Although I’ve primarily bought locally grown fruits and vegetables for the last few years, until recently I wasn’t buying local meat on a regular basis. That changed this winter when a local farm offering a meat CSA began distributing in my town.
I’m about 4 months into the meat CSA and it’s been a great experience. I eat a much wider variety of meat products and the food simply tastes better. It also feels good to know my food dollars are supporting a local farm.
Speaking of dollars, it’s a bit pricey to buy locally and sustainably raised meat so I’ve changed some of my habits to get every bit of value out of the CSA. To make the most of the two broiler chickens I get every month I’ve started making broth from the bones and leftover chicken bits.
Making broth is simple and with a slow cooker it requires very little effort. Just pile the chicken bones into the slow cooker, add vegetables and seasoning, and cover everything with water. Cook the mixture on low overnight and strain it in the morning. Then refrigerate the broth for about eight hours to allow the animal fat to rise to the top. Skim off the fat before cooking with or freezing the broth.
There are several different ways you can make the broth. You can use cooked bones, raw bones or a mix. Typically, I used all cooked bones. If your chicken comes with the organs, you can also add those to the broth. (Mine doesn’t so I’ve never done this.)
Here are a few tips for making your broth: