Day 34: Slowcooker bone broth

Keeping with the theme of gut health from yesterday I thought I’d share my slowcooker bone broth recipe.

When bone broth started appearing everywhere I looked some time back I have to admit that I was extremely sceptical. “What is bone broth anyway?”, I thought to myself. “Surely it’s just stock? And we’ve been making that without a moment’s thought for forever?!”

So I did a bit of research to see if what had become a bit of a fad or buzz word was really all it was cracked-up to be...

I used bonappetit.com to help me understand the difference between a broth, a stock and a bone broth. Here’s a very quick summary:

Broth

Meat cooked in water for a short-medium length of time, producing a thinner consistency liquid.

Stock

Meat-stripped bones cooked in water for a medium length of time.

Bone broth

Stock cooked for a much longer time, also using meat-stripped bones, producing a thicker consistency where the collagen-rich gelatin has leeched out of the cartilage and bones. It is this that is heralded as being good for our skin, hair, nails and gut health.

Whilst they are all variations on a theme, the bone broth claims to offer greater health benefits. 

So where the thought of having to be near the hob for several hours is really very off-putting for me I did a little digging and have crafted a very lazy slowcooker version. 

Ingredients

Carcass & any unwanted parts of the slowcooked chicken

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 carrots, chopped into chunks

2 celery sticks, chopped into thick batons

1 small onion, roughly chopped

Piece of fresh ginger (for its anti-inflammatory benefits & because it’s tasty)

Boiling water to cover the ingredients.

Method

After cooking a whole chicken in the slowcooker remove the meat from the bones and leave all unwanted bones, skin and juices in the crockpot.

Add the vinegar and stir, allowing a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.

Don’t peel the carrots or ginger but roughly chop everything and add to the pot.

Cover the ingredients with freshly boiled water, pop on the lid and turn the slowcooker to high and allow to cook for a few hours. 

If you have a muslin or fine cloth then line a colander and sit it over a large bowl in order to drain the bone broth. I use a sieve on top of a colander to ensure the broth is clear and golden.

It should set in the fridge like a jelly with a fat layer on top. It doesn’t look particularly nice but see past that to all the deliciousness inside. You can add it to soups, stews, ragouts, curries and even just drink it as it is (warmed-up of course! 🤣) If you pour it into several smaller sealable jars the bone broth should keep for a couple of weeks, sealed by the fat layer on top. If you put it all into one larger tub then you may only get a few days from it. It freezes well too though.

Bone broth with stir fried vegetables.

Bone broth with stir fried vegetables.