how to

How to Make and Pressure Can Chicken Bone Broth (with video)

Chicken bone broth is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to total health and wellness on the homestead. It’s so incredibly easy to make bone broth, and chicken bone broth is one of my favorites. You can create other bone broths as well, like beef, lamb, or venison—but chicken is one of the most versatile that you’ll create. We use chicken bone broth in soups, stews, and even just to drink as a meal replacement, especially in the winter months. If your body needs a little extra joint help, adding bone broth to your daily diet is essential to help rebuild collagen in your body.

It’s even better when you know where the chicken came from that you’re using for the bone broth. We raise our own birds, make our own homemade chicken feed, and raise our chickens on pasture. It makes all the difference!

In this blog post and video, I’m going to walk you through the easy steps of how to make chicken bone broth, and how to pressure can it as well. We’ll also talk about the benefits and why it’s so important to learn this skill on your homestead.

The Benefits of Bone Broth

There are so many different benefits of bone broth, not only for your body and health, but for your homestead as well. Let’s walk through some of those benefits.

  • High in minerals and electrolytes
  • Can help improve joint health
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Help soothe and heal the digestive tract
  • Helps restore and strengthen the gut lining
  • Is full of beneficial collagen that helps maintain healthy skin, joints, cellulite
  • Aids the metabolism
  • Packed full of amino acids
  • Increases bone strength
  • A great way to put culled birds to good use

The benefits to bone broth are endless, as you can see. There are so many subcategories to the main categories, that it proves just how much of a powerhouse this liquid is on your homestead.

Making Bone Broth From Your Chickens

Whenever I need to make a new batch of bone broth, I normally like to make it from my own chickens. If you have chickens that need to be culled because they are old or you have too many roosters, they tend to make the best bone broth. However, you can also use the chickens that you raise for meat, or a chicken from the store. Never let a chicken carcass go to waste! Always save those bones and feet to make this liquid gold. You can pressure can it and store it for later use.

How to Clean Chicken Feet

In a large pot of hot water, bring the water right under a boil and add the pre-washed chicken feet to the water. Stirring constantly, allow the feet to set in the water for about 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the water to come to a complete boil. After 3-5 mins of blanching, remove from heat and allow to cool until you’re able to handle them. You can run them under cold water if you’d like. Once they have cooled off enough to touch, start peeling the skin and scales off of the chicken feet. Scrub the feet thoroughly after all of the skin and scales have been removed, then store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Putting Your Broth Together

Now that you’ve gotten your carcass and chicken feet prepared, you’ll need to consider veggies and herbs to put into your bone broth. Here are the herbs and veggies I choose.

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Now it’s time to put your bone broth together!

  1. In a large stock pot or in your slow cooker, add the chicken carcass (picked clean), rough cut veggies, and at least 2 handfuls of various herbs. Cover the carcass, veggies, and herbs completely with water, place the lid on the pot, and cook on low heat for 24-48 hours.
  2. After the desired time of cooking, strain out all of the carcass, veggies, and herbs. The liquid you have left is your bone broth.
  3. Store your bone broth in canning jars in the fridge for up to 48 hours until you’re ready to use or pressure can.

Pressure Canning Your Bone Broth

Pressure canning your bone broth is the easiest (and cheapest) way to preserve your harvest. Please note that your elevation and location will play a major role in how you can your bone broth, so check your pressure canning manual first.

  1. Fill your canning jars with your bone broth, leaving a 1-inch head space. Cap finger tip tightness.
  2. Place your cans into your prepare pressure canner (typically filled with 3 quarts water and the canning rack). Place cans on the canning rack and close the lid.
  3. On your stove top or camp stove, bring your canner to a boil and allow a steady and fast stream of steam to escape from the vent for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes of venting, place your pressure gauge on the vent and bring the canner to pressure (at my elevation I can it at 11 lbs of pressure). Once your canner is to pressure, can for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts.
  5. After the processing time, allow your canner to release naturally. Place your cans on a towel on the counter until completely cooled, then transfer to the pantry.

And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to make your own bone broth and can it!

Use your harvest for all kinds of meals, or save it for winter time when bone broth is the best comfort food in the world!

 

Watch the Video Here!

 

 

Farmhouse Butcher Block Countertops (with video)

When we first started our kitchen renovation, we knew the counter tops were an important part of the process. We thought we’d go with formica, but the more we researched butcher block, the more we fell in love with it. Butcher block counter tops are extremely forgiving, easy to maintain, and can easily be buffed or spot sanded down when the counter becomes compromised with scuffs, scratches, water rings, or burn marks.

In this blog post we’ll go over the process of curing the counter tops, and then we’ll walk through the monthly maintenance of them. I’ll show you some pros and cons of  butcher block, and there’s even a video at the end showing you our counter tops!

The Pros and Cons of Butcher Block

I was terrified of our new counter tops when we got them. I thought for sure I’d ruin them within the first year . . . pretty sure my husband thought I would, too! We watched video after video on YouTube talking about the counter tops and how temperamental they can be, and while this can be true, we found that having butcher block wasn’t as hard as some made it out to be. There are, however, pros and cons—as with anything in life. So let’s go over a few of those!

The Butcher Block Pros
  • They are easy to clean.
  • If you get scratches, dents, or water rings; you can spot sand with some sand paper and simply recondition the counter.
  • They are beautiful!
  • They are completely natural.
  • They are tough and resilient.
  • Butcher block will last generations if taken care of properly.
  • They are easily customized (with stains or wood types).
  • Butcher block makes for a beautiful photography backdrop! This is important as an author and blogger, ya know?!
The Butcher Block Cons
  • They get heat marks. You cannot set hot bowls, cups, or any hot dish onto the counter top. Anything that is boiling hot, even just boiling water in a cup for coffee or tea, can leave a heat ring on the counter. Typically it only leaves a ring on the top portion of the beeswax conditioner, but some go super deep into the wood. You can combat this by using trivets, or simply by placing a hand towel under hot items.
  • You shouldn’t cut directly on it. I know that you’re not supposed to cut on any counter top, really, but I often did when I had my laminate counter tops. You can also cut on stainless steel, which is a nice option. While you can cut directly on the butcher block, you’ll ruin it. It allows bacteria and water to seep into the counter, and pretty soon your wood will start to deteriorate even if you condition it every month.
  • You have to clean up the water on the counter. This could be an issue for some people around the sink, though it’s not for me. I always wipe my sink down either way. However, if water is left on the counter or around the sink, and it seeps through the protective wax barrier, it will cause your counter top to mold.

Getting Started with Butcher Block

Now that you’ve chosen your butcher block, it’s time to condition it well before putting it into your kitchen. It’s a simple process but can take some time to finish.

  1. Cut your butcher block to size for your counter tops. This includes the sink hole.
  2. Round the edges of the block a bit if you’d like to, otherwise just sand them down a little to get the sharp edges off.
  3. In an open area (either outside or in a garage, etc) make sure no water can get to your butcher block. Set the counter on saw horses or a table and get ready to start conditioning your butcher block. I chose to do ours on a sunny warm day, allowing the sun to hit the butcher block to warm it up and open the pores of the wood more.
  4. Using Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner, put a thin layer of conditioner onto all sides and edges of the counter top and allow to set for 15 minutes. You can warm up the conditioner in the microwave or simply by setting it in a sunny spot. The heat helps the conditioner penetrate into the wood.
  5. After 15 minutes, put another layer of conditioner on. You’ll do this three times total. After the third time, wait 15 minutes and then buff the counter top with a clean rag, wiping off any excess conditioner.
  6. Allow the butcher block to set for a couple of hours before setting into your kitchen.

Once you’ve set your counter top in place, you’ll still need to condition it weekly for the first month.

Here’s what our schedule was:

  1. Condition everyday for the first week.
  2. Condition once a week for a month.
  3. Condition once a month moving forward.

Always wait 30  minutes before placing anything back on your counter top, as the wax and oils could seep into papers and books.

Monthly Butcher  Block Maintenance

Now that your butcher block is installed and cured well, you only need to worry about monthly maintenance from this point going forward. Condition your counter tops once a month by cleaning them thoroughly (I like to use an enviro cloth), spot sanding where necessary, and then conditioning with the Howard’s Butcher Block conditioner. Allow the conditioner to set for 15 minutes, then buff clean with a new rag.

TIP: Use the same conditioner rag (not the buffing rag) over and over again and simply store it into a ziploc back with your conditioner until ready to use again. Do not wash the rag out, just leave it soaked in the excess conditioner.

And that’s it! While the initial tasks can seem daunting, I promise you that butcher block is extremely forgiving. You most likely will never have to pull your counter top off and completely refinish it. The best part is that these counters will literally last you for generations if you take care of it properly. The best thing to remember is not to set hot items directly on the counter (trivets are fine!), and to wipe up the water that gets on the counter top—that’s it!

I hope this blog post helps you decide whether or not you want to add butcher block to your kitchen or other living space, and I hope that it shows you just how beautiful and simple it really is to incorporate into your farmhouse home!

Watch the Farmhouse Butcher Block Video!

 

 

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