Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth -- Winter

This is the perfect recipe to have going on a cold / damp winter night.  Bone broths are one of the most universal nourishing foods across various traditional cultures.  They are packed with lots of protein and minerals,  They are known to support the digestive tract, the immune system, and the production of neurotransmitters for balancing mood.  I like this recipe because it uses a slow cooker which makes it easier for busier folks.  Enjoy!

1 whole organic chicken (or the frame of a roasted chicken)
2 sweet bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
any vegetable scraps you have on hand
filtered water

Place one whole organic chicken or the frame of a roasted chicken into your slow cooker with sweet bay leaves, black peppercorns and any vegetable scraps you have on hand. Cover with filtered water and cook on low for one week.

After twenty-four hours, you may begin using the broth. As you need broth or stock, simply dip a ladle or measuring cup into the slow cooker to remove the amount of stock you need. Pour it through a fine-mesh sieve or, preferably, a reusable coffee filter which will help to clarify the broth. Replace the broth you remove from the slow cooker with an equivalent amount of filtered water. If you’re using a whole, fresh chicken, you may also remove chicken meat from the slow cooker as desired for stir-fries, or in soups.

At the end of the week, strain off any remaining broth and discard or compost the bones. The bones from your chicken should crumble when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Their softness is an indication that much of the nourishment from the bones – minerals, amino acids – have leached from the bones and into the broth you’ve enjoyed all week long. Wash the insert of your slow cooker and start again.

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