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Golden Bone Broth
When I shared a photo of my latest bone broth stash on Instagram a few weeks ago, I got a lot of requests for the recipe. One of the things that I secretly love about making broth is that it’s inexact. I spend the vast majority of my time in the kitchen, measuring and timing things so that when you try to recreate the recipe at your house, it works.
But bone broth is less precise, and it really can’t go wrong.
This is how I make my chicken broth every few weeks. Sometimes it gels, and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always tastes great, and I know it’s loaded with nutrients. This recipe produces somewhere between 8 and 10 quarts of broth, which I then usually turn into Chocolate Chili and Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup. This same technique also works with 6 pounds of beef bones; just follow the rest of the recipe as written. If you use beef bones, you might want to roast them in a 450F oven for 20 minutes before making the broth.
Tools & Ingredients
Stockpot: I have an enormous stock pot. It’s this one, and it’s 16 quarts. You don’t have to buy a behemoth pot like that one, but I’m lazy and like to make a giant batch all at once.
Jars: If you’re going to be serious about making broth, you’ll need some of these quart-size Mason jars.
Chicken wings: These little babies are loaded with collagen and add a lot of flavor. When I can’t find good ones locally, I order online from White Oak Pastures,
Chicken feet: Yes, they look creepy, and I once accidentally got one caught in the garbage disposal so it looked like a hand crawling up out of the drain, but… they’re also loaded with collagen and make the broth luscious. I order online from White Oak Pastures,
Other chicken parts: KOL Foods, Slanker, and US Wellness Meats all offer chicken soup bones and US Wellness Meats sometimes has feet, too. I usually roast a whole chicken or some bone-in thighs and save the bones instead of buying chicken soup bones.
The Witch Bag: I have a freezer bag that I use to store chicken bones from any birds that I roast, along with the ends of celery, carrot butts, and bedraggled parsley. Dave calls it my Witch Bag because it looks a little bit like a horror show, but those somewhat unappetizing leftovers turn into beautiful broth.
One Final Note
As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, there are lots of ways to make broth. This is the pattern I’ve settled into. But you can use this post as a guide, not a rule book. Happy brewing!
Golden Bone Broth
Makes a lot | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 24-36 hours
2 1/2 pounds pastured chicken feet
1 1/2 pounds pastured chicken wings
leftover chicken bones, whole or parts. The amount is imprecise, but usually equals about 1 chicken
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 onions, unpeeled and cut into quarters
2-3 carrots, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 celery butts and the inside stalks with leaves (If you don’t have a witch bag, use a few stalks of fresh celery.)
1/2 to 1 head garlic, cloves smashed but not peeled
a handful of fresh parsley
Place the chicken feet, wings, and other bones in a large stock pot. Add the cider vinegar, bay leaves, and peppercorns, then add water to the pot to cover the bones. You don’t want a ton of extra water in there, but you want a few extra inches of coverage at the top because it will evaporate as it cooks. This is an eyeball-it thing; don’t stress.
Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil uncovered, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and remove any foamy stuff that’s formed on the top.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, and garlic to the pot; stir to combine.
Cover and simmer for 24-36 hours. I check the pot every 4 hours or so (except for overnight when I’m sleeping), and I adjust the temp so that it’s barely simmering. There’s hardly any movement on the surface of the water, but if I bump the heat up, it immediately starts to move.
When the brew is finished cooking, let it cool a bit, then strain it. I manage this by placing an extremely large wire strainer in an equally-large bowl inside the sink. Then I carefully tip the stockpot and pour the broth into the strainer/bowl. I can do about half the pot at once.
Then I ladle the broth into Mason jars and repeat the strain/ladle process until it’s complete.
Be sure to leave room at the top of the jars for the broth to expand! I put the jars in the fridge—with the lids on loosely—to cool for a few hours, then tighten the lids and transfer them to the freezer.
To use the broth, let it defrost in the refrigerator, then go about your business. It will make your favorite soups taste even better than before, and on its own in a mug—maybe with a little ghee and dried chives—it’s restorative.
Commercial Bone Broth
If you cannot deal with all of the above, or simply run out and need broth in a hurry, these brands are high-quality and taste really good.
Kettle and Fire (my favorite!)
Pacific Foods Bone Broth — available at regular grocery stores!
Other Cooking Methods
If you want to make it even more hands-off or speed up the process, Nom Nom Paleo has you covered: