Bone broth makes a flavorful base for soups, stews, sauces and gravies. It boosts nutrients anywhere a savory liquid is required. Consume it to help strengthen bones and heal digestion. Always use organic vegetables and bones from animals fed high-quality feed and humanely raised in pesticide-free, herbicide-free pastures. This recipe may be doubled or tripled, depending on the size of your pot. For turkey bone broth, replace the chicken pieces with turkey.
MAKES ABOUT 3 QUARTS.
3-4 pounds free-range chicken, mostly backs, necks and wings, rinsed (giblets are fine; do not use chicken livers)
Chicken feet,* optional
3-4 carrots, cut into large chunks
3-4 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
1 leek, including the green part
Sweet potatoes and other vegetables, to taste, optional
4 quarts cold purified water
2 tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
Handful of fresh parsley and/or thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves or juniper berries
1 kombu “stick” (a sea vegetable that adds beneficial micronutrients)
Sea salt, to taste (add after cooking)
1. Place chicken pieces, carrots, celery, onions, leek, sweet potatoes and other vegetables of choice (if using) in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour enough cold water to cover chicken, about 4 quarts for 1 batch. Add vinegar. Add bay leaf, parsley, peppercorns, cloves and kombu. Slowly bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer at least 6 hours. (You may cook longer. I typically simmer chicken/turkey bone broth 15 to 18 hours.) As the broth cooks, skim and discard any impurities that rise to the surface.
3. Remove chicken pieces and discard.
4. Strain broth through a strainer into another container and discard vegetable solids.
5. Taste broth and season with sea salt, as desired.
6. If not using broth immediately, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir broth to cool it. Then place broth in glass jars or BPA-free containers. Cover tightly and refrigerate or freeze. If freezing in glass jars, allow generous room for expansion.
*TIP: Chicken feet are very rich in collagen. Find them at ethnic grocery stores, farmers’ markets and some local farms. Alternatively, ask your butcher to order them for you.