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Homemade Chicken Bone Broth (+Super Immune-Boosting Ingredient)

Making healthy and delicious homemade chicken bone broth is so simple, and with these tips you can make it super immune-boosting, and very inexpensively too!

Chicken broth in a large pot with fresh veggies on the counter.

With a family as large as ours, we’re often cooking up multiple roasted chickens for dinner each week. Since we raise and harvest our own chickens each year, this is a main source of protein for our family and we eat them often.

To make the most of every part of the bird, after all we are eating high-quality pasture-raised chickens, we always turn the bones into this super immune-boosting chicken bone broth. It’s a fantastic way to make a whole chicken stretch into multiple meals.

Since we’re using the bones leftover from our chicken dinner, plus veggie scraps from the ends of our celery, carrots, onions, and garlic our chicken bone broth is nearly free!

Why I Love This Recipe

There are thousands of homemade broth recipes in cookbooks and on the internet, but what we love about our homemade super immune-boosting chicken bone broth is that it includes a special ingredient, astragalus root.

Astragalus is known as being a great tonic herb for the immune system as it boosts your deep immune system. If you take astragalus preventatively, it can help ward off a cold or flu from ever taking root.

What is Bone Broth?

Chicken bone broth is a broth made from the bones and small pieces of meat from a chicken. It’s simmered in a large pot with onions, carrots, and celery (otherwise known as mirepoix), usually seasoned with a bit of salt and garlic, and typically has an acidic medium added in before cooking to help draw out all the minerals.

Why Drink Broth When You’re Sick?

A woman in the kitchen with bowls of soup on the counter.

You know, grandma sure knew what she was doing when she fed us chicken soup when we got sick. Broth that is allowed to simmer for a long period of time will contain collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine released from the bones.

It also contains minerals that are easily absorbed by our bodies, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur.

Research also shows that bone broth can help with allergies, asthma, and arthritis. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of bone broth, it’s very useful in building up a strong immune system and helps ward off the cold and flu. (Source)

Why Quality Ingredients Are Key

Man holding carrots just pulled from the garden.

Your chickens and your vegetables will only have the minerals that were available to them while alive or growing in the garden. This is why it’s so important to source high-quality ingredients.

If you can raise your own meat chickens, we highly recommend it. In fact, here’s everything you need to know about raising meat chickens as well as tips for butchering day.

We also recommend growing as many fresh veggies as you can during the spring, summer, and fall to be able to keep up with your broth supply throughout the winter. If you’d like some tips for growing a garden, be sure to check out our gardening resources here.

How to Make Chicken Bone Broth

Chicken broth in a large pot with fresh veggies on the counter.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is gather up all the ingredients and supplies needed for making broth. I like to make mine in large batches, about two gallons worth, which may seem like a lot to some.

I encourage you to think about all the different ways you can cook with broth. Try cooking rice in broth instead of water for a very delicious result. You can also cook your noodles in broth so they soak up added nutrients and flavor.

Sipping on broth throughout the day gives a boost of protein and nutrients and is a great mineral-rich, immune-boosting pick-me-up.

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Stockpot – a 3-5 gallon stockpot with lid (and strainer insert, if possible, as this makes straining a breeze). You can also make bone broth by using the Instant Pot in Instant Pot Bone Broth that Gels Every Time.
  • Water – About a gallon of water per chicken. I have the bones from two chickens, so I’m using two gallons of water in this recipe. Scale up or down as needed.
  • Vegetables or veggie scraps – Save the scraps from your veggies in a freezer bag throughout the month. Add to the bag each time you cut the ends off or peel a carrot, chop the ends off celery, or skin and cut an onion or garlic (the skins turn your broth a nice dark golden color). If you don’t have scraps to use, grab one carrot, one celery stalk, an onion, and a few cloves of garlic (about 4 cups of chopped veggies).
  • Astragalus root – this is an optional ingredient, but we love it for its super immune-boosting properties. You can buy dried astragalus root for this recipe.
  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – Or use homemade apple scrap vinegar. Vinegar is an acidic medium that will draw out all the minerals, collagen, and gelatin from the bones. If you have a hard time getting your broth to gel, don’t skip this step!

BONUS VIDEO – How to save vegetable scraps for broth…

Instructions

  1. Add chicken bones, vegetables (or vegetable scraps), garlic, astragalus root, water, and apple cider vinegar into your stockpot.
  2. Let ingredients sit in the pot for about 15 minutes to allow the cider vinegar to start working.
  3. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it up to a boil.
  4. After about 15 minutes you’ll start seeing a bit of scum rising to the surface, this is normal and is just the impurities from the vegetables or the chicken. Skim off as needed.
  5. Once the broth has come to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and allow it to simmer for up to 24 hours.
  6. The longer you can let it simmer, the more immune-boosting properties your broth will have.
  7. Turn off the heat and carefully strain the broth. If you want to get a really clear broth, you can strain it through a cheesecloth, but this isn’t necessary.
  8. It’s now ready to use to make soups, stews, chili, sauces and so much more!
  9. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week and use as needed. You can also freeze or pressure can your bone broth.

How to Store Broth

Broth will store well for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it in freezer bags or glass mason jars (be sure to leave at least two inches of headspace), pressure can chicken broth, or freeze-dry broth into bouillon cubes.

Uses for Chicken Broth

Potato soup in a bowl with potatoes in the background.

As I mentioned before, you can do much more with homemade bone broth than just make cream of chicken soup

  • It’s great for soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and chili.
  • Use it as the liquid for cooking rice.
  • Cook your noodles in the broth.
  • Sip on broth throughout the day to add protein to your diet.
  • Cook potatoes in broth, then reserve the cooking liquid to add back in for mashed potatoes and use the rest for gravy!

What’s your favorite way to use homemade bone broth? If you made this recipe, we’d love for you to rate it with the star ratings in the recipe card below. Then snap a photo of your broth and tag us on social media @Homesteadingfamily, we want to see!

Chicken broth in a large pot with fresh veggies on the counter.

Super Immune-Boosting Chicken Bone Broth

Homemade chicken bone broth is extremely easy and inexpensive to make. Include the added ingredients of astragalus and apple cider vinegar to make it super immune-boosting.
4.33 from 100 votes
Print Pin
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
Servings: 16 cups
Calories: 26kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • 3-5 gallon stock pot with lid (and strainer).

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken bones with a bit of meat still remaining
  • 4 cups vegetable scraps celery, carrots, onions, and garlic
  • 20 pieces dried astragalus root
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 gallons water

Instructions

  • Add chicken bones, vegetables (or vegetable scraps), garlic, astragalus root, water, and apple cider vinegar into your stockpot.
  • Let ingredients sit in the pot for about 15 minutes to allow the cider vinegar to start working.
  • Place the pot on the stove and bring it up to a boil. After about 15 minutes you'll start seeing a bit of scum rising to the surface, this is normal and is just the impurities from the vegetables or the chicken. Skim off as needed.
  • Once the broth has come to a boil, reduce heat, cover and allow it to simmer for up to 24 hours. The longer you can let it simmer, the more immune-boosting properties your broth will have.
  • Turn off the heat and carefully strain the broth. If you want to get a really clear broth, you can strain it through a cheesecloth, but this isn't necessary.
  • It's now ready to use to make soups, stews, chili, sauces and so much more!

Notes

  • Add the apple cider vinegar about 15 minutes before you cook your broth to help draw out all the minerals in the chicken bones.
  • If you’re not comfortable keeping the pot going on the stove for 24 hours, you can also make this in a crockpot on medium heat.
  • Store broth in the refrigerator for up to a week and use it as needed for soup, stew, gravies, chili, for cooking rice, etc.
  • You can also freeze or pressure can your bone broth.

Nutrition

Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
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