How to make delicious meat stock and bone broth

Pastured turkeys are happy turkeysWe have raised our own pastured poultry for approximately 15 years. When we first started, I was a nursing mom with six children under the age of 11. I needed simple, quick solutions for meal prep. So stocking my canning room with canned chicken and chicken broth was a god-send. Although it was a lot of work during canning season, my meal-prep time throughout the rest of the year was greatly reduced. Yay!

I relied on the Ball Blue Book for all canning instructions. (chicken-boned or chicken-on-bone pg. 58. chicken stock pg. 60) [1] It turns out that some info I learned there – while safe for preservation purposes – didn’t provide the optimal nutrition I desired.

As instructed, I simmered the chicken, vegetables, and water for two hours until the chicken was done. Then, the chicken and stock were canned according to the Ball instructions. I threw away the vegetables and bones. (I couldn’t give the bones to our dog because they could splinter and cause choking.)Pastured turkeys are happy turkeys

It turns out that by cooking the vegetables and bones with a little bit of apple cider vinegar for an additional 24 – 48 hours, I could greatly increase the nutritional value of the bone broth.

Now, I combine the two methods for an increased yield of stock and bone broth.

On the first day, I combine chicken (or turkey) parts (necks and backs usually), vegetables, water and seasonings in an 8-qt stock pot. Bring water to a gentle boil. Skim off the foam to remove impurities. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat on bones is fully cooked. Strain the broth into a separate bowl or stockpot. Place the bones and vegetables in a large crockpot with 1 – 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and additional fresh vegetables if desired. Let simmer in the crockpot for 24-48 hours.

how to make homemade turkey bone brothI use the stock from day 1 to make a flavorful soup such as Egg Drop Soup.

The bone broth (on day 2 or 3) is either used as the base for another soup or refrigerated for future use. If I want to preserve the broth by canning, I do it at this stage.

But the best part is that the bones don’t go to waste anymore. The apple cider vinegar extracts nutritional minerals from the bones [2,3] AND it softens the bones so they are safe for consumption. [3] We feed the bones and vegetables to our dog and he loves them.

I use a variety of vegetables depending on what we have on hand, but in my opinion, carrots, garlic, onion, sea salt, pepper, and a bay leaf are required. Traditionally, celery, onions, carrots, parsley, mushrooms, and parsnips are included and they are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties. [4] For additional flavor and a mineral boost, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig recommend adding parsley about 10 minutes before finishing the stock. [5]

“Many studies now confirm what Grandma always knew–that broth made from bones is a great remedy, a tonic for the sick, a strengthener for athletes, a digestive aid, a healing elixir. And unlike bitter medicines, broth can be incorporated into delicious soups, stews and sauces.” — Kaayla Daniel [7]

Pastured turkeys are happy turkeysProperly prepared bone broth from beef, chicken, turkey, or duck is the key source of nutrition for many gut-healing protocols. The GAPS™ diet, created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, relies on bone broth extensively. [3,6,8]

We currently make bone stock and broth at least once a week in our home. I encourage you to develop a routine for making healthy, homemade bone broth regularly, too.

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  1. Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration (Altrista Corporation, Muncie, Indiana) p. 60
  2. Kaayla T. Daniel, Taking Stock: Soup for Healing Body, Mind, Mood, and Soul
  3. Dr. Joseph Mercola Interview with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
  4. Hopkins AB,  Chicken soup cure may not be a myth.   Nurse Pract. 2003 June; 28 (6):16.
  5. Fallon, Sally and Mary G. Enig.   Nourishing Traditions (Washington,, DC, New Trends, revised 2nd edition)
  6. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, GAPS™ Guts and Psychology Syndrome (Medinform Publishing, Cambridge, U.K, seventh reprint, 2012)
  7. Kaayla Daniel, Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin,


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