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In Traditional Food circles you hear a lot about ‘bone broth’.  That term can throw people off a bit and sound ‘yucky’ to the uninitiated!  Instead of bone broth, think of chicken broth…that doesn’t sound so bad, huh?

Chicken broth (and beef broth) made properly (with bones from, preferably, a pastured chicken) can be delicious and a nutritional powerhouse.

*Bone broth is a great source of easily absorbable minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
*Bone broth is also a terrific source of gelatin, collagen and a variety of amino acids.
*Bone broth can help heal your digestive tract
*Bone broth is very economical.  You can get quarts and quarts of broth from the bones of 1-2 chickens.

There are many other benefits of bone broth.  Be sure to check my post next week to learn everything you want to know about broth!!

As you read different recipes for making bone broth, you will see some variations, in the vegetables used (or not used), in spices used (or not used), in vinegar (used or not used).

There really isn’t a hard and fast recipe.  You essentially need bones, water, heat and time.  However, adding some additional items to the bone broth can make it more flavorful and help to release more of the minerals from the bones!

I have a pot of chicken bone broth going at least once a week.  I usually use the following steps:

Gather vegetables:  I coarsely chop carrots, celery and onions.  I like to leave the peel of the onion on as this gives the stock a dark brown color.  If you want a lighter bone broth, ditch the peel!

You can also use vegetable scraps as the vegetables are used simply to flavor the bone broth.  Sometimes I save veggie scraps (peels and ends of onions and carrots, bottoms and tops of celery) in a freezer bag and dump them in my bone broth.  It isn’t supposed to be pretty, just tasty!

Gather chicken bones.  These are the bones, skin and cartilage of two small pastured chickens.  I am sure there is a little meat left too.  I am not a fanatic about cleaning every bit of the bones.

If you cook a whole chicken, use those bones!  If you eat a lot of cut chicken, save the bones in a freezer bag until you have a full bag.  Then make bone broth!  You can even bring home leftover bones from restaurants to save for bone broth.  (I do, recommend, using pastured chickens for broth…this will be difficult to find most restaurants).

Put the vegetables and bones in a crockpot.  Fill with filtered water.  Sometimes I add a bay leaf or two.  I hold off on salt and pepper until the end.

Add a couple tablespoons of an acidic liquid (I use raw apple cider vinegar).  This helps draw the minerals out of the bones.  Have you ever done or seen the science experiment where you soak a chicken bone in vinegar for 24 hours and the bone becomes all rubbery?  This is because the calcium and other minerals have been leached from the bones!  In the crockpot, these minerals wind up in your broth!

Cover and cook on low for 24 hours.  Strain and you have delicious, nourishing chicken bone broth!

From this batch I was able to get over 4 quarts of bone broth!  Think of how economical that is!  4 quarts of organic chicken broth at the store can easily cost $15-20 and those broths aren’t nutrient dense bone broth!  I just made 4 quarts of nourishing bone broth from bones that would have been thrown away!

You can store your bone broth in freezer safe mason jars in your freezer for 6 months or longer.  You can also keep in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Recipe:  Chicken Bone Broth

Ingredients:

  • a mixing bowl of chicken bones and cartilage (preferably from a pastured chicken)
  • coarsely chopped carrots, celery and onion
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (buy here)
  • Filtered Water
  • salt and pepper to taste after cooking
Method:
  1. Add vegetables and bones to crockpot
  2. Add bay leaves if using
  3. Fill with filtered water
  4. Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  5. Cook on low for at least 24 hours
  6. Strain and store
Variation:  If you have cooked a crockpot chicken, keep all of the drippings and vegetables in the pot.  When you are done eating, add the bones back to the pot along with a fresh onion or two, fill with filtered water and 2 tbsp of vinegar and cook on low for 24 hours.   I do this a lot when I make a whole chicken.  Your broth will take on whatever flavors you used on your chicken, which is usually a delicious thing!

Easy Crockpot Chicken Bone Broth - www.ohlardy.com

Bone broth is such an economical and nutritious staple to have in your kitchen.

 

What do you use your bone broth for?  Give us your answers in the comments below!!!

For Further Reading:

Bone Broth: Can Food Be Medicine? from Healthy Living How To

Bone Broth: The Most Nourishing Supplement You Can Ever Take from Freshly Grown

Seven Reasons to Add Bone Broth to Your Daily Diet from Eat Naked Now

Seven Tips for Making Bone Broth Gel from Grass Fed Girl

Bone Broth: Nature’s Beauty Secret from Yogi Mami

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86 thoughts on “Easy Crockpot Chicken Bone Broth

  1. Hi Kelly

    Thank you for this receipe! I don’t have enough bones yet, where shall I store them and how long can I store them for? Thanks. Sorry for silly questions, I am a newbie cook!

    • Well I have only ever used bones from cooked chicken. I have added raw chicken feet and chicken backs and that has been fine. You could try all raw bones. I bet it would be fine. I do know with beef the roasting is key for flavor. I do not think chicken has the same issues… Let me know!!

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  3. I have been making my own chicken broth for a couple of years now. I sometimes use a whole raw chicken in the crockpot (if I get a good deal).
    I freeze it in ice cube trays and then dump the cubes in freezer bags, makes it easy to use when cooking. I use it in so many things for flavor and nutrition……fried potatoes, vegetables, sauces, gravies and dog food. My little dog has diabetes so I make his food, mostly chicken, sweet potatoes and lots of good broth. I even put some of the soft chicken bones thru the food processor with some broth so he gets the bonemeal.

  4. I frequently use my pressure canner to can homemade chicken stock. Be sure to start the canning process with boiling hot stock, sterilized jars, lids, rings, etc. Leave 1 inch headspace and process at 10 lbs (adjust for sea level) for 1 hour 15 minutes for pints and 1 hour 30 minutes for quarts. I like this method because I can store the broth in my pantry and it’s already ready to go whenever I need it. It also travels well when we are on vacation. (the process times are from the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving)

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  6. Just had to link to this tutorial for a Yahoo group I’m on. There are so MANY people who are only getting food through the use of “tummy tubes” (though they don’t always link to the stomach). It is one of the greatest health tragedies that formula is the only food substance these people get, once a tube is placed. Luckily, there is a growing movement to get them OFF formula and ONTO a whole foods, blended diet (think VitaMix). It is astoundingly difficult to convince physicians that moving from formula to blended is in the best-interest of their patient. Gastro-enterologists like to know exactly how many calories, and in what form, a patient is getting. To say this is absurd is an understatement. My son, who is nine, suffered oxygen deprivation at birth and now has cerebral palsy (brain injury affecting muscle movement). As I was already well-entrenched in the Weston Price world when he was born one thing I haven’t had to struggle with, for his benefit, is good nutrition. Thankfully, I’ve therefore also been able to be a voice, joined with some others, advising “newbies” about how to leave formula, and their doctor’s fear, behind. Because many people on tubes struggle mightily to maintain their weight, and the physicians are morbidly stuck on maintaining control, even at the expense of long-term health, it can be quite frightening to trust your own voice (as a caregiver) and move into the “garden” of light!
    All this is a word-y way of saying; Thank you! Your tutorial will be shared by me again, and again, and again. After years of abuse by formula, their guts are crying out for the healing benefits of bone-based broths.

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  8. What size crock-pot do you use to yield 4 quarts of broth? I have a 6-quart crock pot, but the bones and veggies take up much of the room so I don’t get quite 4 quarts.
    Thanks for the great post!

  9. You had me at bone broth.
    Lol- Actually I have been looking for a good bb recipe for a while – have a daughter who needs to gain weight and this recipe has been awesome. Thank you.

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    • In order to get all the benefits of the gelatin, collagen, minerals from the bones, it must cook at least 24 hours. (Some say 18…but you get the idea…a long time). You can make stock or soup by cooking for a shorter time, of course, but you will not have all of the health/nutrition benefits with the shorter time.

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  22. Hi, thanks for the info. I attempted to make my own bone broth and it came out looking nothing like yours. I used the bones from one whole chicken, 4 quarts water, celery, onion, carrots, and a little garlic. I know you said leaving the skin on the onion will add color to the broth, which I decided to remove. I added the raw apple cider vinegar and let it cook for 24 hours. My broth is very light in color and many other blogs I have read say the broth usually turns into a jelly like consistency after it has cooled, mine did not. I don’t know if maybe there was too much water for the amount of bones I used, or if I just managed to mess it up. Does the water to bone ratio make a difference? Thank you!!!

    • Light in color is fine. Mine usually is dark because of the onion skins. No worries there. Yes, the water to bone ratio does make a difference. More bones, less water equals more ‘jelly-like’. Regardless, the gelatin is still in the broth, just watered down. I have a hard time getting my chicken broth to a nice gel. Beef broth, no problem.

    • I used to have that problem also, but then I read that using pasture raised organic chicken as opposed to typically farmed chicken makes a HUGE difference on the amount of minerals/nutrients/gelatin left in the bones. Since only using pasture raised chicken bones, I don’t have that problem.

  23. Thank you! My bone broth is in the crockpot now :). Question – when it’s done, will there be a layer of fat on the top from the skin, etc? And if so, should I skim it before storing?

    • Yes there will be fat. Usually I put it all in mason jars and refrigerate or freeze . The fat solidifies at the top. Then when I go to use it I skim some then. Don’t toss it though! It makes a tasty fat for cooking!!!

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  25. I do this every week using the bones I have saved plus some feet and necks from the farm stand. It gels beautifully when I use the feet. I freeze in one cup and two cup containers (seems to be what is often called for) and then use the rest for a soup. I have yet to catch a cold this year and chalk it up to the soup. (I work in a school library with many germs spewed about!)

  26. I use this method for making broth, it’s awesome! I just thought I would add that a super easy way to store bone broth is to reduce it to about 1/4 then pour it into a lined baking dish and set in the refrigerator. Once it’s chilled, the gelatin will slightly solidify allowing you to slice it into ‘bouillon’ cubes. All you have to do is reconstitute it with equal parts water (if you had 4 quarts of BB, reduced it to one quart, sliced into 12 ’1 cup’ cubes — reconstitute each cube with 1 cup water). Re-reading it, it sounds like a lot of effort, but truly it is not! ;)

  27. I love making my own bone broth! I use pretty much the same ingredients as you although I like adding fresh rosemary and thyme as well. However instead of using a crockpot I put mine in the pressure cooker for 2 hours and voila! I add the salt and whole peppercorns in the beginning. Why do tou wait until the end? Is there a specificreason?

    • I’ve never had very good luck with my pressure cooker broth. It always turns out white and gritty. I might have to give it another try.
      Crock pot chicken broth always turns out great for me though.

  28. Where do you get your beef bones and do you rinse them off when in their raw state before roasting them? I’ve made beef bone broth once from bones I got from the grocery store and it seemed like it was gritty and the bones splintery after cooking it for a day in the crockpot. Also do you dig out the marrow to add to the broth?

  29. I am completely new to all of this so bear with me please. Why do you have to use filtered water? We live on a ranch so we have well water verses city water. Can I use water out of our tap?

  30. Don’t skim the fat off. It congeals on the top and protects the broth from mold and bacteria. You can take it off when you are ready to use it. I once did a comparison of a jar with and without the fat layer. The one without had mold growing after about 2 weeks. The one with the fat still in it didn’t have mold growing even after 6 weeks. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using it then (although I have when I use a food saver jar sealer), but I thought it was a really interesting test.

  31. I am wondering about leaving a crockpot on for 24 hours. I have a crockpot, and I called the company to ask about it. They said no longer than 20 hours. Has anyone ever done it in a crockpot for longer?
    Thanks!

  32. I’ve made broth before in my giant roaster oven after saving the bones from multiple turkeys (holidays) and it turned out great, so that is what I’m planning to use. I also raise rabbits for meat, so I will be using a lot of rabbit bones as well as chicken/turkey/beef. I have a lot of health problems and I’m 100% sure it all stems from a bad diet of processed and refined foods. I’m in the planning stages of drastically changing my diet to hopefully reverse some of these health problems.
    I do have a couple of questions though. I’ve never put anything acidic in my broth. I love the idea of using ACV, but can you taste it once the broth is done? Also, I have heard that some people drink bone broth every day, do you know if there is a recommended amount?

    • If you just add a couple tbsp of vinegar you can not taste it. It is just to help leach the minerals from the bones. I am not sure of a recommended amount. I know people who drink a cup a day. I know people who drink a quart a day! Good luck!!

  33. I have your crock pot chicken cooking right now. Yum!!! I’m excited about making my first batch of bone broth. Quick question. I pulled the gizzards/liver etc.. Out of the chicken. I put it in the freezer, because I read I could add it to my broth. I wasn’t sure though. Should I thaw it out and add it to the bones or discard. Thanks!! I do love chicken liver. I’ve just never cooked it, so I usually discard it. Do you save/cook the liver?

  34. I am wondering if you ever make bone broth from pork bones? We buy a locally farm raised pig every year and have it butchered locally. I always have plenty of pork bones that just get tossed.

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  36. Hi, Tamara,

    I found this site and bookmarked it back in June of ’13. I’ve just finished a crockpot full of chicken broth and was checking around to see what others do about re-using the bones again; I remember reading some that do on other sites. Scrolling through the Comment section, I just noticed your comment about the perpetual broth. Are you using the same bones, veggies, etc. or adding a new batch of everything?

    Mine has been cooling for awhile and I was thinking I should get it refrigerated soon after draining. Speaking of draining it all, do you have a special cloth or sieve? I’ve got an old fairly large sieve that’s aluminum, and I do use it occasionally when necessary, but try to avoid aluminum when possible.

    Also, wish I’d read through the comments yesterday before starting, as I have a lot of chicken feet and backs (uncooked) in the freezer but wasn’t certain if I should mix some feet & backs with the cooked bones. Next time I’ll know.

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  39. Hi! I made a chicken in the crockpot tonight and put the bones back in with the liquid and veggies. Would I start the 24 hr countdown from when I put the chicken in the crockpot raw or tonight, when I added the liquid to the bones? Thanks!

  40. Can you make bone broth on the stove top? I’m a little leery having my crockpot running continuously while I’m not home.

    • Yes. Same type of technique. Just leave on a very low simmer for 24 hours. I have a gas stove and am more comfortable leaving crockpot on while I am away. But, that is a personal preference!

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