Yes, those are chicken feet in the photo! Don’t click away! Keep reading and you’ll learn why I add them to my bone broth. Also note that you don’t have to use them! You can make perfectly good chicken stock/broth without them!
How to make bone broth was the very first traditional food I made when my journey to natural started. I picked up a copy of Nourishing Traditions and couldn’t put it down! If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a must-have for the traditional kitchen! You’re grandmother got it right when she fed you chicken soup when you were sick!
Bone broth is a highly nourishing food. It is healing to the stomach lining and is essential for optimal health and healing. It can help heal allergies, eczema, leaky gut, prevent colds and flu, reduce joint pain and inflammation, help with bone growth and repair, and help your hair skin and nails to be beautifully healthy! This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many benefits of bone broth. It’s easy to make and keep on-hand for daily use.
I recommend pastured chickens or the highest quality organic chicken you can find. You’re going to be using the bones so you don’t want antibiotics in your broth! I don’t recommend the major brands of chicken like you would find in your local grocery store. They are factory farmed and just because they say “natural” on the label, they are far from it!
I like the crock-pot method for making bone broth because you can let it cook for a few days without worrying about your stove being on for that long. To get the maximum benefits from your broth you need to be cooking it for 24 to 36 hours on low. If you don’t have a crock-pot, I highly recommend that you purchase one.
I like to use chicken feet in my bone broth because they add gelatin to it and make it even more nutritious and delicious. It was weird at first preparing them but I am used to it now. If you don’t have a local source for chicken feet, it’s ok. Just leave them out. If you are in the PA/NJ/NY/MD/DE area you can order from Your Family Farmer and pick up at a local drop point. Their chickens are 100% pastured and soy free.
This is how my bone broth begins. We eat a delicious meal of Roasted Chicken & Vegetables and I save the bones. Sometimes I’ll put in a whole stewing hen but most of the time it’s just the bones without meat that I use.
Once I have my bones, I prep my chicken feet. I usually use five for a batch of broth. I boil them for 5 minutes, drain and rinse.
Then I take a pair of kitchen shears and clip off the nails right at the first little knuckle bone. Are you grossed out yet? This allows the gelatin to flow out more easily.
Once the feet are prepped I put them in the crock pot along with the bones, four carrots, four stalks of celery, one large onion, a few peppercorns and two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Then I fill the crock pot with water.
The apple cider vinegar is very important. It leaches the minerals out of the bones and veggies into the water so you get the nutrients you need in the broth. Let the crock pot sit like this for at least an hour before turning it on.
Cover crock pot, turn on low and let cook for 24-36 hours. You can let it go longer if you are taking broth out and adding more water. This is called perpetual bone broth. You’ll know the bones are spent when they are crumbly and disintegrating. You can add new bones and start the process over again if you’d like.
I store my broth in ball jars. I fill each on a little less than the lip then lid, refrigerate for a day and then freeze. I know you’re not supposed to freeze quart jars but I’m a rebel and like to push the envelope! I’ve only had two jars crack in the freezer in all the years I’ve been doing this.
To thaw jars, either place in refrigerator until thawed or put into a pot half filled with cool water and bring to a boil slowly with the jar lid loosened. This will melt the broth so you can pour it out easily.
UPDATE: Since the original posting of this tutorial, I have fallen in love with my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. It’s so easy to make rich bone broth in a pressure cooker. Simply add all ingredients and pressure cook for 2 hours. I then like to use the slow cooker feature for a few more hours just for fun.
Try to get as much broth into your diet as you can. It’s great in soups, to prepare rice with instead of water, or to drink daily. Click here to read about my favorite way to enjoy bone broth.
- Bones of 1 or more chickens
- 5 chicken feet (optional)
- 2 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 onion
- Prepare chicken feet by boiling for 5 minutes and clipping nails at the first knuckle.
- Cut vegetables into large chunks and add to crock pot.
- Fill with water and add vinegar.
- Allow to soak for at least 1 hour.
- Turn crock pot on low for 24-36 hours.
- Transfer to jars, lid and refrigerate until cool.
- Freeze or use.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy bone broth? Do you use chicken feet?
Be nourished. Be happy.
Enjoy this wonderful elixir of life!