Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth

There is nothing more comforting to me that broth. Pretty much every culture has a history of cooking broth for healing, and especially within the postpartum/fourth trimester where all that collagen is so good for restoring your body. This recipe is an adaptation of the one in Lindsey Bliss’ book The Doula’s Guide to Empowering Your Birth, which I highly recommend as it’s a quick read and great resource for approaching all of pregnancy with a holistic and practical mindset. Whenever possible I always use free-range, hormone-free and organic meats. If ever there was a time to splurge on the highest ingredients it is right before you start to feed another person with your body and when you just spent so much energy creating another human!

There is nothing more comforting to me that broth. Pretty much every culture has a history of cooking broth for healing, and especially within the postpartum/fourth trimester where all that collagen is so good for restoring your body. This recipe is an adaptation of the one in Lindsey Bliss’ book The Doula’s Guide to Empowering Your Birth, which I highly recommend as it’s a quick read and great resource for approaching all of pregnancy with a holistic and practical mindset. Whenever possible I always use free-range, hormone-free and organic meats. If ever there was a time to splurge on the highest ingredients it is right before you start to feed another person with your body and when you just spent so much energy creating another human!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN BONE BROTH

1 organic roasted chicken carcass

1 tabelspoon (15g ) Himalayan sea salt

1 medium onion halved

4 cloves garlic smashed

1 large organic carrot, chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

8 cups (1.9 L) filtered water

*a handful of dried mushroom and/or bonito flakes

*dried seaweed such as wakame- anywhere from a pinch to 1/4-1/2c adds a wonderful salty umami quality.

*Optional ingredients I’ve added.

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook, covered, on low for 24 hours. (Or on stovetop bring to a boil and simmer until the flavor is deep, then strain. This is a great thing to do on a casual day at home because you dump everything in and just leave it. Make sure you’re topping it off if the water goes down too much. It will always reduce again if you keep cooking long enough, just take the lid off if there’s too much water and you want it to reduce.)

Let cool and pour through a strainer. Drink immediately or store in glass mason jars in the refrigerator for a few days or the freezer for up to a year. (When freezing leave 2 inches room at the mouth of jar and lightly screw lids until broth has frozen and expanded, then seal lids tightly).

A note about broths:

I like to save all my old bones in a freezer bag and add those to whatever stock I am making. Anything that’s already been cooked such as roasted chicken bones will add a great depth of flavor. I also save washed celery ends, carrot peels, onion skins, garlic skins, leeks greens and ends- any of your base vegetables for stock- in a freezer bag and add those as well. You can even make a delicious broth using only those scraps! Mushroom bottoms can go in their own bag as can any wax-free hard cheese rinds, which add a lot of subtle flavor when tossed into a soup as it cooks, or made into a mushroom broth or mixed hard cheese broth. I literally just put all these cleaned scraps into one gallon freezer bags and either wait until the bag fills up or toss them in whenever I am making any stock. It’s a wonderfully satisfying and easy habit to get into that reduces waste and adds extra nutrients and flavor from otherwise unused parts. Bones can also be used twice so if roasted you can use them for stock and then again for a second stock! Bones boiled once for stock can be reused again. Make sure to add a bit of apple cider vinegar as it draws the nutrients out- anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup depending on the quantity of broth and how tangy you like it.

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