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Making Chicken Broth – A GAPS Diet and Paleo Diet Staple

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GAPS chicken brothIf your family is following the GAPS Diet, you may have learned that chicken broth is a staple on this diet.  Its properties to “heal and seal” the gut are renowned and everyone knows that Grandma’s chicken soup was good for ‘ya.  (This was before Campbell’s stepped in and changed the recipe!)  Even Primal/Paleo folks are starting to jump on board and encouraging us to eat more chicken broth!

In our GAPS Diet Chicken broth, you won’t find any noodles.  The basic recipe is just a chunky chicken-flavored water, that turns gelatinous when it is chilled in the refrigerator.  I call it “chicken jello” (I guess the Jell-O Company probably wouldn’t like that… 🙁  ) in the summer, and chicken soup in the winter.

Here’s what we do:  Save a bag’s worth of chicken bones, a bag being approximately a 1-gallon ziplock bag size, or however many you can fit into your crock pot.  This chicken broth recipe does not require exact figures….

We just save the bones from whole roast chickens, chicken drumsticks, thighs or whatever else we happen to be eating.  If there’s meat and fat left on the bone, so much the better.  It’s ideal if the bones are cracked open so marrow can escape and knuckles are still on (as-in the ends of the drumstick where the ligaments attach).

When you get a bag full of (ideally organic) chicken bones, just throw them all in the crock pot and fill it with filtered water.  I add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar or cider vinegar.  This acid helps break down the bones so you can get more nutrients out of the bones and into the water.

Then I boil it on low in the crock pot for about 12 – 18 hours.  If you want to boil it for a full 24 hours, then I would add extra water at some point.  I find if I boil the broth all night, after starting it in the morning, when I come back the next morning (24 hours later), it has boiled down too much and some of the chicken may be scorched or dried out.

When you are done boiling it, strain out the chicken bones.  You may need to use your hands to peel off any remaining chicken meat from the bones, if you want to save it.

Then the broth can be saved for soup, or served in a mug.

When we were starting GAPS, I would give my son a mug of chicken broth with every meal.  I froze the broth in ice cube trays, which i found out each ice cube in my trays were 1/8 of a cup.  Then I could just melt 4-8 ice cubes, depending on how much I wanted to serve.  This is also a handy way to save the broth for later soups, etc.  I find bags of broth ice cubes are easier to store in my freezer than canisters of soup – they melt faster, and are more flexible with the amount you defrost at one time, too.

Reheating Tip:  Be sure to heat your broth in a mug set in a pan of boiling water.  NEVER MICROWAVE your chicken broth!

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