I know it seems silly to say this because Austin cold is nothing like New England, but the cool Texas nights have me craving mugs of broth lately. I know I'm not alone, because last week I received three texts from three different people asking me to share my bone broth recipe.
I know some people say bone broth is a hipster trend, but I read the Nourishing Broth book many years ago, and I'm convinced it saved my life when I was riddled with daily migraines and auras. There are many, many variations of the recipe. Sometimes, when we've roasted chickens for dinner, we use those bones instead of raw chickens. It makes for a darker liquid and a more woodsy taste. Sometimes we also add squash, kale, or whatever we have sitting around the fridge. But most of the time, this is the go-to blend.
Here is my personal bone broth recipe. Sorry the measurements aren't precise. I really just eyeball everything! I'm also sorry there are no photos in this post. The truth is, I am writing this from a hotel room in Houston while on a photo assignment. I will add some images when I get back home, though.
We make this each week, and store ours in mason jars in a chest freezer in the garage. When we reheat it, we make sure it simmers for 10 minutes, adding a little bit of filtered water if needed.
There truly is nothing like a warm mug of bone broth on a chilly morning.
2 whole organic pasture raised chickens
1 large bag of organic carrots
1 large bag of organic celery
3 organic leeks
Organic apple cider vinegar
Himalayan sea salt
A really big stock pot
1. I put the pot on the stove, without turning on the heat. I scoop salt in, and I'd guess it's about 5-6 tablespoons.
2. Next, I add a splash of apple cider vinegar. I'd guess one tablespoon.
3. Next, I add the two whole raw chickens. I take all the organs out, because when I tried it with them, my broth tasted like a bloody nose. Lots of people love the organs, but it's just not my jam.
4. Now, with the heat still off, I add the filtered water. We have a filter thing on the side of our sink, and I fill up a mixing bowl and then walk it over to the pot. I do this until the chickens are totally covered. Once the chickens are underwater, I leave the chickens to soak in that liquid while I prep the veggies.
5. I have Braedon peel the carrots. We get a big bag from Whole Foods, and I'd say there are about 10-15 big carrots in there. Once they are peeled and washed we cut them up and drop them in the pot. I don't know why we cut the veggies, but for some reason I feel like cutting them lets their juices out more. I am totally making that up, so I'm sure you could leave them whole. In my brain, it helps the nutrients get out into the broth, though.
6. Lily washes and chops the celery. Leaves and all.
7. With the leeks, I know they say not to use the dark tops, but I honestly love leeks so much and I throw it all in. Obviously not the gross outer leaves that can be weird, but other than that, I chop them up and wash them well, and then throw it in the pot.
8. I add a sprinkle of pepper, put the lid on, and turn on the stove to high.
9. Once it starts boiling, I turn the heat down to a steady simmer. I check it a few times the first few hours, and skim any yucky stuff off the top. Truthfully, the Whole Foods chickens are so great, there is very rarely much foam or anything to skim off. Again, I'm not reallllllly sure if the Whole Foods chickens are the reason for our clean broth top, but I think so!
10. I set a timer for 2 hours. After that goes off, I use tongs and remove the chicken meat from the bones and put it in glass containers. We use this meat for soups, sandwiches and snacks. It can be a bit dry, and I bet it doesn't need to go for 2 hours, but better safe than sorry I guess.
11. 99% of the time we do all of this at night. We then let it simmer for at least 24 hours. We keep the heat as low as possible to keep the low simmer. You may need to add a few cups of water the next morning, but you shouldn't be losing too much water. If you are, your heat might be too high. People sometimes gasp that we leave the stove on overnight while we sleep and I don't know why this doesn't scare me. The things I am afraid of are not normal things, so maybe that's why. Like I'm afraid of going to Las Vegas because what if I trip and fall and land face-first in a pile of cocaine and then I'm a coke addict forever. But broth on the stove on a low boil doesn't phase me.
12. After 24 hours it's time to strain. This is a team effort in our home. Thomas lines a strainer with cheese cloth and then Braedon holds that over a giant mixing bowl. Thomas then puts on oven mitts and pours the liquid over the strainer. It can be kind of awkward and the reason Thomas does it now is because I have two scars on my inner arm from when I tried to do it. I just realized a great invention would be oven sleeves. Like super extra long oven mitts that go up to the armpits.
13. We let the broth cool a little while and then use a ladle to pour it from the big bowl to the mason jars.
I hope I didn't leave anything out! When I get back home I will totally take photos to help. But after the third text tonight I realized it's better to share it imperfectly, than wait for it to be pretty.
If you try this, and love it, let me know! Happy Holidays!