The Cook Awakening

Simple Bone Broth

July 14, 2011
Posted in: Recipes

Simple Bone Broth


  • Bones, skin, feet and non-liver organs of chickens or other meat. Or a whole chicken.
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar per gallon total volume of bones and water


If using bones from a red meat animal, roast the bones at 350 degrees for one hour until browned and caremelized. This is not necessary for poultry.

Crack the bones if you can, using the bottom of a heavy pot (optional). Place bones and lemon juice or vinegar in a pot or slow cooker. Add water just to cover. Soak the bones for at least an hour in the cold acidulated water.

Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Turn down to a low temperature. Ideally there should be barely any bubbles rising, hardly any movement in the simmer. The slow cooker on low may even be too hot, but I use it anyway, it’s so easy.

Cook for 6 – 12 for poultry, 24 – 72 hours for larger animals (red meat). If using a whole chicken, remove the chicken after cooking an hour or two and pull the meat from the bones to use in other recipes. Return the bones and skin to the broth and continue cooking. The longer the broth cooks, the more minerals will leach into the broth, making it a rich mineral supplement. Sometimes the gelatin breaks down with the longer cooking with the poultry or with the higher heat, so you might lose that benefit. The bones should be crumbly to the touch, at least at the ends.

Another method is to cook the bones for eight hours. Strain and reserve broth. Add water and acid to the bones again, and cook eight more hours. Repeat, if you have the patience. Each successive batch will be less gelatinous, more neutral in flavor, and rich in minerals.

Optional – Bring finished broth to a boil, simmer, and reduce by half. Cool. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the broth cubes into a zip lock bag and store in the freezer. Use in sauteeing veggies, pop a few in when cooking grains, and, of course, dilute a bit for soups. If you’ve reduced it, remember it’s concentrated. Especially if you’ve used a lot of chicken feet! They make a very dense broth.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2011 at 7:20 pm and is filed under Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


4 Responses to “Simple Bone Broth”

  1. Pamela Says:


    Thank you. I had been hesitant to try making bone broth again, as it seemed complicated, esp with adding veggies and onions and such. I had made it once awhile back and it came out tasting awful. (I now understand that the problem was likely that I had kept the stockpot covered the entire time.) Your simple, direct method was undaunting for me. I just made my first soup stock after following this post, and I’m so pleased! I now have the confidence to make it a regular routine. Thank you, again, for your guidance.

  2. admin Says:

    Pamela, you’re welcome. I’m so glad you had success! Cooking needs to be as simple as possible, or we won’t want to do it.

    I leave the lid on my broth all the time, so I’m not sure that would be the reason for off flavors. Perhaps some of the veggies you used had a bitter flavor?

    Happy cooking!

  3. Pamela Says:

    Thanks, Durga – I also thought it may have been the celery that caused it to be bitter. Good to know that I could opt to leave the stockpot covered. One more question – do the chicken heads also provide gelatinous texture to the stock (like the feet do), or should one omit them from the stockpot?

    Thanks again.

  4. admin Says:

    The chicken heads add some gelatin, but mainly I’ve heard chicken head broth is good for the thyroid, according to Chinese medicine. They do add a different flavor. Not unpleasant (to me), but a little different.

    Celery could make a stock bitter, especially the leaves. Also, some herbs could add a bitter flavor, especially oregano or marjoram, if cooked a long time.

    You’re very welcome.

Leave a Reply