The base for every nourishing soup and a cooking staple, this homemade chicken bone broth recipe gels every time and is so simple to make.
Homemade chicken bone broth has been a game changer for me. Learning to make bone both in general has been a game changer. Just like with almost everything homemade, it’s so different from what you buy at the grocery store. And so much better!
Since I’ve figured out how to make my own broth, I’ve been canning it and keeping it stored in the pantry for all of my cooking needs. It’s great food security. To not only know that I know how to make this wholesome nourishing base for tons of recipes, but to also know how to can it and keep it stable for later use.
With commencement of soup season right around the corner, I think it wise for me to stock up on chicken bones / parts and make a huge batch of broth to can and keep in the cabinet all winter / fall long. Hearty soups with homemade sourdough artisan bread on the side. That’s my idea of good eating.
Is Homemade Chicken Bone Broth Healthy
The short answer, YES! Bone broth in general is amazing for your health. It nurtures your gut lining and helps maintain a healthy immune system. After seeing how rich homemade bone broth is, I’ll never go back to store bought. Homemade chicken bone broth is loaded with collagen. This is what makes it gel up after it cools. Forget the powdery substance you buy at the store. This is the real deal.
It’s also loaded with essential minerals, which we don’t get enough of in the standard American diet. High minerals are the byproduct of the marrow in the bones. The middle of bones are loaded with it, and simmering them down in liquid for hours draws those minerals out. All of this to say, it’s no wonder Grandma always recommended chicken noodle soup when you were sick, eh? It’s an immune aiding power house.
Bear with me on this. It was a little difficult for me to get past myself. Homemade chicken bone broth contains some strange ingredients. The less desirable parts of the animal, if you will.
Back in the predominant farming and homesteading days of America, or for much of history, people have generally used the whole animal. Waste not want not. No part of the animal on butcher day could have afforded to be lost. From the organs to the feet. This is a strange idea to us nowadays, but maybe it half explains why our diets are so deficient.
The basic ingredients for chicken bone broth are:
- Chicken Bones – 2 pounds
- Veggie Scraps (skins and all) – 1/2 Onion with skins, 2 Large Carrots, 3 Celery Stalks
- Herbs (optional) – 3 Medium Bay Leaves & Few Sprigs of Thyme
- Water (filtered) – 3 Quarts & 1 Pint
However, because this is a post on how to make gelatinous chicken bone broth, we’re going to be adding the following in addition to the above:
- Chicken Feet – 1 pound
- Apple Cider Vinegar – 3 Tablespoons
The apple cider vinegar will work to help draw out the minerals in the bones and break down the marrow. As for the feet, this is a softer, more gristly part of the chicken body helps to give the broth a heavy gel. They are essential for getting broth that gels every time. And from what I’ve understood, gelling is the hallmark of good / quality bone broth.
These are the things you will need to make this broth. This list includes the pressure canning supplies as well as the broth making supplies.
- Slowcooker or stockpot
- Mesh strainer
- Large bowl
- Quart or Pint Mason Jars with lids(or both)
- Canning Funnel
- Canning Lifter
- Pressure Canner
How to Make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth
You can make bone broth in two ways, one is in a slow cooker. The other is in a basic stock pot on the stove. I chose a crockpot so I don’t have to be babysitting around the stove all day.
To start, wash your bones and feet in the sink to make sure they don’t have anything on them. This is important if you’re using parts from chickens you’ve butchered yourself or even if you buy your chicken parts from a farm. There is also an additional step here that is optional. I have done it both ways and both yield good results. You can either choose to roast your bones in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 or just simmer them raw. I normally simmer mine raw.
Next, you’re going to place these in your cooking method of choice with water, chopped veggies, herbs, and apple cider vinegar.
Now, depending on which cooking method you have chosen, you will need to heat up the mixture at high heat bring the ingredients to a boil. My crockpot has an option for 4 hours on high and then it automatically switches over to the warming setting. This is how I cook my broth and simmer it.
If you’re using a slow cooker, you can use a method similar to this, cooking on high for a short period of time and then switching over to a low simmer the remainder of the 24 hours. If doing this in a stockpot, I would boil on high for 30 minutes, then switch to a low simmer.
The broth will need to simmer for roughly 24 hours. After 24 hours give or take, strain the broth into a large bowl through strainer and a cheesecloth. This removes the large chunks of veggies / bones as well as any sediment. This recipe will make right around 3 quarts of broth, but I always do another round of broth with the same bones and scraps from the first round. The second batch will not be as gelatinous, but it will still be very nutritious. Breaking the bones to expose the marrow helps to enhance the second batch.
There is some debate about whether or not to leave the fat in broth while canning. This is because the fat could potentially affect the seal of the lids to the jars. I can say that I have successfully canned broth with fat and have not had any issues. However, if you feel uncertain and uncomfortable with the idea, I would skim your fat off. To do this, let your broth chill in the fridge until all fat rises to the top and hardens. After that, just pick the fat off with a spoon. But you will need to reheat your broth before adding it to your jars to can.
How to Can Homemade Chicken Bone Broth
So now you have your hot strained bone broth and you have the option of either storing it in the fridge, using it immediately in a recipe or canning it. Here I’m going to give instructions on how to can it using a presto pressure canner. Please note that bone broth can only be pressure canned. It can not be water bathed canned!
There are a few factors that will affect your pressure canning: altitude and type of pressure canner. For this post, I am writing instructions for canning broth at an altitude of 984′ and am using a 23 quart Presto Pressure Canner.
It is important for you to read your canner’s manual before using if you have never used it before. It is also import to check that all canner parts are in the correct place and have no cracks or clogs before using your canner. I have attached a manual for the Presto Pressure Canner here.
Instructions for Canning Bone Broth Using a Presto Pressure Canner
- Start with sterilized jars (quarts or pints) that have been cleaned in hot soapy water.
- Fill the jars with hot broth leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
- Using a clean cloth, wipe the rims of the jars with distilled vinegar.
- Screw on two piece sealing lids to fingertip tightness.
- Place the canning rack on the bottom of the canner.
- Add 3 quarts of water to your canner.
- Load the Presto Canner accordingly to appropriate capacity.
- Aligning the V on the canner lid and the V on the canner handle, twist the lid on into locking position
- Turn heat to high and wait for a steady stream of steam to flow from the vent pipe
- Once steam is flowing, put the pressure gauge onto the vent pipe
- Wait for the canner to build pressure. You know pressure is built when the air vent pops up and stays that way. From here pressure will start to build. Wait until the pressure reaches the desired PSI
- Once pressure reached correct PSI, get the canner to hold at that number for the specified amount of canning time. (Canning times and PSI will depend on your altitude and size of jars / types of food you are canning)
For my altitude, I need to can bone broth at 11 PSI. 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. This is pretty standard unless you are above 2,000 altitude. In that case, I would clink on the link to the Presto Canner Manual here for altered instructions. Generally, working a pressure canner is the same process every time you can, with the differing factors being the PSI and how long you can.
Now that your broth is canned, it will last for up to a year in your pantry. There’s nothing like food security!
- 2 Pounds of Chicken Bones
- 1/2 Onion with skins
- 2 Large Carrots
- 3 Celery Stalks
- 3 Medium Bay Leaves
- Few Sprigs of Thyme
- 3 Quarts & 1 Pint Filtered Water
- 1 Pound Chicken Feet
- 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Rinse chicken feet and add to slow cooker / stockpot
- Roughly chop carrot, celery, and onion and add in
- (optional) Roast bones in oven on 400 for 15 minutes
- Add bones to slow cooker / stockpot
- Add in reminaing ingredients; herbs, apple cider vinegar, water
- Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes
- Turn heat down and simmer for 24 hours
- Strain off bones and veggie / herb scraps through strainer and cheesecloth
- (optional) Chill the broth and remove fat layer
- Can or store in the fridge for up to a week