and make a big pot of soup. I also use this same process to make turkey bone broth at Thanksgiving and beef bone broth anytime. 

The broth is delicious and nutritious, and you can drink it straight up if you’re not interested in making soup or sauces with it. Just add salt to taste and enjoy.

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