Everyone is talking about bone broth these days, and few realize that bone broth is really not anything fancy or super hard to make. Our mothers and grandmothers have been making beef or chicken stock long before anyone started raving about bone broth. I'm pretty sure that the making of stock was at least in part motivated by not wanting to waste food.
Baking a whole chicken is one of the easiest family meals ever. Remember don't wash the chicken before cooking. Washing raw chicken can spread food-borne organisms such as salmonella. I dedicated a blog post to this. You can read it here skip-chicken-washing-for-health.html
After your family chicken or turkey meal, you will usually end up with the carcass and the drippings in the pan, and most people will throw this away, not realizing that this is the stuff to make bone broth with. I usually freeze the carcass and drippings and wait until I have two or three in the freezer. You can make a decent amount of bone broth with just one turkey and one chicken carcass or three chicken carcasses. Don't be afraid to mix whatever bones you have. When I cook a pot of stock, I usually get about 3 or 4 large mason jars of stock.
I have experimented with different methods of making bone broth. I've used a crock pot type slow cooker, a regular stove top stainless steel stock pot, and eventually decided that the easiest and fastest way to make the broth is with a pressure cooker. Most of us have seen a pressure cooker, but few have actually used one.
For most people, the thought of a pressure cooker evokes visions of pots exploding and stuff flying through the kitchen. I admit that I had to use my pressure cooker a few times before losing my own pressure cooker anxiety. It helps to read the instructions and actually follow them. Here is a photo of my pressure cooker. The good news is that you can usually find a good deal on a great pressure cooker. It will last forever and can be used as a regular pot. I got mine on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond for under $50. It came as a set of two stainless steel pots (a large and a smaller one) with one pressure lid and one regular glass lid, plus a steamer basket. By the way, I'm not endorsing Bed Bath and Beyond. They just happened to have one at a great price when I was looking for one.
So here is how to make broth. Throw the bones in the pot. Add water and a cup of vinegar and get creative. You can add whatever vegetables, fruits, and herbs you have. I have added carrots, onions, fennel, parsley, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and turmeric root. Once I threw a plum and an orange in there. Cook under pressure for about 2 hours.
Strain out the cooked veggies and bones and fill the broth in mason jars and refrigerate. For straining I use a stainless steel mesh strainer.
The fat will separate at the top after refrigeration and you can either mix it back into your broth or scoop it out easily. This is what it looks like after it cools down and the fat separates on top. Below the fat layer is your delicious broth.
The gelatin from the bones will have released into the broth, and your refrigerated broth will look like golden jelly.
Heat it up on the stove top or microwave and enjoy, or use it as a base for a sauce or soup.
Chicken soup is a tasty meal and is also said to be good medicine. This link takes you to the UCLA website that explains why chicken soup might help with your cold.
Here is your chicken soup. Enjoy!