For me broth and my recipe for it is a family tradition. Bone broth is something we ate all of the time, especially when money was tight or there were a lot of people to feed. I don’t really have a recipe for it, but I know as far back as my great-grandmothers kitchen no bones went to waste when instead they could be used for some of the most delicious meals on Earth.
As a kid I always loved the soup that came after the broth. My favourite was always chicken broth with slider dumplings. I have a lot of good memories making and eating sliders through my entire life. From try to time I try a grain free version without success. I don’t think I’ll ever quit trying.
What I never enjoyed was watching my Mom or Grandma toil over the large kettle of broth. I never could see the benefits to a chicken fat steam facial; and the time spent fighting the boiling bones could be better spent doing almost anything else.
As you will hear me discuss often adulting and I aren’t the best of friends. Anytime I can find an easier way with great results to achieve an unwanted task I do. One way I like to make my life easier, yet still have great soup is to use my slow cooker, to make the broth.
I know it doesn’t sound right. No boiling, no steam, I mean how can it be right? How could putting the lid on and walking peacefully away replace sweating, stirring and standing over the boiling pot. Easy just prep all your ingredients cover with water and let be for 8-10 glorious hours; once the timer goes off strain out the bones and vegetables for a clear, tasty broth. No muss, no fuss just great tasting liquid gold. I love this method because it is so easy. Now when I smoke whole chickens or make prime rib for Sunday dinner the bones and roasting vegetables go right into the slow cooker and make their magic overnight. I start my week with a big pot of soup broth that can make a variety of meals or fill my freezer for future use. Either option appeals to me. I love soup in every season.
Soup to me, no matter the flavor, reminds me of the wimmin that have come before me. Those large steaming kettles of love kept our family together through generations. Reminiscing about past times and casting future hopes feels better with the sounds of chopping and whistling kettles in the background. Like those wimmin I hold dear I often share the contents of my soup pot with the ones I love. Plastic containers of all shapes and sizes often find their way from my kitchen to the hands of the hungry, each an homage to and a preservation of my own history.
Broth can be of any flavor and with any spice the combinations are infinite; not to mention the endless uses. It can make any meal taste better, any sick person feel better and keeps kitchen waste down to a minimum. Using your slow cooker saves time, uses less energy the whole way around and makes soup a meal for any season.
Roast Chicken Bone Broth
When I roast or BBQ whole chickens I always line a roast pan and stuff the carcass with celery, onion, shallot and whole bulbs of garlic. When I bone the chicken I put the meat aside for dinner and toss all of the bones and vegetables into the slow cooker right away. With the addition of a few more ingredients and a lid your broth is on its way.
I-2 chicken carcasses, all meat removed
Vegetables from roasting – depending on size of your slow cooker add onions, garlic and celery from roasting pan. Fill less than halfway so that there is room for water.
1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
Salt and fresh herbs to taste, I like rosemary and thyme
Add all ingredients to slow cooker, add water, cover and let cook 8-10 hours. Strain broth and it is ready to use.