I’ve posted before on social media of the deep satisfaction and contentment I find when I know there is a stash of basic bone broth in the freezer. It’s the easiest thing ever to do; it does however require a bit of clever time-planning if you’re a busy person – like me.
When my freezer stash of broth is getting to anxiety-causing levels, I pick a morning when I know I will have a bit of spare time. What I like to do is to put it together in my slow cooker the afternoon before, leave it to cook overnight, then sneak to the kitchen FIRST THING – ahead of everyone else in the morning – to slowly decant the cooker broth. Then the job is done and I can go back to feeling smug (I mean organised)!
So, to create the broth…
I like to have a portion of cooked chicken bones to add to a couple of raw carcasses. I find this gives a bit more depth of flavour and beautiful golden colour.
Nothing exact in this…I use a bag of our Paddock Raised Chook carcasses (2/bag) plus whatever cooked bones I have been saving in the freezer. Into the slow cooker with those, then cover generously with water and a good glug of apple cider vinegar. Set the timer and forget.
In the morning, quite likely your cooker will have switched to ‘Keep Warm’ before you get to it. If your slow cooker does not have this setting, make sure it is on low before you go to bed. Then when you get to it in the morning the broth won’t be too hot to work with….after all we want to get this job done and ‘outta’ the way.
I don’t tip my broth through a strainer but rather decant it with a ladle. It might seem a bit of pain, but it’s less painful and less cleaning up than straining stock……ugh! It also helps keep the broth nice and clear.
Take the decanting slowly so as not to stir the liquid about too much. There is usually a dip or low spot in the collection of bones, so start there (if you an uber organiser, you might arrange for this when you start). With a soup ladle gently lift the broth out and into freezer-grade storage containers. When the level dips too low for the ladle, I jack the pot up on it’s end a bit…in or out of the cooker, whatever works for you…..but GENTLY!
Continue until it’s starting to look a bit gnarly toward the bottom. Then we come down the ‘personal choice’ part of the operation – what you do with the less-than-clear broth at the base of the pan is up to you. I tend to save as much as I can without it being too gritty or chunky. A good idea is to store that small cloudier amount in it’s own separate container. It can still be used in a stew or casserole or somewhere where clarity isn’t so important.
Then don’t forget to label your containers before popping them in the freezer.
Here on the farm we have 5 – yep 5 – four-legged, spent-bone ‘reductionists’ (a.k.a. working dogs) who gladly devour bones post ‘brothing’. You may need to freeze again, before bin day or maybe you are in position to bury them. I’ll have to leave you to figure that bit out as best you can.
And there you have it…my steps to gorgeous golden chicken bone broth.