Here's our super simple recipe for making a healthy, nutrient (and collagen) packed chicken bone broth, which can help heal your gut, boost your immune system, and improve your health.
Prep: 5 Minutes
Cook: 12 Hours
Total: 12 hours, 5 Minutes
Yield: 2 Litres
What is broth?
Before we delve into making our chicken bone broth, it will probably be usual to understand just exactly what a broth is, where it comes from and what it might be used for.
A broth is defined by google dictionary as a "liquid made by cooking bones, meat, or fish slowly in water" to create a savoury liquid. According to Wikipedia, a "broth can be eaten alone, or can be used as an ingredient to create other dishes, such as soups, gravies, and sauces".
So, a broth is comparable to a stock, in fact many food writers seem to use the term interchangeably, but it is certainly not a soup. Although, to make things a little more confusing, it can be used as an ingredient to help you make a delicious one.
How do I make bone broth?
Basically, bone broth is made by simmering bones in water for around 10-12 hours. Often recipes will also suggest adding herbs and spices, vinegar, salt etc. for a more flavoursome outcome.
Is chicken bone broth good for you?
Bone broth is high is vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and is also packed with collagen, and can help heal your gut, aid digestion, and improve your health.
Animal bones are rich in minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus amongst others. It comes as no surprise that these are the same minerals we need to help build and maintain bones within the body.
Any connective tissue, like cartilage etc. included with the bones, will contain glucosamine and chondroitin. These are natural compounds found in cartilage and can help support and maintain joint health in the body.
The marrow found within the bones is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals, and will provide sources of vitamins A, K2, B2, B12, and E, plus zinc, iron, boron, manganese, and selenium, not to mention omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Animal bones, skin, and connective tissue are also rich in collagen, which will turn into gelatin when cooked. Gelatin contains essential amino acids, proteins and antioxidants that can protect cells in the body, as well as support the health of the digestive system, bones, skin, joints, and even hair.
When you simmer the ingredients over a long period of time, you extract all of those vitamins and minerals into the liquid which can be easily consumed, and are easily absorbed by the body.
What are the benefits of chicken bone broth?
Bone broth contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Is not only easy to digest, but can also actually help aid digestion. Bone broth contains gelatin, which naturally attracts and holds water. This is why your broth may set like a 'jelly' when it's cold. Gelatin can also bind water inside your digestive tract, which is beneficial as it can help to move food through your gut more easily and with less irritation. Gelatin also contains an amino acid called glutamine, which helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall. Glutamine is also known to help prevent and heal a condition known as 'leaky-gut'. Bone broth also contains B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin, which are both important for metabolism, and can also help the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy.
Bone broth can help build and maintain strong bones, and healthy joints. That wonderful gelatin contains some really important amino acids, which support joint heath. Gelatin contains proline and glycine, which are used in the body to maintain and build it's own connective tissue, like tendons and ligaments. Glycine is an important neurotransmitter, has anti-inflammatory properties, and has also been found to help you relax and help promote sleep, as well as improving mental function and memory.
Bone broth is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which are found in cartilage, and are known to decrease joint pain and help ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Other amino acids found in bone broth include arginine, which also has strong anti-inflammatory effects.
With all this in mind, drinking bone broth may provide great health benefits, particularly for people with 'leaky gut', irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Bone broth is great for your skin, hair, and nails, and can even help promote skin elasticity. This is why pregnant women may drink it, as it can help with avoiding/healing stretch marks.
- 1KG chicken carcass bones
- 2 litres filtered water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 heaped tsp sea salt
- Place the chicken carcass bones, water, apple cider vinegar, and salt into a large slow cooker.
- Cook on high for around 12 hours.
- Strain out the solids and pour broth into containers for storage.
Do you put chicken skin in bone broth?
You don't have to, as the skin will contain additional fat (although for anyone on a low carb/keto diet this may be exactly what you want), but the skin will also be packed full of collagen, which has great health benefits. Adding skin may also add extra flavour.
Is apple cider vinegar necessary for bone broth?
You don't necessarily have to add apple cider vinegar, but an acidic ingredient is useful, as it will help breakdown the protein in collagen and any connective tissue, and will leave you with a more protein, nutrient dense broth at the end.