Chicken Bone Broth (Revisited)

March 9, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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I have been experimenting with the best way to maximize the nutritional content of my chicken bone broth (learn why bone broth is a superfood).  Essentially, the longer you boil the bones, the more they break down, the more calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, proline and glycine you get in the broth.  By 48 hours, the bones are so brittle that you can eat what’s left of them when you strain your broth (which I do and find delightful).  I make this on my stove top, but this would be a great time to break out the crock pot if you have one (I still don’t, but it’s on my wish list).  I like to get my bone broth started first thing in the morning for supper the next night (or the one after that).  Enjoy on its own or use as the base for soups and stews.  Yields approximately 8-10 cups.

Ingredients-Chicken Bone Broth:

  • Giblets and carcasses from 2-3 chickens (I might use the carcasses from two chickens but also bones saved from a night of wings)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 medium yellow onions, roots cut off and halved
  • 4-5 carrots, washed and cut in half (or about 2 cups of baby carrots)
  • 6-8 celery stalks, washed and cut into thirds
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 gallon cold water (enough to cover the ingredients)


1.    Place chicken giblets and carcasses into a big stock pot.  Add enough water to cover the bones (approximately 1 gallon) and the apple cider vinegar. 
2.    Cover and bring to a boil on top of the stove, then turn down the heat to keep a low simmer for 24-48 hours.  Stir once or twice in the first few hours, and then stir at least a couple of times over the next couple of days.
3.    Add the vegetables, garlic, salt and bay leaves to the pot.  Increase heat to bring back up to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
4.    Cook for 4-8 hours more, stirring every hour or so.  Let simmer with lid off for the last 2-3 hours.
5.    Strain all the ingredients by pouring bone broth from one pot to another through a colander or strainer. 


What is the difference between this broth and buying broth from the store? We use Organic Free Range chicken broth. Is it the same thing?

Hi. I love your site. I have a few questions. I have seen at my local grocery store that they sell chicken backs, chicken necks and chicken feet. Would it be ok if I just use a bunch of those to make bone broth? Approximately how much of each should I use? Andonce cooled it should be gelatinous correct?

Absolutely! Just throw some in the pot and add water to cover about 2″ over the top of them. Usually feet give a wonderfully gelatinous broth. You’ll also want to skim the foam off the top for about the first half hour, especially using feet.


I’m a little new to making bone broth, but decided to try it when I ended up with the carcass of a grocery store rotisserie chicken I had bought for dinner. I put it in the crockpot on low for 24 hours, with a little ACV, onion, celery and carrots. I strained it in a mesh sieve and put it in the refrigerator. Only an extremely minimal layer of fat was on top and my broth didn’t gel at all. The broth tasted a little oily and sort of bland.

I was wondering if you have any advice?? I’d really like to get some of these nutrients/collagen.

I’m sure you still have nutrients in there. The gelling comes from lots of connective tissue and I usually only get that with chicken broth if I add feet. You’ll still have all of the minerals and some collagen there. As for bland, you could try adding a little sea salt to see if that helps, or simmer it down to concentrate it.

Reading up on your bone broth and its’ benefits. My husband is a renderer so getting an ample supply of bones isn’t a problem! What I am wondering, however, is how much I need to eat/serve to consume enough of it’s benefits per serving.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Someone else asked a similar question recently, Sarah’s answer was: “You can use them straight, but skim the foamy stuff off the top for the first 30-60 minutes of simmering.” — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

That is preferred, but not always possible for everyone. If you use a conventional chicken, it means there’s more omega-6s in the fat, which Sarah recommends skimming off (when using conventional chicken). — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Yes, but the cooking time may vary depending the specific slow cooker. There are several comments from others discussing their experiences making broth in a slow cooker. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

So appreciate the valuable information on this website – and Sarah’s new book. I’ve purchased three for friends – hoping it will do some good!
Quick question re bone broth – and this question applies to chicken and beef bones.
Re: raw or roasted/precooked bones: are the health benefits increased using roasted bones over raw, or is it just the same either way – (as long as one skims the foam/impurities of raw) – re nutritional value and bodily absorption?

What do you think about using a pressure cooker and how is this different from chicken soup? I usually toss about 3 pounds of chicken quarters (they’re cheap) into the pressure cooker along with the veggies and water. After about 30 minutes of pressure it’s done with the meat completely falling off the bones. I could take the meat out at this point and cook the bones longer but it always turns to jelly in the fridge like this.

It turning to jelly is a sign you’ve made good bone broth. Bone broth has more nutrients from the bones than removing the bones with the meat yields. You can make bone broth in a pressure cooker in 30-60 minutes. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I’m not sure what you mean but I think you’re saying that it’s ok to remove the cooked meat before it turns to mush but to continue to cook the bones longer. Is that correct? 30 to 60 minutes in a pressure cooker sure beats 24 to 48 hours on a low simmer and saves a lot of energy.

I’m confused please help me. I’ve been cooking the chicken bone broth for 48 hours on the stove for the best nutrients are you saying if we have a pressure cooker we can do it that way and get the same healthy benefits from the bones?

Yes, remove the meat when it starts to fall off the bones, but return the bones to the pot and cook until they begin to crumble. This is about 48 hours on the stovetop, or about 1 hour in the pressure cooker. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Just made bone broth with chicken feet for the first time this past weekend. Amazed at how much more incredibly wonderful that was over my regular bone broth!

Do you follow the same steps for beef bone broth? Can you add a ham bone for flavor? How often should you eat this for optimal benefits?

Hi, do you have to keep putting water in, since 24-48 hrs it’s a long time and i guess the water will evaporate? I wonder…..

Ok.I’ve been doing the beef bone broth and just last week I was “up all night”. I mean “up”. The only thing I can think of is the bone broth kept me up because every other food I ate I have eaten many times and no reaction. I think it was the glutamates. I thought that if a food was “natural” it could not harm you. So even though I was “up” could the glutamate harm my brain or is it just like coffee…harmless? Can it actually damage brain cells? Also if I don’t cook the broth as long maybe 3-4 hours that would be better for me?

Others have found that bone broth bothers them, possibly due to the glutamates. You could try reducing the amount you consume, reducing the cooking time, or trying packaged gelatin instead. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

OOPs! I did not do that. I did not add it in until after 48 hrs for the last few hours. Will that do anything? And the water pretty much was gone so I added more is that supposed to happen? I am all new to this. Sorry! Any help you can offer I would appreciate it. Thank you!

The liquid should not evaporate during cooking. The seal on your lid may not have been tight enough. You will not get as many nutrients out of the vegetables if you add them at the end, unless you leave them in and eat them with the broth. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I didn’t skim the fat off the top in the first 30-60 minutes….I accidentally mixed the soup before skimming it off, and it never came back up. Is that a big mistake? What’s the effect of not skimming the stuff in that first hour?

The fat will separate when you refrigerate the broth. You can scrape it off then. Taking the fat out yields a less-greasy consistency, and I also recommend removing the fat if the bones you used were not grass-fed/pastured. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

The instructions aren’t that clear as to when you input the vegetables as the last commenter made above, it makes it seem like you add them after the 48 hours and then cook for additional 8 hours? So you basically add everything in at first and cook everything for 48 hours?

Sorry, yes, Sarah does add the vegetables 4-8 hours before the stock is done. She has an older bone broth recipe that places them all in at the beginning, which I was getting this one confused with. My mistake! – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I wouldn’t worry about the veggies. The important ingredients are the bones not the veggies. You get an abundant amount of veggies on this diet. As long as you cook the bones long enough, make the broth the way you like it. Veggies could be added the last 15 – 30 minutes if you want to eat them whole or even cooked for a short time in finished, strained broth. You could even cook them as long as the bones cook so that they become completely liquefied and part of the broth. IMO

Thanks so much! I put everything in all at once and it’s been 24 hours, 1 more day to go. Really looking forward to it.

I have attempted to make bone soup a few times but can not tolerate the smell. I could use some help. For some reason it smells like bad cheese. Is this normal? I don’t know what to do to make it smell better. My whole family makes a big deal about the smell and I end up having to throw it out. I cook it in the crock pot.

Bone broth does have a strong smell, which may become more appetizing when a taste for bone broth is acquired. You could try adding aromatic herbs and/or spices, like cinnamon, to see if that helps make it more palatable. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

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