A Chicken Broth Recipe: Allergy-Style

A Chicken Broth Recipe: Allergy-Style

If you missed this week’s Baby Step to Better Health |Broth|, check it out here.

Chicken broth is such an old-timey concept that brings to mind the comforts of home and doting Jewish bubbes.

Broth is a well-documented staple of all traditional cultures and a very important component in many of my witch doctor brews. In our fast-paced society, we have lost that slow-cooked richer than gold goodness in favor of instant MSG-laden icky chemical water. Mmmmm chemical water!

As Americans, we tend to go for bouillon cubes especially for chicken broth. I’m sad to say that much of the world is following our get sick quick methods of eating. Have you ever turned the box over and read the ingredients in that stuff?

Knorr Chicken Bouillon: Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Starch, Beef Fat*, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Dried Chicken Meat*, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Chicken Fat*, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide (prevents caking), Dehydrated Parsley, Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Yellow 5,  Annatto (Color) and Yellow 6,. &* Adds a dietarily insignificant amount of fat and cholesterol.

YUCK! Dear readers, please please stop eating that stuff. Throw it in the garbage where it belongs and make this super simple chicken broth.

If you need a dozen or more reasons why you should incorporate healing broth into your diet, check them out here.

The following recipe allows you to reap the gut healing benefits of meat stock and the mineral-rich properties of a good bone stock from a single chicken.

By making a pure broth – without spices or vegetables -, it can be added to any dish and seasoned to taste and is suitable for the littleist member of your household, including your pets. Broth is a wonderful addition to any meat eating pets’ diet!

Uses for Broth

  • soups
  • stews
  • chili
  • mashed potatoes
  • rice and other grains
  • quinoa and other seeds
  • gravy and other sauces
  • stir fry
  • use your imagination!

Why does my version of chicken broth look so different from Sally Fallon’s in Nourishing Traditions?

1.   I cannot leave chicken cooking for the traditional 24-36 hours, because it tastes overcooked and the flavor is off-putting. Even the cat shies away from it when I cook my broth for more than 6 hours.

Once you reach the 3 hour mark, taste it once each hour to determine where your threshold is and note it for your next batch.

2.   Adding an acidic medium is also recommended to help dissolve the bones. We find that it tastes pretty horrible, so we leave that out.

3.   There are also people who can reuse the bones over and over to make new batches until the bones disintegrate. We can’t do that either. Same overcooked taste.

Try it at least once to see if you can tolerate it at your house. You will definitely reap the benefits of saving money and releasing more of the bones nutrients if you can follow these methods.

Chicken Broth: A Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken, preferably organic and pastured*
  • enough water to cover chicken


  1. Place whole chicken in your largest stockpot. If the chicken is taller than the stockpot, turn it half way through to cook the portion that was hanging out of the top.
  2. Add enough water to just cover the chicken or 1 inch below the top of your pot.
  3. Heat on medium until water begins to simmer. Bringing up to temperature slowly will make for a clear broth.
  4. Once it reaches a slow simmer, adjust the temperature as needed to keep it at a slow bubble. Never boil broth during the initial cooking or it will become cloudy and the meat will be overcooked.
  5. Cook chicken for 1 hour. Remove meat from carcass with any combination of fingers, forks, or tongs that you need to keep your fingers from being scalded.
  6. Cut larger bones while still hot to expose the bone marrow with a sharp knife and controlled movements. No need to lose any fingers! If they are still too hard, cook them for another hour and then try again. Exposing the marrow releases important nutrients into the broth. If you're feeling too ill or super lazy, skip this step.
  7. Return carcass to the pot and simmer for another 2 hours. At this point, begin tasting to determine the amount of cooking time your palate can handle. The ideal cooking time is 24-26 hours. My max is 6.
  8. My Secret to Jello-like Gelled Broth: Cool broth on stove until it is as close to room temperature as possible. Place in fridge overnight. Bring to a simmer the next morning and simmer for 1/2 hour.
  9. Strain and it's ready to use!
  10. Optional - Strain through cheesecloth for a fully clear broth.
  11. Chill broth and remove schmaltz (fat) from the top. Use fat for cooking.


*Pastured refers to birds who live outside in the grass and sunshine and have access to their natural food source – insects, worms, and greens that grow in their habitat. Many farmers will supplement with commercial feed if the land isn’t enough to sustain them, so make sure that is organic.

This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fill Those Jars Friday

Photo Credit: Olga’s Flavor Factory


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

34 thoughts on “A Chicken Broth Recipe: Allergy-Style”

  • I followed your steps and am letting the broth cool after simmering this morning…fingers crossed I’ll have chicken jello!

    I have a question, though — there is still some cartilage attached to some of the joints on the bones I strained out. I know when I cook the broth for 12 hours or more, most of this cartilage dissolves, but like you, I don’t care for the taste after it’s cooked that long. So my question is: should I try to remove this cartilage and do something with it? I suppose I could put it in a cup or so of the broth and simmer for a couple of hours and see if the resulting solution is appetizing at all, but if it’s not that important, I don’t want to mess with it.

    Just fyi — I’m working on healing leaky gut, so anything I can do/ingest to help with that is a priority.


    • Fingers crossed! You can make a second batch of broth with the same bones (strain broth and then add water to just cover bones) and see if the taste is still good. Sometimes, I can get a second batch out of the broth but many times it will taste overcooked. It’s okay though, because your first yummy batch is finished and ready to eat! I think it may depend on how much heat is used during cooking and the quality of the bird.

  • This may sound silly, but the meat that is taken off the bone is nutritionally dense still and can be used for recipes? I have to admit I shy away from boiling chicken ….. a mental thing. Also, can you add herbs to the liquid? I have a hard time drinking plain ole’ broth. Out of curiosity, how much should you be drinking a day to help with multiple health issues? Thank you so much for your site. I need a miracle to get healthy again (or at least it feels that way)!

    • If you take the meat off within 1-1.5 hours of cooking, it will still retail many nutrients and will still be tasty. After that, it starts to dry out and many of the nutrients end up in the water, though the muscle meats will still contain protein. You can definitely use the meat for other recipes (preferably with some broth to have the full spectrum of nutrients). It’s great for taco salads.

      You can add an almost unlimited amount of veggies, spices, and herbs when making your broth. I like making a big pot of plain broth so I have enough for the cat and can flavor each dish separately.

      And Kim? No need for a miracle. ๐Ÿ™‚ Start with eating only whole, nutrient-dense foods if you can and make sure you are digesting them properly. If you don’t start to see results with these two foundations to health and feel encouraged to keep going, then find a holistic practitioner in your area that focuses on nutrition. You can do it mama!!! I’m rooting for you.

  • Thanks for the great recipe! I’ve had a hard time eating broth, but in the past had slow cooked it for up to four days. I’m looking forward to this shorter method! Just one question. When you scoop the fat off to use later, how do you store it? Will it keep in the fridge for a while? Should I freeze some? I’m planning in freezing some of the broth to use in the future. Any thoughts on what freezing may do to the nutritional value? Thank you SO much! I love your site!

    • I hope this works well for you! We’re actually having some this morning.

      I either keep the fat layer on the broth if it’s not too thick or keep it in a glass jar in the fridge. My inexpert opinion says to keep it no more than a week in the fridge, since there is moisture attached and that’s what makes the nasties grow.

      Freezing the broth is a great way to stock up to always have it on hand, because it shouldn’t affect the nutrient value. I would freeze with the fat on to act as a protective layer. You can also find recipes online for concentrating the broth before you freeze it, dehydrating it to make bullion powder, and making a real food version of bullion cubes. Lots of storage options out there!

  • Color me confused. On your post, “Healing Food Allergies and Chronic Illnesses: Baby Step # 5 |Broth|” you said:

    “A quick and easy way to remember the difference between bone and meat broth is that bone broth is long-cooking and mineral-rich and meat broth, or stock, cooks faster and is full of gut healing gelatin, chondroitin sulfates, and glucosamine.

    “Longer cooking times tend to break down connective tissue and its components, so itโ€™s important to include both in your diet for the full benefits. This weekโ€™s recipe will show you how to get both types out of a single chicken.”

    They hyperlink leads to this page. What I don’t understand is how you are getting both bone broth and meat broth. From the instructions listed above, it appears to only be discussing how to make meat broth/stock, not bone broth or am I missing something?

    • Meat stock is generally only cooked for up to 3 hours (1 hour for fish, 2 hours for chicken, 3 hours for other meats) and the meat is not removed during cooking. This recipe cooks the meat in the broth, and then the bones cook for an additional length of time with the marrow exposed to remove more minerals.

  • Bummer. My bone costs just went up. Hard to get healthy chicken bones without buying healthy chickens. Beef bones I can buy relatively cheap. Not much meat of any kind in my budget.

    • Okay…I hadn’t had a chance to actually read the article and just did. It only speaks to the taste. I clicked the link because the lead-in said something about hard to metabolize glutimates in long-cooked bone broth. I am poor, and tasting good, while desirable, is not in my budget. I eat for impact these days. Did I miss the post about the nutritional/metabolic differences between this method and long cooking? I usually do crockpot bone broth, using beef feet from an ethnic market because they’re relatively cheap and produce much gelatin. But I do notice the “off” taste the lead-in I read referred to. And, no…even my meat hungry little dogs (we don’t get much meat on my budget) won’t touch my bone broth.

      • If you click on the link at the beginning of the post to the baby step, it leads you into a comprehensive post on bone broth vs meat stock and also links to an amazing article that will tell you just about everything you ever needed to know about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ The issue of glutamates isn’t one I address, it’s just a factoid that I need to know in my nutritional therapy practice.

    • Kathryn, I bet you could talk to some local butchers and get organ meat and bones for a much better price than conventional methods and the animals are probably a lot healthier too.

  • Thanks for this! I have been doing bone broth for over a year and with great results but also have noticed it is hard on my gut too. I have been wondering if I could get benefits of both in a shorter cooking period.

    I have been doing crock-pot, 20 hours total, 10 over night, 10 the next day. I noticed that most of the time, after the 10 hour mark, I liked the broth better and it didn’t hurt my stomach and I felt better on it. Funny thing is, I always made homemade stock(no idea it was called bone broth) for many years before going boxed(never again), on the stove with bits of everything thrown in from the previous nights chicken dinner and always got a beautiful rich stock that gelled 100%. Now on the stove or in the crock, no gel. The chickens I get now are much healthier(no antibiotics, nothing artificial etc) than years ago before I knew better. Im not sure why not know? I can’t do pastured due to 7$ a lb! Im barely getting by as it is.

    Your method is how I used to do it but with a roasted chicken, I cannot tolerate the taste of making broth with a raw chicken. I got a perfect stock in 3-6 hours. I am going to try it your way but with roasted first. A few questions… Will I still get the benefits with using roasted and do I have to have all the meat on or can I remove the bulk(not all of) of the white and dark meat, leaving everything else in including organ meat? Which is how I did all my stocks years ago, with onion, garlic, carrots and celery(cleaned, cut and raw). Thanks for your help!

    • If you get a better gel and flavor profile by roasting, I say go for it! Those with significant gut damage can have trouble breaking down the glutamates in broth that includes a lot of muscle meat, so, if you tolerate it better with mostly bones and broth, your body is telling you exactly what it needs.

        • Jennifer, thank you! You just validated what I was guessing. When I make it as mostly a meat broth it has been a little harder on me. I will do roasted 6 hours on the stove with most of the meat removed(I will leave some). Fingers crossed for a awesome gelled broth! Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Hi Jennifer, just an update. The broth gelled beautifully and tasted great! I have discovered, after not having broth for a few days(ran out/busy schedule) that my stomach felt better. I just have been using it to cook with everyday instead of also drinking it. I had a suspicion before this. I am back on an elimination diet as my symptoms have been extra bad and I decided to leave out the broth for a week or so(miss it though!) just to give me a boost in this phase. Getting desperate to heal this SIBO! I just want to eat a healthy varied diet again, it has been almost 5 years of this. I have already seen improvement after just a few days. 3 weeks(trying not to cheat with fruit) and hopefully I will be better enough to start the re-intro stage. I am going to try your meat balls cooked in the broth(no veggies though) next week I think. A lot of your posts have been so helpful and informative along with the book Digestive Health with REAL Food by Aglaรฉe Jacob M.S. R.D. I am a little stressed but feel more confident about healing than I have in a long time. When my son was very little and had a ton(more than 26)food allergies/sensitivities, this was how we found what bothered him and what didn’t(gets confusing!)gave him time to heal and now(16) he can eat everything except nuts and use milk(unless it is raw) with caution. Why I didn’t think of this for me…..??? Thanks for all your help and wisdom! ๐Ÿ™‚

              • Thanks for the update Kim! I’m glad it worked out well for you. I’m even happier that you’re able to concentrate on your health and healing. Some of us can reverse SIBO through diet and probiotic supplementation, but others need to follow an anti-microbial protocol to remove stubborn, yeast, bacteria, viruses, and/or parasites. A few resources to look into would be Prescript-Assist, Vitamin c flush, and the GI products from Apex Energetics if you have a holistic practitioner to work with. Best of luck!!

    • I let it cool on the stove until the pot is comfortable to the touch, then move it to the fridge in the stock pot. If it’s slightly warmer than I’d like, I put a hot pad under it since I have glass shelves in the fridge.

  • Hi there. I have a couple questions. I made some of this yesterday (broth was in fridge overnight) It did not gel at all. I think I used too much liquid vs. amount of bones (just used one whole chicken)plus I cooked for 8 hours after the chicken was done(maybe not long enough?). I cooked the chicken in a stockpot on the stove but then transferred bones and liquid to crockpot. I have a gas stove and even on low I don’t want to run the stove for that many hours. I know many people use the crockpot for bone broth so I don’t think that’s the issue. I can only assume there is still some health benefit from drinking ( I plan to drink and possibly use in recipes) this even if it did not gel? or should I just use it for recipes and try again? I was diagnosed with crohn’s several years ago and have bad acid reflux that I have been taking OTC for for several years. I need to try something economical such as bone broth to try and get the healing process started as I don’t want to be on meds. Thanks for your time.

    • Hey Cindy! This recipe isn’t for a long-cooking broth, so that can affect its ability to gel. Longer cooking times break down the protein structure and ‘unravel’ the gelatin strands. The other possibility is that it has too much water. Either way, you will still receive all of the benefits.

      If you are looking for the gelatin from the meat & connective tissue, I would follow the direction listed to see if you have better results. The recipe hasn’t failed me yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best of luck with your healing journey. It CAN be done naturally and is much more effective when done holistically without pharmaceuticals.

  • After consuming meat stock i have a stuffy head and gurgling bloated stomach and unable to sleep. Please can you advise me?

    • Mandy, your symptoms are pretty common with those who have a histamine intolerance and/or are allergic to the animal meat that they are making stock from. If you are only doing chicken broth and having this reaction, switch to another broth like beef, fish, or bison. If it is all broths, start looking into histamine intolerance. If it sounds familiar based on your symptoms, follow a holistic protocol to bring down your histamine load and you will begin to feel much better and lower your chronic inflammation.

  • Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! 6 months of gastritis-like symptoms have led me here and this is my first time making a broth. I’m loving it so far and certainly hoping it will heal my stomach the way you’ve mentioned it can!

    Just a quick question, when you’ve let the broth cool, do you keep the carcass/bones in the broth while it sits in the fridge overnight and remove during step 9, or do you take all of that out before putting it in the fridge?

    Thanks again!

    • If you follow my digestion series, you will definitely begin the healing process. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do keep the bones and everything in the broth, so, when I heat it up the next day, the connective tissue releases more collagen and the ‘good stuff’.

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