Comforting and luxuriously savory, a bowl full of clear, straw-colored chicken bone broth is powerful medicine and wonderfully satiating. What’s better, though, is that broth is also easy to make, and it requires only a few ingredients and plenty of time on your stove top to sit, undisturbed, and simmer.
How to Make Chicken Bone Broth
Making bone broth is easy, all you need to do is simmer bones in water for several hours. A glug of wine poured into the pot gives chicken broth great flavor, and it also helps to dissolve collagen from bones and connective tissue, producing a lusciously silky texture, a bouncy gel and a marvelous boost of protein. While you can add vegetables to your bones as they simmer, they can produce off flavors and make your broth taste sweet or overcooked, especially with lengthy simmering.
To get clear broth with a clean flavor, make sure to bring your pot to a boil and then immediately turn the heat down to a bare simmer. During the lengthy time broth cooks, you should keep the temperature just hot enough so that small bubbles occasionally form and release. The broth should otherwise remain relatively still, but hot. Keeping your bones at a forceful, rolling boil breaks down broth’s gelatin and can muddy both the appearance and flavor of the final product.
As broth simmers, foam, scum or a thin skin may form at its surface. This foam is made up of protein, and while it’s perfectly edible, it can cloud your broth. So keep a small bowl and skimmer handy, and gently lift off any foam or scum that forms at the surface of your broth. Discard it when your broth has finished, or you can use it to make a traditional Russian broth called Pena (recipe found in this cookbook on broth and stocks).
When your broth has finished simmering, after eight to twelve hours, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve and either use it immediately or store it in glass jars in the fridge up to one week.
How to Use Chicken Bone Broth
Traditionally, chicken bone broth was served to the ill and convalescent. Long considered to be a healing food, chicken broth provided much needed nourishment as it was rich in protein, hydrating and easy to eat – especially for those recovering from illness. Victorian-era cookbooks recommend serving it plain, or with a bit of rice for texture or cream for added sustenance.
You can sip chicken bone broth on its own, seasoned with a dash of salt or a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs. It’s also excellent with a teaspoonful of turmeric or chopped fresh garlic stirred in, depending on your preference.
If sipping broth on its own isn’t your preference, you can also use it as a base for soups, stews and sauces.
Chicken Bone Broth
- Leftover bones of 1 roast chicken
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Water to cover
- Place the chicken bones into a stockpot. Pour in the wine, and cover with water by two inches.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then immediately turn the heat to medium-low. Allow the broth to simmer, ever so slightly, at least eight and up to twelve hours.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Strain the broth, and discard the bones.
- Use immediately, or transfer the broth to jars and store in the fridge up to 1 week.
Tools You Need to Make Chicken Bone Broth
It’s easy to make bone broth at home, and far less expensive than buying it at the store or online, but there’s a few things you need to have on hand:
A skimmer helps you to gracefully remove any foam that rises to the surface of your broth as it cooks.
A fine-mesh sieve will help to fully strain your broth, including any small bits of bone, skin, meat or cartilage that can pass through colanders with larger holes.
What You Need to Know about Bone Broth
The key to a good broth is a long, slow simmer which should make your broth gelatinous when it is chilled. Here’s what to know if your broth doesn’t gel.
If you don’t have time to roast a chicken, you can always make broth from a store-bought rotisserie bird.
If you make more bone broth than you can serve at one time, you can store it by freezing it, canning it or even dehydrating it.