Chicken broth is one of those super foods that is high in nutrients, thrifty, and simple to make yourself.
The problem is, especially if you’re using a whole chicken, you have to touch a raw chicken.
There are two things I’m paranoid about. Raw chicken happens to be one of them. (Poison ivy is the other, in case you were curious.)
Making it the way I used to meant going beyond touching to cutting up a raw chicken. (You don’t want to know how much vinegar I used cleaning up the sink when I was done.) Which meant I really didn’t like making chicken broth.
Yes, one’s upside down on purpose. I heard that cooking the breast-side down would make it more tender, so I experimented. We couldn’t really tell a difference.
Then my mom told me she’d started doing: just bake the chicken, eat it for dinner, and cook the bones.
You still have to rinse the raw chicken and pat it dry, but then all you do is season it and stick it in a pan to bake. I can handle that amount of raw-chicken-handling.
I usually bake two chickens at a time, to save time. Once the chicken is baked, serve for dinner.
After dinner, quickly debone the chicken (any little pieces of chicken are just going to make the broth better. Don’t stress about being too thorough!) Save the meat for future meals.
To make chicken broth
- Toss the bones into a crockpot.
- Add water and seasonings and any or all of the following: onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms, and eggshells (why eggshells? They’re a great source of calcium. Read more here.)
- Then, add a couple tablespoons of vinegar. Not enough to make it taste like vinegar, just enough to help draw the calcium out of the chicken bones and eggshells. (According to this article, government studies show nearly 86% of US children are calcium deficient!) Calcium from chicken broth is a good way to help our children avoid being part of that 86%.
- Cook the bones on high in the crockpot until they’re boiling, then turn it on low overnight.
In the morning, cool and freeze (or use to make a soup for dinner!)
Note: a good bone broth is gel-like, which indicates you removed lots of calcium from the bones.