Boning Up

Chicken BrothI like saving bones from bone-in cuts of meat/poultry and making broth with them. It’s usually chicken broth I have simmering in the slow cooker. There has also been beef broth, pork broth, vegetable broth, and lobster broth. I save making saimin (ramen) broth for the stove because it requires layering flavors and when the slow cooker is on, I tend to walk away and forget.

Making your own broth will help you stretch your dollar and ditch all those additives and the ton of sodium in store bought broths.

It also makes your home smell delicious.

The batch pictured is one I processed in a pressure canner. I do not always process my broth. In the Winter, I tend to use it quickly so I simply store it in the fridge. I intended to process the last batch I made, but I had unexpected company and wound up freezing it instead. Any of the three ways you can save it will work.

I’ve discovered that the trick to great broth is keeping it simple and to follow Michael Ruhlman’s rule of ratios. Only use enough water to cover your bones and vegetables. You get a perfect broth every time. Not too watery and not too meaty.

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth – yields 7-10 cups

Chicken bones (I typically have an entire carcass from a whole roasted chicken)

1/8 cup cooked chicken or the whole wings from the chicken

1 1/2 onions, halved

1 bunch fresh thyme


distilled white vinegar (optional, do not use if you need to be yeast-free)

filtered water

Place chicken bones, chicken, onions, and thyme in your six-quart slow cooker. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Add a splash of vinegar and salt to taste. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Strain through a chinois or a strainer lined with a handkerchief. Process in a pressure canner or store in the fridge or the freezer.