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 or pressure cooking bones for several hours, the bones and cartilage will break down.  Adding an acid helps draw out the minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous, which are important for our own bone, joint, and skin 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. Read more about the importance of consuming adequate levels of both gelatin (which contains collagen) and glycine in Meats & Sweets ~ A High Vitality Diet.

A variety of herbs or other foods can be added to further fortify your broth.  Goji berries, astragalus root, angelica root, dried rose hips, or kelp are good examples.  

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


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

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!  

Using an old fashioned pressure cooker helps turn your bones into gelatinous-rich bone broth.  If pot simmering, the longer it cooks, the more the bones dissolve into the broth, the better.



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 (or add) a whole uncooked chicken, or several drumsticks, wings,  turkey necks, or other parts. Chicken feet ~ areas with a lot of cartilage ~ are especially beneficial to use to make bone broth.

If using whole, uncooked chickens, or chicken or turkey parts, remove and enjoy  the meat if desired, or toss along with strained bones. 

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.

Beef steak bones, shank bones, toes, and fish heads and bones all make great tasting bone broth.


2 of 3 quarts of broth from one batch


Around Thanksgiving time, I love to boil turkey necks until the meat falls off the bones, and I eat it with poached or softly boiled eggs for breakfast. The broth tastes great seasoned with a little salt and pepper. It's a bone broth 'quickie.'

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.  


My mom got me hooked on eating plain turkey necks, just boiled, then salted. I love them. Something about gnawing on those bones!


Once you have your bone broth, just warm it up, add a few seasonings (I love adding dried thyme, or fresh parsley) and serve.  

For a heartier soup, add chicken, turkey, tomato, vegetables, scallions, sautéed onions &or mushrooms, or a little nutritional yeast to boost the B vitamin content.  

Bone broth is good to add to the roasting pan when slow roasting meats, or if simmering meatballs in lieu of or in addition to chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce.


Delicious, hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup w/ Homemade Bone Broth
Bone Broth w/ Roasted Chicken & Sautéed Onions


If desired, 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.

I always add a 4-5 inch piece of kelp or kombo seaweed ~  used to make a traditional Japanese dashi stock ~ to boost the iodine (supports thyroid in appropriate amounts) and other minerals. Kelp and kombu are also a natural tenderizer.


Super gelatinous bone broth made w/ the remains of a smoked turkey drumstick, some celery, onion, carrot, a bay leaf, and a few peppercorns.
Lighter colored bone broth on the L made w/ poultry bones, and on the R w/ beef bones


Bone Broth Basic Preparation Method


Ingredients:

  • Bones or various parts of chicken or turkey including thighs, drumsticks, necks, backs, wings, turkey tails, chicken feet, breast bones, etc.
  • Purified water 
  • 1 5-6 inch piece of kombu or kelp seaweed
  • ~1-2 Tbsp. cider vinegar, or 1/2-1 organic lemon
  • 2 scallions, 1/2 bunch parsley, optional
  • A few fennel or anise seeds, peppercorns, aged orange peel, or a bay leaf, and any additional therapeutic herbs as needed (see below), optional

Note:  Salt is not added until you reheat your broth to make a soup.


Steps:

  1. Place bones and/or chicken or turkey parts in a large pressure cooker or stock pot, and cover w/ filtered water. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients, waiting to add parsley towards the end if cooking in a pot.
  3. Whether simmering, or using a pressure cooker, bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer (or once whistling if using an old school pressure cooker.  If using a crockpot, start it on high for at least the first hour, then turn lower as per your crockpot instructions
  4. If using a pot, turn low, cover leaving lid ajar, and let it simmer all day and/or over night.  Check the water level.  If cooking overnight, you may need to add a little more water first.  Minimum cooking time should be 6-8 hours.  If using fresh parsley add that in the last hour or so.  Just rinse it off, and add the whole bunch, stems and all. If using a pressure cooker, add parsley in the beginning, before tightening lid to bring up to pressure. Likewise if using a crockpot.
  5. Once ready, remove from heat.  Let cool.  
  6. Place a strainer over a heat proof bowl which you may need to place on top of a heat-proof surface.  Strain, and separate out the meat if wanting to keep and use.  Toss with the bones if not.
  7. Pour into jars, and refrigerate.  The next day, it should be nice and gelatinous, with a thin layer of fat at the top, which you can add back into the soup, or discard.  The fat helps preserve the broth.
  8. Typically makes around 3 quarts.  Use some every day, or freeze if needed, just leave room at the top!



If you want a quick soup in the morning, simply heat and enjoy as is, or add a little sea salt, cracked pepper, dried thyme and optional 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.



In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is common to fortify bone broth with various herbs, depending on what is being treated.

  • Angelica root (Dong Gui) can be added to help fortify blood, especially good for women. It has a mild licorice flavor.
  • Astragalus root helps fortify the immune system
  • Rose hips contains vitamin C and other bioflavonoids. I like it in Beef Bone Broth. Vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
  • Goji berries are commonly added to trail mixes these days. They nourish the liver, and benefit the eyes. They taste similar to a raisin, although less sweet.
  • Aged citrus peel helps move qi ~ great to aid digestion and break up stagnation.


I've included the links below for your convenience. If unfamiliar with any ingredient, it helps to see it. Any purchases made through the links, including if purchasing products not linked here, but accessed through one of the links helps provide a small commission, and is greatly appreciated!


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