On Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago, the turkey was being carved, as family members called out which part they wanted. Who wants white meat, who wants a drumstick, etc.
“I call the carcass!” I said, meeting my mother’s eyes which were filled with confusion mixed with a bit of skeeviness.
The health benefits of bone broth have been circulating pretty heavily in the health community over the last year or so, and at best broth is going to nourish me completely and help keep my ankle (and other joints) healthy and able to keep up. At the worst? all the painstaking time (probably less than 10 working minutes per batch) making bone broth was all for an affordable and delicious base of soups and stews. Not too shabby. I’ll typically roast a whole organic chicken at the beginning of the week and use the carcass (AKA all the remaining bones and cartilage) to make broth that I’ll either freeze or use up later in the week. So, when it came time for turkey day, I jumped at the opportunity to try something a bit different.
But turkey or chicken, the process is the same. Here’s how I do it:
- Strip the bones of as much actual meat as possible. This does two things: first, it allows you more meat to actually eat, and second, I found that little bits of meat remaining tend to burn in the broth, which you don’t want.
- Roast the bones. Admittedly, I’ve skipped this step before, and my broth comes out just fine, but oh boy the flavor that the broth has when the bones were roasted is near unbeatable. I roast them at 325 for 3-5 hours (and throw in a couple of sweet potatoes because it’s convenient).
- Throw the bones in the crock pot, and cover them completely with water. Give it a splash of apple cider vinegar (rumor has it, this helps break down the bones, making the broth be even more nutrient-dense). Add a few large pinches of salt.
- Put the crock pot on low, and walk away. I’ve heard some people say that they leave their bones in for up to 12+ hours, but I’ve found that my broth comes out best around the 8-hour range.
- Put your broth through a strainer to get the bones and bits out. I like to pour it over a strainer/sieve directly into a de-fatter. I’ll then pour the broth out of the de-fatter (thus taking out a bit of the fat) into jars, which go in the refrigerator. If I’m freezing the broth in glass mason jars (and yes, you can freeze glass jars), I leave a bit of room at the top so that there is room for the broth to expand as it freezes.
Bone broth is delicious, healthy and super easy to make. I’ll be compiling a list of my favorite bone broth recipes in blogs to come!