Homemade Fortified Bone Broth from Chicken &/or Turkey Bones

Bone broth is so easy to make, and a very nourishing, comforting addition to your diet.  By simmering bones, along with discards of vegetables for several hours, the bones and cartilage will break down.  Adding an acid  helps draw out and break down the minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous, which are important for our own bone health.  

When made correctly, the broth will gel up after sitting in the refrigerator over night.  This gelatinous part of the bone broth consists of collagen, a protein found abundantly through the body, especially in the skin. 

Collagen is found in the bones, and connective tissue of animals.  It consists specifically of the amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, and Arganine, and is excellent for helping to keep the skin and (and hair) elastic, healthy, and youthful looking.  There are other health benefits to collagen as well, including coating the digestive tract and improving digestion, and possibly hormone production.  

In Traditional Chinese food therapy, a variety of herbs or other foods are also added to further fortify your broth.  Goji berries, astragalus root, angelica root, or kelp are good examples.  

I'll explain when to add what in the modifications under the basic Bone Broth Recipe below.

Bone broth is super nutrient-dense and delicious comfort food!

Various  herbs can be added to the basic recipe recipe, below, for correcting imbalances to health.  A few examples include Go Qi Zi, or Chinese wolf berries (goji berries)  to  nourish the yin, and improve the eyes, or Dong Gui, angelica root ~ also called 'female ginseng' ~ which can be added to help strengthen the Qi and blood.  It will add a mildly sweet, licorice flavor to the broth.  

Dong Gui is excellent for someone with the Chinese syndrome of blood deficiency, with  symptoms including fatigue, premenstrual cramping, feels cold a lot, has pale nails, and dry skin and nails,  low motivation, and possibly constipation.

Huang Qi, or astragalus root is also a good addition to strengthen the immune system, however, it is not used while fighting a cold pathogen, but rather to help the body to better prevent catching a cold.  

It's helpful for people like teachers or health care providers who are frequently around others that are sick.

Basic Bone Broth Recipe Using Chicken &/or
Turkey Bones

The steps to making this nutritious broth are simple.  Just put your ingredients in a pot, cover with water, and let it cook!  

I get mine started in the morning, and let it cook all day.  You can let it cook on the stove top, or in a slow cooker.  The longer it cooks, the more the bones dissolve into the broth, the better.

Prepare a big batch over the weekend.  Once you get it started, you can head out to enjoy your day and forget about it.

I've seen recipes on the internet that are way more labor intensive, however, this is the simple method in which I tend to prepare our bone broth.  Simple always works for me!

Collecting your ingredients

Collect bones in a large freezer bag or container until you are ready to prepare your broth.  Save bones from all the parts, whether the drumsticks, wings, necks, or the entire carcass.

Alternatively, you can either use a whole uncooked chicken, or several drumsticks, wings, and/or turkey neck, separating the edible meat after the broth is finished to use later, or roast a whole chicken, turkey or the various parts first.  Remove and enjoy or save the meat, cleaning out the entire carcass as thoroughly as possible if roasting first.  

Personally, I've done both.  When I can find a good deal on a 'priced to sell' whole organic chicken, I buy it, then throw it in a pot by the next morning to turn it into bone broth.  The meat is easy to separate once it's cooked, and makes for a delicious hearty chicken soup.

You can also boil turkey necks until the meat falls off the bones.  Remove (and enjoy) the meat, and use the broth (and neck bones) along with any other bones you have gathered to prepare the bone broth.  (Makes a great breakfast with poached eggs, greens, and anything else you like.)

We often purchase a big smoked turkey drumstick to cut up for quick snacks through the week.  It tastes mildly like ham. Once we are finished, we save the bone, and any ligaments that were removed while cutting off the meat in a ziplock bag in the freezer until it's time to turn it into a delicious bone broth.  

In fact, we recently made a batch of bone broth from one of those turkey drumsticks, and the shank bone from an already cooked ham that we had purchased a while back.  We had cut all the meat off, freezing it in big slabs in separate ziplock bags from the bone.  It made for a very gelatinous, and flavorful  bone broth cooked up with one of those turkey drumsticks!

Once you have your bone broth, just warm it up, and a few seasonings (I love adding dried thyme, or fresh parsley) and serve.  For a heartier soup, add chicken, turkey, tomato, vegetables, scallions, and even a little nutritional yeast to boost the B vitamin content.  Or use your broth as the base for a marinara or meat spaghetti sauce, chili, or stew.

When I know I'll be making a bone broth soon, I begin to save the vegetable discards throughout the week in a container.  I mostly use the roots and peels of onions (high in quercitin and sulfur), the roots and ends of scallions or leeks, celery tops and leaves, the ends of carrots, and mushroom stems.  I like adding in an entire bunch of parsley towards the end of cooking as well.

Adding a 4-5 inch piece of kelp or kombo seaweed ~  used to make a traditional Japanese dashi stock ~ will  boost the mineral content (and flavor) of your soup even more, and is a natural tenderizer.

Bone Broth Basic Preparation Method:

  1. Place bones and/or whole chicken, chicken or turkey parts (thighs, wings, drumsticks, or even the feet) in a large soup pot.  Cover with cold filtered water by about 2 inches.  You can also use broth from boiling the turkey necks, &/or even any Veggie Broth from making QB Greens/Veggies.  

  2. Add a 4-5 inch piece of kelp or kombu seaweed

  3. Bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat.  If using a crockpot, you could start it on a high setting for the first hour or so, then turn to a lower temperature.  

  4. Squeeze the juice of at least 1/2 a lemon into the pot, then add the rest of the lemon, minus any seeds.  Or, add about 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar.

  5. Once the broth has come up to a simmer, add vegetable discards, or alternatively, add any of the following: 1-2 stalks celery and/or carrots,  1 onion, leek or several scallions, fresh fennel bulb, 1 peeled beet, the rougher outer leaves and core from a cabbage, or another vegetable you like, including some tomato.   I sometimes add the entire bunch of kale, stems and all.  Cut everything quickly into big chunks.    I often keep adding vegetables as it's been simmering, adding an entire bunch of parsley towards the end of cooking. 

  6. Add 1+ bay leaf and/or garlic cloves if desired.  Garlic can be left in the skin.   Don't add any salt.

  7. Let simmer, covered, on a medium-low heat.  If it is getting up to more of a rolling boil while covered, turn it down a little.  It can cook for 5-6 hours, or overnight.

  8. Strain out bones and all the vegetable discards by placing into a strainer over a heat-proof bowl.  Mash down to extract as much of the broth out as possible.

  9. If you added uncooked flesh, do your best to remove the meat to a separate bowl.  It just takes a few extra minutes to separate it out, but it's worth it.  When I recently cooked an entire raw organic chicken, the entire breast meat came out practically in just a couple big spoonfuls.  You can add this meat back when ready to make a soup.

  10. Pour into jars and store in your fridge, or freeze some for later.  This will make roughly 3 quarts, give or take, depending on the size of your stock pot.  It has lasted for at least up to one week for us so far, sometimes a bit longer.

  11. Some people skim the top as it cooks, but I don't.  I just cook and drain.  A thin layer of fat will form at the top.  You can break through it with a spoon to get your soup out, and add some to the broth, or discard it.  Either way is actually just fine, and more depends on your personal health goals, and taste preference.  

  12. The more thick and gelatinous your bone broth is, the better.  That's all the beneficial collagen!

This super gelatinous bone broth was made w/ the remains of a smoked turkey drumstick, and the shank bone from a ham, along with parts of a cabbage, some celery, onion, carrot, a bay leaf, and a few peppercorns.

When ready to use, you can make a delicious vegetable, or Chicken Vegetable Soup, or use it in any of your soup or sauce recipes.  It is delicious just heated and enjoyed as is.

When I make a quick soup in the morning, I simply bring to a boil, add chopped vegetables, and a little sea salt, cracked pepper, dried thyme and sliced scallions or chopped parsley.  

Turmeric and nutritional yeast are also good added to your bone broth.  We add 1 tsp. of the nutritional yeast per person, per cup of broth.

Ways to fortify your bone broth:

Any of the following ingredients can be added after bringing the broth up to a gentle boil.

  1. To nourish the yin, and soothe the liver, while also benefiting the eyes and vision, add a tablespoon or so of goji berries.  

  2. To build the blood, add 1-2, 2 inch pieces of angelica root (about 5-7g worth)

  3. To improve digestion add a piece of aged (or fresh) citrus peel from an orange or tangerine.  You can also add the discarded parts of a fresh fennel bulb, or a small amount of fennel seeds. 

  4. To strengthen the immune system, add 1-2, 2-3 pieces of Huang Qi, astragalus root.   

  5. For added minerals, be sure to add some kelp, kombo, alaria, or wakame seaweed to the broth while it simmers, similar to making the Miso Vegetable Soup.

  6. Dried shiitake or morel mushrooms can be added for a more earthy broth.  Shiitake mushrooms have been studied for their anti-tumor effects.

Here are a few of the above mentioned ingredients so you can see what these herbs look like.  Any purchases made through these links is greatly appreciated!

Top row, goji berries
2nd row, Dong Quai/Dong Gui,  (European) Angelica root and Huang Qi, Astragalus root 

Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet, Lose 15 Pounds, 4 Inches, ~ and Your Wrinkles! ~ in Just 21 Days has a basic recipe for making a broth from chicken, turkey, beef, or fish bones along with a handful of tasty sounding soup recipes to make with your broth.  She also has a newer, separate cookbook, both linked here, and at the top right column. 

Our recipes are fairly similar, although hers do not include the addition of seaweed or Chinese herbs.  Her diet strategy is a low-carbohydrate diet that incorporates 2 days per week of lighter eating, drinking any of her bone broth recipes either all day, or up until evening where you can have a lighter meal.  

I have not followed her plan, but I do endorse it as a good strategy for those who are determined, and desiring to get a jump start on a healthy weight-loss plan.

Here are some more soups you may enjoy!

For those who would like to learn about the principles of macrobiotics, and want to learn how to prepare a variety of plant-based meals, my previous books are an excellent resource, filled with super simple, but delicious recipes that I spent 5 years creating!

We ourselves are no longer consuming a vegan, plant-based diet.  Look for my future cook books to include many new, delicious recipes based on a traditional, ancestral and lower-carbohydrate diet.

Anyone who is ready to begin our TYTN Diet Plan, stay tuned as I create an updated book featuring the TYTN Diet Plan recipes!

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