Roast Chicken and Chicken Bone Broth

November 14, 2011 in Categories: , by

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You get two recipes for the price of one, today.  I wanted to post a recipe for Chicken Bone Broth before we get too immersed in the flu season, but realized that many people are intimidated by roasting whole chickens.  No need to be!  Roasting chicken takes very little prep time.  I think I spend more time cleaning up my counters and sink afterward than actually getting the chickens in the oven (do remember that raw chicken can have salmonella, so make sure that you clean appropriately; but also, don’t let this deter you from this recipe!).  If you still don’t want to roast your own chickens, you can make bone broth with the carcasses leftover from store-bought rotisserie chickens too.

Roasted whole chicken is so easy and tasty, but it’s also extremely economical.  I buy two chickens at a time at Costco for only $0.89/pound (of course, it would be healthier to buy free range chickens, but my budget doesn’t allow this).  In addition to enjoying this great cheap meat, I also always make bone broth with the chicken carcasses.  Waste not, want not!  And, homemade broth is an unbeatable base for any soup. I always keep a plastic tub or two of it in my freezer just in case we get sick.

Bone Broth-003I always roast two chickens at a time.  After our meal, I carve up the chickens and store enough meat for a couple of meals of leftovers in the fridge.  I freeze the rest of the meat in single family meal portions, which is great when I need something quick during the week and can also be used on salads or as the base for a quick stir-fry.  I store the giblets and chicken carcasses left over from roast chicken in the freezer until I have a day where I’ll be home for most of the day to mind chicken stock simmering away on the stove top.  You could make the broth in a crockpot too, but I don’t have one.

Let me just assure you that both of these recipes are ridiculously easy.  You don’t need to do anything special to your chicken out of the package, except throw some spices on it and throw it in the oven.  The bone broth does need to simmer a long time, but there’s no need to chop vegetables into tiny pieces.  I don’t even bother fully peeling the onions and garlic, if they are clean.  I use my colander to strain out the bones and veggies at the end (you could use any kind of strainer for this job).  I also throw out the used bones and veggies, since there isn’t much flavor left in them.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1-2 hours (depending on size of chicken)
Serves: 6-8 (for one chicken)

Ingredients-Roast Chicken:

1.    Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Place chickens on a roasting pan (the kind with a wire or metal rack so the fat can drip down into the bottom during cooking).
3.    Remove giblets and reserve for making bone broth(sometimes these are in a little bag, sometimes not).
4.    Sprinkle with pepper and then liberally with paprika, until entire surface is well coated.
5.    Bake in oven for 20 minutes per pound for your biggest chicken (the ones I buy are typically about 5 lbs each).  Carve and enjoy!

 Ingredients-Chicken Bone Broth:

  • Giblets and carcasses from 2-3 chickens (or one turkey!)
  • 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.

whole roasted chicken



This is an excellent post. I like the idea of roasting 2 chickens at once. I don’t see a lot of broth posts in paleo blogs, but I think this is very important and useful.

I highly recommend getting a slow cooker. It makes broth so much less work. I used to save onion tops and random celery pieces in the freezer for stock. I once made chicken bone broth with just chicken parts and I liked it so much better. It is just a clean chicken flavor. I use the neck, heart and gizzard but I save the liver and eat it with my eggs for breakfast :). I simmer it for 24-48 hours or until I can crush the bones with my fingers. The veggies can become bitter when cooked for so long. One key ingredient is a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to help break down the bones to extract the minerals. It isn’t noticeable in the end product. I don’t bother with salt until I turn the broth into soup.

Thanks, I had forgotten that my Aunt Millie used to put that splash of vinegar or lemon juice for mineral extraction.

Something spectacular I do before roasting my chicken is to put rosemary sprigs under the skin and inside the cavity, along with parsley in the cavity – just jam it full. i also put garlic slices under the skin and in the cavity and salt and pepper it inside and out. Letting this sit for 24 hours or even just 4-5 hours before roasting adds an unbelievable degree of flavor.

I’m still working at reading all of your information here. When you wrote this you were not using grass fed chicken. Now that you are using the AIP do you find that more necessary?

I’m not a great cook as my question will indicate, but after the chicken has roasted, I understand to use the carcass for broth. What do you do with the drippings from roasting? Do you also put it in pan for broth?

I usually do add the drippings in the pot for broth, but it’s optional. You can also turn the drippings into gravy to enjoy with your chicken (arrowroot powder and kuzu starch are my favorite paleo-friendly gravy thickeners).

I have gut issues (inflammation, SIBO, possible crohn’s disease) so bone broth would probably be great for me, but I also have mastocytosis so I have to limit the histimine content of foods, which means no slow cooking. Do you happen to know what the shortest amount of time I could simmer the chicken and still get the bone-broth benefits is? Or another method of cooking/extraction that doesn’t require slow, long cooking or any kind of fermentation/culturing?

Thank you so much! I love your blog!

Even just cooking for an hour will give you lots of glycine, just not as much minerals. You could also try a pressure cooker, which cuts the time by about three quarters.

I realize this post was 3 years ago, and Paleo Mom suggested it, but I’ll post anyway, just in case…
We at the “Low HIstamine + Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) help” FB group have found that making bone broth in a pressure cooker makes few histamines, and is ready in 90-120 mins. Most have gotten the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker with the stainless steel interior pot, and love it for broth and tons of other paleo/AIP recipes. There’s also an “Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) Recipes” group.

I definitely agree with the earlier comments about using a slow cooker and not adding vegetables. After an initial hour or two in the high setting, put the slow cooker on low and let it simmer until the next day. If you strain the broth using cheesecloth over a wire mesh strainer, it is very clear. Any leftover meat or giblets go to my dogs, which makes them very happy! I drink this broth instead of tea or water on chilly days. I also use turkey carcasses or cracked beef bones.

Thanks for all of the awesome recipes, advice, and research!

Will the recipe be affected too much if I leave the paprika out? (or is there something I can trade it with?) I can’t have peppers (and other nightshades). Your blog has been a blessing. Been gluten free for 13 years but have had to eat paleo last few years to feel “normal”. Thanks for all the info.

You can use this post as a guide to which spices/seasonings are allowed on the AIP (auto immune protocol), nighshades are excluded on the AIP: Also, there will be over 100 AIP recipes in The Paleo Approach cookbook, which will be out later this year. You can learn more about the cookbook here: — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Making my first batch of chicken bone broth was a delight. It “cooked” for 4 days and I was able to squeeze the marrow from the small bones and right into the broth. After this was all done I refrigerated the broth for a few days to capture the thickened chicken fat. The fat never really came all out of the broth. This is a concern and wonder why this seems to happen.

After removing as much fat as possible I then canned up the broth in several quart jars in my pressure canner. Now I am wondering if this additional “preservation” destroys the vitamins and mineral in the broth. Any help on this is appreciated.

I’m thinking, if you cooked your broth initially for 4 days…. the damage is already done and there probably isn’t anything left that can be heat damaged.

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