Yields: About 4 quarts bone broth, including fat
Prep Time: 15 minutes and how long it takes to cut vegetables
Cook Time: 8 to 24 hours and beyond, depending on desired strength and preference
Special Equipment: 6 quart crockpot and wire strainer, colander, or coffee filter for removing vegetables and bones from broth. Optional: cheesecloth, larger size crockpot for larger group
Carcass from a 3-4 pound frozen or thawed chicken, with any remaining meat and skin
2 cups diced yellow onion, including onion ends and onion skins to add color and nutrients
1 cup diced carrots, heirloom if available
1 cup sliced celery
Leaves from 1 pound celery
1 cup loosely chopped parsley stems and leaves
5-6 cloves of garlic, whole
1 bay leaf
2 tsp black or mixed peppercorns
2 tsp dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning.
Fresh herbs and other herb and spice combinations (optional).
2 TBSP powdered kelp (optional)
1/2 cup vinegar, lemon juice, or wine (optional)
1/8 cup red cabbage OR several red onion skins to add color and nutrients (optional)
1 tsp ground turmeric to add color and nutrients (optional)
OPTIONAL PRE-STEP 1: If you wish to roast your chicken bones, place them in an oven-safe skillet or casserole dish at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes. This is not required if starting with a previously roasted carcass. When roasting is complete, set bones aside and tip any juices into the crockpot. Add a few cups of water to the pan; stir until pan drippings have dissolved into water. Add water to the crockpot.
OPTIONAL PRE-STEP 2: Soak chicken bones and meat for 1 hour in 1/2 cup vinegar, lemon juice, or wine to help extract nutrients. Discard all but 2 TBSP vinegar. Add bones and 2 TBSP vinegar to pot.
1. Place all ingredients in crockpot. Fill crockpot to 1″ from top with cold water. Maintain this water level during cooking.
2. Set crockpot to the setting that will simmer well above 160 F but right below a boil. The ideal temperature is 208-210 degrees F. If you have a thermometer, adjust the heat to bring contents to the target temperature. If not, adjust heat so that you see a bubble or two every minute or so. It is not ideal for the broth to boil, but if it does for a short period of time, this is not a big deal.
3. Check the broth after 20 minutes. Adjust heat as needed. If broth is too hot, consider leaving lid slightly ajar.
4. At 60 minutes, check chicken meat to see if it has fully cooked. If desired, remove chicken meat and store in refrigerator or freezer for later use in other recipes.
Optional step 4A: Consider cutting largest chicken bones into smaller pieces with a meat cleaver or poultry shears. Return all skin, bones, connective tissues, and other parts to crockpot.
5. Maintain low simmer for a total of 8 to 24 hours and beyond, depending on preference. Stir if desired. Broth does not need frequent stirring. If desired, you may even continue cooking for up to 48 hours. Add water as needed to keep water level within 1″ of the top of the crockpot. This will help prevent bitter flavors from developing.
6. When time is up, remove crockpot from heat. Cool until the broth is at a comfortable temperature for handling. Do not let broth cool below 160 degrees without refrigeration.
7. Pour broth through a wire mesh strainer, colander, or coffee filter. Line the strainer with cheesecloth if desired. Discard remnants unless you plan to use them again. If you must remove fat, cool broth overnight in the refrigerator and use a spoon to scrape fat from the surface. Save chicken fat for frying and flavoring. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Use freezer bags or other containers to store broth in different amounts according to how you will use it. A mixture of 1, 2, 4, and 8 cup containers is useful for recipes.
Recipe Source: http://www.BrothWhisperer.com