Since the new year, The New York Times, The Today Show, Time Magazine and chef blogs have extolled the virtues of bone broth. The terms bone broth and stock are used interchangeably, though some folks differentiate them by the ratio of bone to meat used. Whatever you like to call it, it’s good stuff; and we’re serving it hot by the cup at The Local Butcher Shop.
Our bone broth is made with beef and pork bones. The bones are covered with cold water and a bit of apple cider vinegar, which helps to draw minerals and collagen out from the bones. After steeping for an hour or two, it’s brought to a boil and left to simmer 48 hours. Then the liquid is strained, and the fat congeals on top as it cools. Once chilled, that fat cap is removed, and what remains is a lean, nutritious broth. It’s a lengthy process, but worth it to draw every last bit of goodness from the whole animals we source from local farms.
Here I’m sharing my favorite way to make bone broth at home using chicken. I love the technique because it yields meat for a future meal along with a big batch of rich golden liquid. It starts with a whole, raw chicken with the head and feet.
I ask our butchers to detach the head and feet so the chicken fits more easily into a pot. The chicken is essentially poached in water until the meat is cooked, then the meat is picked off to use in chicken salad or enchiladas. The carcass is returned to the pot and the bones continue to simmer. Inspired by a recipe from Cecilia Chiang, I like to toss in some fresh ginger and peppercorns. You can also keep it simple, adding only salt for flavor.
My Favorite Chicken Bone Broth
- 1 whole chicken from The Local Butcher Shop with head & feet
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, lightly smashed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
1) Put the chicken, feet and head in a medium stockpot. Add the vinegar, salt, aromatics and enough cold water to cover the chicken by 2 inches. Let the chicken steep in the water at room temperate for about an hour.
2) Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer for about 45 minutes until the chicken meat is cook through. Skim off any foam that forms on top.
3) Carefully pull the chicken out of the liquid and let it rest until cool enough to handle. Pick all the meat off the bones and set aside for another recipe. (Note: At this point, you can use the liquid as a clean, light-tasting broth.)
4) Return the carcass and bones to the liquid. Let the bones simmer for 24 hours–a slow cooker is ideal for this. At that point, you should be able to crush the bones between your fingers.
5) Strain the broth through a fine sieve, cheesecloth, or even a paper coffee filter. Refrigerate to use within a few days or freeze for longer storage.
Use it for soups and stews, reduced it for sauces or sip it straight from a mug.