Chicken soup (aka chicken broth or chicken stock) has long been known as “Jewish Penicillin” for it’s healing benefits. Recently, bone broth has become very trendy for the same reasons. People are drinking it to lose weight, improve their skin and nourish their joints.
Bone broth (both chicken and beef) is a staple in our household. We save our bones and vegetable scraps to make (and then freeze) a big batch so that we always have it on hand.
We use bone broth as the basis for soups and stews but also in place of water for cooking vegetables and preparing rice. And, I sip it from a mug when I feel a cold or stomach bug coming on.
Whether you’re using it for the health benefits, or just the versatility and taste, bone broth is easy and inexpensive to make at home. Compared to $7 or more for quality commercially available bone broth (like Kettle and Fire) it’s much more economical to make your own.
Great bone broth starts in your freezer
Bone broth can be made from just about any leftover bones you have. Any time we roast or purchase chicken on the bone, we save the leftover bones in a bag in the freezer to stretch our grocery dollars.
To stretch my dollars even further, I recycle my vegetable scraps. I keep a large zip-top bag in my freezer for the bits and ends of vegetables I chop each week – ends of onions and carrots, bits of fresh herbs and wimpy-looking celery, leeks, turnips and mushroom stems. I don’t use peppers or cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or kale because these give the broth an off-taste. Those vegetables are better added after cooking when you’re making a soup.
Use an Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Crock-Pot or Stovetop
You can make bone broth on the stovetop, in a Crock-Pot or in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) depending on your preference and how much time you have. I like the convenience of using my pressure cooker as it cuts cooking time down to just a couple of hours. However, on a cold winter day, I’ve been known to make broth on the stovetop because I love the smell and the cozy feeling that the simmering broth gives our whole house.
Once the broth is strained, I freeze it in mason jars as well as in an ice cube tray (for those times that I just need a little bit to deglaze a pan or perk up a sauce.) What’s your favorite way to use chicken stock?
Try it and let me know what you think. Be sure to tag #grownupdish or @grownup_dish on Instagram so I can share your posts.
This recipe is super flexible. Use the ingredients and proportions as guidelines but feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand.
- Bones from 1 3-4lb. chicken
- 2 – 4 carrots, scrubbed and cut in half
- 2 – 4 celery stalks (or ends and leaves to equal 1 cup)
- 1 – 2 onions, quartered with skin and root end in tact
- 1 bay leaf
- 8–10 peppercorns
- Handful of fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme and/or parsley; optional)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- (optional) 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Sea salt to taste
INSTANT POT or PRESSURE COOKER
- Place all ingredients in Instant Pot or pressure cooker. You do not need to defrost them first.
- Cover with water. Cook on high pressure for 100 minutes. Let steam release naturally. Strain and store.
- Place all ingredients in Crock-Pot. You do not need to defrost them first.
- Cover with water. Cook on high for 4 – 6 hours. Strain and store.
- Place all ingredients in a large soup pot or dutch oven on stovetop. You do not need to defrost them first.
- Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer covered for 4 – 6 hours. Strain and store.
You can store the broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer indefinitely.