Making and consuming broth has been on my to do list for a while now, especially since I was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) about a year ago just before I got pregnant. There are a few different treatments for SIBO involving either antibiotics or going on a diet like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or the Gut and Psychology Diet (GAPS), which are designed to help restore a healthy gut flora. Broth is very nourishing and can also help help a damaged gut, so it is a big part of these kinds of diets.
So far my broth making has been sporadic at best. I am hoping this is going to change now that I have learned about Perpetual Broth! I discovered this method when I read this post about making stock by my friends over at The Liberated Kitchen.
I immediately ordered an 8 Quart Slow Cooker that could fit a large chicken, and added a stewing chicken from Taylor Made Farm to my KTF shopping cart. (This could also be a good use for any of your own laying hens that need to be retired.) Since I planned on using a whole chicken, as opposed to the carcass from a roasted chicken (since we don’t really eat chicken), I decided to research this method some more to make sure you can actually make perpetual meat broth. My conclusion was that meat broth should only be cooked for a few hours, so I modified the directions a bit for using a whole bird. Here is what I did/am doing. Today is just Day 1, so I will report back with any issues that arise.
- Buy a pastured chicken from a farmer. If it’s frozen, thaw it in the fridge over night.
- Put the whole bird in your slow cooker. You can also add some veggie scraps such as parsley, onion, garlic and celery, a couple sweet bay leaves and a few peppercorns.
- Cover the bird with filtered water.
- Turn your slow cooker up to high. When the water starts to boil off, turn it down to low.
- After a few hours, the chicken will be cooked. Remove the meat and reserve for other dishes, such as chicken stew or shredded chicken tacos. I cooked the chicken over night and removed all the meat off of the chicken about 12 hrs after I started cooking it, but this post says you can just remove the meat as needed for other meals you make during the week. I may try that in the future, but since we usually don’t eat chicken I figured it’d be safer to remove it all at once (and use up later) since I had read that leaving the meat to cook for that long could yield poor results.
- Throw the carcass and bones back into the slow cooker and continue cooking all week.
- During the week, as you need broth you can simple ladle out the amount you need and top off with more filtered water.
- From what I have read, the bones will continue to make broth for about 4-7 days until they are so brittle that they just crumble when pressed.
- At the end of their usefulness, strain the stock and bones through a colander or coffee filter. Use up the last of your broth and compost the bones.
- Wash up your pot, and start all over again!