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.

Perpetual Broth

  1. Buy a pastured chicken from a farmer. If it’s frozen, thaw it in the fridge over night.
  2. 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. 
  3. Cover the bird with filtered water.
  4. Turn your slow cooker up to high. When the water starts to boil off, turn it down to low.
  5. 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.
  6. Throw the carcass and bones back into the slow cooker and continue cooking all week.
  7. During the week, as you need broth you can simple ladle out the amount you need and top off with more filtered water.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Wash up your pot, and start all over again!