Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade anything always feels more nourishing to me. I love the smell of a homemade broth. It's super simple. Most of us work during the week. Using a crock pot for this nutritious recipe is the best way to go. That way you can easily cook your broth for 24- 48 hours or more. A nice long slow cook yields the best broth. 
You will need :
1 whole Organic Chicken
Crock pot
One and half gallon Water
additional options: it's great to use scraps of onions, celery, carrots. You can freeze these as they are used for other recipes then pull out when you are ready to make broth ( I got this tip from my Naturopath, Elinor Jordan ND.) I often just use just the chicken bones and scraps. It makes a great broth all on it's own.

Cook the Chicken: Be sure to take out the giblets and such from the body cavity of the raw chicken. Rinse the chicken in the sink. Place in the pan sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the Organic Chicken in your oven at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs or until the meat falls from the bone. Set aside to cool and remove meat or serve to your family reserving the bones for broth. 

Make the Broth: Put bones of one whole chicken into the crock pot and cover with 1 1/2 gallon of water. Be sure to cover the whole carcass chicken with water. I like to set the crock pot on high until I go to bed then down to low for over night. In the morning I check it again to see if too much water has evaporated. Generally I do not add more water. About a half gallon of water will evaporate over the 24+ hour cook.  This is one reason I love using the crock pot. It's safe to leave it for overnight or for the day while I am at work. The crock pot can be working on extracting all that goodness while I am going about my day.

Finished Broth: Once you have cooked your broth to your liking then turn off crock pot. I usually turn it off when I get home from work and before I have started cooking dinner. Then it can cool for an hour or two and not scold me while I am handling it. Do not let the broth cool too much. The fat should still be liquid.Use a skimmer (see picture) or cheese cloth to filter out all the debris (bones, skin etc.) I find it easiest to filter into a separate bowl. My skimmer sits on the edge of the bowl so I have two hands to work with. It may seems over the top to dirty another dish but you just spend two days making this super healthy food for your family, don't chance loosing any of it by spilling it trying to decant it into a jar. the decant with a measuring cup or other tool with about for pouring

Storing your broth:
Your broth will last for about 5-6 days in the fridge. Or you can freeze it for future use. I like to reuse an Organic Apple juice glass jar to store my broth for a few days. Notice that the broth is opaque and not clear, also there is a layer of fat at the top. That fat is healing to the intestines, joints, and other organs. Anyone who has read Rob Wolff's The Paleo Solution knows how important fats are to our health. This is a healthy source of fat and other nutrients that are removed from a store bought broth.  Enjoy! You can add chicken from original chicken to the broth to make a healthy healing chicken soup. Check back for my Chicken Soup Recipe!

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