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, 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.  

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!

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, or chicken salad with the NeanderThin recipe for homemade mayonnaise.  

2 of 3 quarts of broth from one batch

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!

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, 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.

Delicious, hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup w/ Homemade Bone Broth

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.

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.

Bone Broth Basic Preparation Method


  • Whole chicken carcass, or the bones or various parts of chicken or turkey including thighs, drumsticks, necks, backs, wings, turkey tails, 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
  • Vegetable discard parts OR 1 onion, leek, or 3-4 scallions, rough chopped (you can include the hairy roots and some of the peels too); 1-2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, &  any other vegetables you want (I sometimes add a chopped beet or some cabbage)
  • Optional seasonings including a few fennel or anise seeds, peppercorns, aged orange peel, or a bay leaf, and any additional therapeutic herbs as needed (see below) 
  • Optional bunch of parsley or several stalks of kale or other greens

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


  1. Place bones and/or chicken or turkey parts in a large stock pot, and cover w/ filtered water (or veggie broth from making QB Greens) by 2 inches.
  2. Add seaweed.
  3. Turn to about medium, and let it come to a gentle simmer.  If using a crockpot, you may want to have it on high for the first hour, then turn to a lower setting
  4. Add vinegar, or squeeze lemon juice into the pot.  If using an organic lemon, you can add the lemon after squeezing the juice out.
  5. Once simmering, add vegetables, and any spices or therapeutic herbs.
  6. 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 or kale, add that in the last hour or so.  Just rinse it off, and add the whole bunch, stems and all.
  7. Once ready, remove from heat.  Let cool for a little while.  
  8. 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.  And why not?  If using a whole chicken, I've found the breast meat practically floated to the top, and was easy to grab with a big spoon.    
  9. If you have some patience, and the bones cooked long enough to soften at the ends, you can use your fingers to mash it up back into the pot.  The sediment will sink to the bottom, but the bones are mineral-rich.  I usually press down on the vegetables once in the strainer to squeeze out all the juice.  This is the only part that takes a little time, but it's so worth it!  For the price of a chicken or some parts, you will have a weeks worth of super nutrient-rich broth, and the meat for turning back into hearty soups!  Consider it a meditation practice pulling the flesh off the bones!
  10. 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.
  11. Typically makes around 3 quarts.  Use some every day, or freeze if needed, just leave room at the top!

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

Ways to fortify your bone broth:

Various  herbs can be added to the basic recipe recipe 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.

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.

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

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.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

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

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.