- 1 whole free range chicken
- 4 litres of filtered water
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 onion, roughly chopped (omit if you are Fructose Intolerant)
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (omit if Fructose Intolerant)
- Bay leaves, parsley, sage to flavor the stock / (or – star anise, cinnamon, whole Szechuan pepper, knob of ginger & fennel seeds if you’d like a more Asian inspired broth)
*If you have had a roast chicken for dinner, you can keep the bones & use in your stock as they are already pre-roasted. You will then need to add some chicken meat later in the cooking stage to give more depth to your broth.
- Ideally, take the meat off the chicken frame so you can dry roast the bones in a moderate oven (around 180-190C) for around half an hour. This gives a darker & richer flavour to your broth but will not be detrimental if you are short on time. Be aware that the meat, vegetables, herb & spices will cook more quickly that the bones, so if you are doing a longer cook add the meat, vegetables & herbs/spices in the last hour or so to maintain their flavours & not turn them into an unpalatable mush. If you haven’t taken the meat off your chicken, you can cook it whole until the meat is cooked then remove the meat & put the bones back into the pot to cook for longer. Reserve the meat to add back in later on, or to use in another dish.
- Put the bones, water and apple cider vinegar into a large crock pot, ideally one with a heavy base. Place the pot on the stove on a low heat, no more than a slow simmer. Keep the pot covered with a lid & check on it from time to time to ensure there is ample water covering all the bones. You will notice a foam or scum rising to the surface from time to time. You can skim this off & discard if you prefer a “clearer & cleaner tasting” broth. 4-6 hours is a decent time for a good chicken bone broth, if taken as long as 12 to 24 hours, there will not be much left in the way of bones. When the bones become soft & floppy it is a good sign of well cooked bones. In the last couple of hours you can put in your meat if not already cooked, chopped carrot, celery, onions & garlic, as well as your spices & herbs. Once your broth is completely cooked, strain off the liquid & cool it as quickly as possible to avoid any bacterial growth. Store in airtight containers for up to a week, or you can freeze in smaller lots for several weeks.
- Never salt your broth whilst it is cooking. Once it is complete you can add flavourings like salt & lighter herbs such as coriander, or leave it plain to use as a base for other cooking (soups, stews, etc)
- Generally your broth will become gelatinous upon cooling. This is a sign of a good broth! Though, do be aware that longer cooking, such as 24-48 hour broths will have broken down this gelatin into the amino acids proline & glycine so will not gel.