Chicken Bone Broth: Why You Need It

| Kelsey | | Leave a Comment

Chicken bone broth gets a lot of attention in homesteading circles for good reason. It’s a traditional food that’s been used for centuries to support overall health and well-being.

Drinking it regularly can boost your immune system and improve your joint health among other health benefits.

You can buy chicken bone broth in most retail stores that sell food products. Making it yourself yields better health results. It’s not as difficult to brew up a batch on your homestead as you might imagine.

If you want to give it a try, this blog provides the information you need to get started, including:

chicken bones simmering in a pot to make chicken bone broth
You can use chicken bones, including the back, necks, and feet, to make chicken bone broth.

What is chicken bone broth?

Chicken bone broth is exactly what it sounds like—liquid from chicken bones. You make it by simmering chicken bones for several hours. Some people include vegetables and herbs in their bone broth to give it some extra flavor during simmering.

Simmering chicken bones releases the rich collagen and minerals stored inside them. You end up with a nutrient-dense broth rich in flavor and health benefits.

Some homesteaders use bone broth as a base for homemade soups and stews. You can also drink it.

No matter how you consume it, bone broth improves your gut and joint health and boosts immunity.

Other types of bone broth

Chicken bone broth is popular for its flavor and versatility, but also because it’s known to reinforce your immune system to fight against certain illnesses. There’s a reason moms everywhere whip up some homemade chicken noodle soup when their little ones are sick.

Some of the other types of bone broth that are popular among homesteaders include:

  • Beef bone broth is made from simmering beef bones. It can take longer to simmer beef bones than chicken bones, so be prepared to be patient if you want to make beef bone broth.
  • Fish bone broth produces a light and delicate flavor, and typically takes less time to simmer than either beef or chicken.
  • Lamb and pork bone broth take about as long as beef bone broth to simmer.

While you can make bone broth from fish, lamb and pork, chicken and beef bone broths offer the most health benefits.

a bowl of chicken noodle soup with chicken bone broth as the base.
You can use homemade chicken bone broth for soups or stews.

How do you eat chicken bone broth?

Chicken bone broth is versatile, making it easy to consume in several ways. Some people prefer drinking 8 ounces daily as part of their regular dietary plans. If you decide to consume it this way, we recommend heating it up first to destroy any bacteria that formed during storage.

You also can use chicken bone broth as a base for soups and stews. Fewer things taste better on a cold winter’s day on the homestead than some homemade chicken noodle soup with chicken bone broth as the base.

If you’re going to make chicken bone broth a regular part of your diet, here are some other helpful tips for getting the most health benefits.

  • Drink it on an empty stomach. If you choose to consume chicken bone broth as a daily drink, do so on an empty stomach to maximize nutrient absorption.
  • Store it properly. If you don’t plan to consume your chicken bone broth immediately, then you need to store it properly to keep it from going bad. Cool the broth, then transfer it to an airtight container (glass canning jars work great for this), and refrigerate it for up to 5 days. You also can store it in freezer-safe containers and freeze it for up to 6 months.
  • Use high-quality ingredients. Organic, free-range chicken bones make the healthiest chicken bone broth. If you raise chickens on your homestead, you have a source you can trust. Otherwise, make sure you get your chicken bones from a local farmer or organic market.
a woman grabbing her knee in pain from inflammation can use chicken bone broth to help.
Chicken bone broth can work wonders for joint pain and inflammation.

What are 6 health benefits of chicken bone broth?

Chicken bone broth is high in nutrients, which makes it beneficial to your health.

  1. It aids in weight loss.
    Bone broth is high in protein. If you’re trying to control your appetite to prevent overeating, consuming more protein in your diet can help. As a bonus, bone broth is also low in calories.

  2. It boosts the immune system.
    We’ve already mentioned that drinking chicken bone broth reinforces your immune system, providing protection against certain illnesses. Among the vitamins and minerals found in this hearty elixir are vitamins A and C and zinc.

  3. It combats insomnia.
    There’s some solid scientific evidence that consuming bone broth regularly can improve your sleep because it’s rich in the amino acid glycine. Some homesteaders prefer drinking a cup of bone broth before bed for this reason.

  4. It improves gut health.
    Chicken bone broth contains an amino acid called glutamine. Scientific studies have shown that glutamine helps the intestinal wall function normally. Some evidence supports its ability to prevent and heal a condition called “leaky gut.”

  5. It promotes healthy hair, nails, and skin.
    Collagen is the building block of healthy hair, nails, and skin. Chicken bones are second only to beef bones in the amount of collagen they contain. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which means we have to get it from other sources.

  6. It supports joint health.
    Chicken bone broth contains glycine and proline. Your body uses them to build connective tissue, which helps keep your joints healthy and pain-free. Bone broth also has glucosamine and chondroitin, two natural compounds found in cartilage.

Never replace a healthy, well-balanced diet with one that includes only bone broth. Your body needs a variety of fruits, lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains to stay strong.

Canning jars are the perfect air tight containers for storing chicken bone broth.
Use airtight canning jars or other containers for storing your homemade chicken bone broth.

How do you make homemade chicken bone broth?

Making homemade chicken bone broth is so simple anyone can do it. Even if you aren’t good in the kitchen, we promise you can muster up enough skills to pull this off.

Follow this classic recipe to start enjoying the health benefits today.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4-5 pounds of chicken bones from organic or free-range chickens (can include backs, necks, and feet).
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and chopped.
  • 2-3 stalks of celery chopped.
  • 1 onion chopped.
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed.
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns.
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Filtered water.

How to make it:

  • In a large stockpot or slow cooker, combine chicken bones and completely cover them with filtered water. Add the apple cider vinegar.
  • Add in the vegetables, garlic, and black peppercorns.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Simmer for 8-12 hours at a minimum or a full 24 hours for a richer broth.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Discard the solids.
  • Let the broth cool to room temperature before transferring it to airtight containers.
  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Feel free to experiment with other herbs and seasonings. Bay leaves, parsley, and thyme always go well in a chicken bone broth, especially if you plan to use it as a soup or stew base.

Where to get bones

You can get access to chicken bones to make your homemade broth in several ways. One of the easiest is to save the bones (backs, necks, and feet included) after you’ve cooked a whole chicken. You can use them to make bone broth from scratch using the recipe above.

Some other ways you can get the bones you need:

  • Buy them from a butcher. Meat market butchers often sell chicken bones specifically for making bone broth. You might even find package deals that include a mix of bones and meat scraps.
  • Buy them from a local farmer. Make friends with a local farmer who raises free-range chickens or uses an organic pasture method to raise chickens to ask if you can buy chicken bones from them.
  • Buy them online. If all else fails, you can get chicken bones online. Some companies specialize in selling bones from free-range chickens.

How to store chicken bone broth

It takes a long time to simmer homemade broth to perfection. Don’t ruin your efforts by failing to store it properly to preserve its nutritional value and flavor. Here are a few tips for storing your homemade chicken bone broth so you can enjoy its benefits to the fullest.

  • Cool it quickly to prevent bacteria growth. You can do this by placing the pot of hot broth in an ice bath in the kitchen sink.
  • Transfer it to airtight containers. Once the broth cools, immediately transfer it to airtight containers for storage or freezing.
  • Label and date. Make sure you label the containers to describe what’s stored inside. Include the date it was canned or frozen, so you know the best-by date for consumption.
  • Refrigerate or freeze. You can safely refrigerate broth for up to 5 days. If you want to make a large batch of it for freezing, it keeps for about 6 months.
  • Reheat carefully. When you’re ready to reheat the broth for drinking or use as a soup or stew base, bring it to a rolling boil to kill any bacteria that may have formed during storage. Never reheat the broth more than once to prevent the breakdown of vital nutrients.
chicken bone broth in a glass with a straw for drinking.
You can drink chicken bone broth every day or a few times a month in special recipes to enjoy its health benefits.

How often should you consume chicken bone broth?

How often you consume bone broth is a personal preference. People with health conditions like inflammation or digestive issues enjoy it daily as part of a well-balanced diet.

If you’re new to the wonders of bone broth, you might want to start out slowly and work your way up to having it more frequently. See how your body reacts after the first time, then adjust your intake from there.

Sources

  1. Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: from bench to bedside. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  2. Immunomodulatory Effects of Chicken Broth and Histidine Dipeptides on the Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppression Mouse Model. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  3. Roles of dietary glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline in collagen synthesis and animal growth. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  4. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 20, 2023.
  5. The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 20, 2023.

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Kelsey
Hi there! I’m Kelsey! I am a wife, a mother and homesteader. I’m also a Certified Natural Health Practitioner so health is very important to me. I love to help people with their health journey. A HUGE part of that process is through high quality milk. I am a massive proponent of rich, high quality milk from Jersey Cows.

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