Ooohh…doesn’t that look good?! If you’ve always wanted to know how to make thick bone broth, read on. It has taken me a few years to perfect it but now I know the secret (and don’t freak out): chicken feet. Necks are supposed to help as well but using the feet made a big difference for me. I’m sure butchers across America are laughing as they likely were tossing their extra bones and feet; now people are paying for them! Anyway, all I did was ask the meat department at my local grocery store and they had them. Not sure if they always had, but they did this time.
For a few years, I had been getting chicken backs to use to make my bone broth. Typically, I would use 3-4 of those plus the bones from a roasted chicken. Top tip: when you get that rotisserie chicken home, take all of the meat off and put the bones either in the fridge or freezer. It’s easier to take the meat off of a warm chicken and cold bones make a clear broth.
Back to how to make a thick bone broth. Even though I was using a lot of bones and letting it cook at least 12 hours, I still wasn’t getting thick broth. I roasted the bones for the color but my broth was still pretty runny. I wanted gelatinous!
Why is it important? What becomes the difference between a bone broth and stock or plain broth? It’s all in the parts and the cooking time. You want to extract as much of the nutrients from the bones as you can.
According to this article by Dr. Axe, “bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and they boost healing.” In my experience, any time one of us has the sniffles, we drink bone broth. Usually within a day, we will feel better. I recently used it to help heal my gut from an acid reflux incident.
But I’m not a doctor; I’m a chef. So let’s talk about how to make it! I’ll let you do your research on why. The recipe below makes a lot. If you don’t have a big pot, consider making half.
How to Make Thick Bone Broth
2-3 lbs chicken bones which should include some necks and backs
1/2 – 1 lb chicken feet
1 medium onion, sliced
3 carrots, cut into four pieces each
3 celery stalks, cut into four pieces each
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
10 whole peppercorns (if you don’t have whole peppercorns, you can use ground pepper but this will mean your broth will have little specks)
- I personally like a darker broth. I found that by browning the chicken first, this is most effective. Heat large stock pot to medium. Add bones (no feet) and cook on both sides until brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cover with cold filtered water. If you are going to cook it uncovered, add extra water at this step.
- Slowly bring to a simmer. If you use a cover, keep a close eye on it so it does not come to a rolling boil; otherwise you will get a cloudy broth.
- Continue to simmer covered; otherwise it could reduce too much, especially overnight. Or, just leave the cover slightly askew.
- Cook the broth for 14-24 hours. Allowing it to cook 24 hours will help extract all of the nutrients. Note: if you leave the broth to cook overnight, do so with care.
- Once you have turned the heat off, let the pot sit on the stove uncovered for about an hour to cool. Strain the broth (I use a fine mesh strainer) so that the bones, vegetables, and peppercorns are left behind. Pour into in jars or glass containers. Cool on the counter then cover and place in the refrigerator. Broth should last about one week. Can be frozen.