How to make Flavorful Classic Chicken Broth...And Red Lentil Soup Recipe
I have made bone broth at least once per week for four years, and I've tried quite a few different recipes and instructions. But the following recipe gives me the best rich chicken FLAVOR. Of course, the most important reason to make it is for nutrition, but flavor encourages you to consume it! My recipe calls for onions and carrots, but not any herbs or spices -- I prefer it to have a neutral chickeny flavor, not tasting like the herbs that can throw off a dish. I don't want my spring carrot soup tasting like autumn with rosemary-flavored broth, or my cauliflower soup tasting Italian with thyme-flavored broth. It also calls for a whole raw chicken. I don't love the taste of bone-only broth -- it's chalky and plain to me. This recipe is sort of a hybrid meat+bone broth, delicious on its own, but great as a base to any recipe.
There's a recipe for red lentil soup at the end! Use your freshly made broth in that!
For broth you'll need:
- 1 whole raw pastured chicken (3-5.5 pounds)
- 2 chicken feet
- 5+ quarts purified water (you'll need enough to cover the chicken to start, and some will evaporate off and need to be replaced)
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 peeled chopped carrots
First, go buy a nice large-ish whole chicken at your local farm, along with some chicken feet. The feet are key to extra gelatinous chicken broth.
If frozen, let the chicken fully thaw. Chop the neck, legs and wings off the chicken, and put them, along with the chicken feet into a large stockpot, then add the entire bird on top. Then fill your pot with four quarts (or however much fits comfortably) of purified water.
Pour in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes -- this begins the process of pulling nutrients out of the bones. Turn on the heat to medium-high and wait until it is *just* about to boil, then quickly turn it down to simmer. A rolling boil can cause your broth not to gel, as it breaks down some of the collagen. This isn't a huge deal, though, as the nutrients are still there. Some grey foam will rise to the top -- skim it off using a skimmer and discard.
Now, cover, with the lid slightly askew to prevent it from fully boiling. Allow it to simmer for 1.5-2 hours. Pull the chicken out and place it into a bowl, then remove the meat and save it in the fridge for chicken salad or enchiladas.
Throw the bones, skin, and ugly bits back into the simmering water, and cook covered for another four to 22 hours on lowest heat. You will probably get the best gelatinous broth with less cook time (six hours), but it will be more richly flavored at 24 hours. Add water at any point that it starts to get low. One or two hours before you want to finish cooking, add in your peeled chopped carrots and chopped onion. I like to add the vegetables for that last hour, so they don't overcook and cause my broth to turn dark brown. That's just aesthetics, though.
Now put a mesh colander over a large mixing bowl in the sink, and strain the bones/veg/solids out in batches.
Pour the strained broth into glass mason jars, and allow to cool on the counter for 15 minutes, before putting on lids and transferring to the fridge. The broth is good refrigerated for five days (although I've used it at over a week old, and we didn't die), and frozen for several months. If you make three pots of soup a week, though, you won't need to worry about it going bad.
Red Lentil Soup
- 1 medium organic yellow/sweet onion, finely chopped
- 4 medium organic carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 T avocado oil
- 4 fresh organic garlic cloves, minced
- 2.5 tsp Himalayan fine salt, 1/2 tsp organic black pepper
- 18 oz jar unsalted organic diced tomatoes (I use Jovial)
- 3/4 cup organic red lentils
- 5 1/2 cups homemade chicken bone broth
- 2 tsp organic dried thyme
- 1 cup organic gluten free pasta (optional)
- 1 cup grated or shredded organic parmesan cheese
Heat oil in stockpot on medium, then add onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes. Then add diced tomatoes and cook on low, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, thyme, and stir, then bring to boil on high. Turn heat to simmer, and cook for 30 mins. Then turn heat back up to a boil and add in your optional pasta, following cook time directions on package (don’t choose a pasta with more than 10 min cook time — it will burn the soup!). Season soup more to taste, then ladle into bowls and DUMP on parmesan, and drizzle olive oil on top. Serve before parmesan has melted, alongside cheddar biscuits.