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Slow Cooker Broth Recipe Infused With Soul-Soothing Comfort

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In the heart of winter’s embrace, when the world is blanketed in snow and evenings beckon for comfort, there’s a simmering secret to culinary warmth: slow cooker broth

Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

With each passing hour, flavors meld and dance, whispering tales of rustic kitchens and age-old traditions.

Every sip is a journey, revealing layers of depth and complexity, embodying patience and care. 

This isn’t just a recipe—it’s a ritual. As your home fills with its inviting aroma, know that the essence of nourishment is bubbling away, ready to soothe souls and awaken palates.

Dive into this alchemy of ingredients, and let the liquid gold work its magic. Welcome to the art of slow perfection.

What Is Slow Cooker Broth Recipe ?

Slow cooker broth extracts flavors from ingredients, usually bones, vegetables, and herbs, by simmering them over an extended period in a slow cooker or crock pot.

The low and steady heat allows for a deep release of nutrients and flavors, resulting in a rich and savory liquid. 

Ingredients are covered with water, seasoned, and left to cook for hours, often overnight. The result is a nourishing base for soups, sauces, and stews or a warming drink.

History Of Slow Cooker Broth Recipe 

Slow cooker broth traces its roots back to ancient civilizations where bone broths were savored for sustenance and healing.

Each culture, from the Chinese to the Egyptians, had its rendition, using simmering as a way to extract nutrients and flavors. 

With the invention of the electric slow cooker in the 20th century, the tradition found a modern ally.

This device made maintaining the long, slow cooking process simpler, evolving the age-old method into today’s beloved slow cooker broth recipe.

Interesting Facts About The Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

  • Nutrient Dense: Slow-cooking bones release collagen, which turns into gelatin, known for supporting joint health.
  • Global Roots: Almost every culture has its version of a bone broth, from French “pot-au-feu” to Korean “seolleongtang.”
  • Versatility: Besides soups, it’s used as a base for sauces, gravies, and even some drinks!
  • Extended Cooking: Some recipes recommend simmering for over 24 hours to extract maximum flavor.
  • Vegetarian Versions: Using only vegetables, herbs, and spices, one can create a flavorful veggie broth.

What Makes The Slow Cooker Broth Recipe  Special?

  • Depth of Flavor: Extended simmering draws out rich nuances from ingredients.
  • Nutrient Extraction: Slow cooking releases beneficial compounds like collagen, amino acids, and minerals.
  • Simplicity: The set-and-forget method reduces active kitchen time.
  • Versatility: Adaptable to various cuisines, dietary preferences, and ingredients.
  • Economic: Makes use of leftover bones, meat scraps, and wilted vegetables.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

Ingredients List 

IngredientQuantity/Description
Whole chicken1 (or the carcass and bones of a roasted chicken)
Chicken feet2
Chicken head1 (if available)
Bay leaves2
Whole black peppercorns1 tablespoon
Apple cider vinegar¼ cup
Vegetable scrapsUse any on hand
Cold filtered waterSufficient to cover all ingredients in the slow cooker

Ingredient Tips

  • Chicken Choice: Opt for organic, pasture-raised chicken for superior flavor and nutritional profile.
  • Bone Boost: Chicken feet are collagen-rich, enhancing the broth’s gelatinous texture.
  • Vinegar Magic: Apple cider vinegar helps extract minerals from bones. Don’t skip!
  • Fresh Peppercorns: Use freshly bought peppercorns for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Vegetable Scraps: Onion skins, carrot tops, and celery ends can be stored in the freezer until needed.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto & Paleo: Stick to the basic recipe, emphasizing bone-rich ingredients. Consider adding high-fat ingredients like marrow bones for an extra satiating broth.
  • Gluten-Free: The basic broth is naturally gluten-free. Just ensure any additives or store-bought broths used as bases are gluten-free.
  • Whole30: Stick to organic, pasture-raised sources and avoid any additives or preservatives. Also, make sure any vinegar used has no added sugars.
  • Vegetarian: Omit chicken and bones. Boost flavor with a medley of hearty veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
  • Vegan: Similar to vegetarian, add kombu (a type of seaweed) for added umami and minerals.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Combine chicken (or carcass), optional head and feet, bay leaves, peppercorns, vinegar, and vegetable scraps in the slow cooker.
  • Cover ingredients with cold, filtered water.
  • Cook on low for a week, maintaining liquid level.
  • After 24 hours, you can use the broth. Strain out the required amount and replenish with equal water.
  • Optionally, retrieve chicken meat for other dishes.
  • After a week, strain out the remaining broth—and clean the slow cooker for the next batch.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations

  • Beef Broth: Substitute chicken with beef bones, adding marrow bones for depth.
  • Fish Broth: Use fish heads and bones, particularly from non-oily fish.
  • Vegetable Broth: Exclude animal components entirely, emphasizing robust veggies like mushrooms.

Add-Ons

  • Herbs: Fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley stems introduce new flavor profiles.
  • Spices: Star anise, cloves, or cumin can add warmth and depth.
  • Umami Boost: A splash of tamari or soy sauce can enrich the broth.

Toppings

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped cilantro or green onions.
  • Spice Kick: Red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne.
  • Crunch: Toasted seeds like pumpkin or sesame, lightly sprinkled.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Container Size: Ensure your slow cooker can accommodate the increased or decreased volume.
  • Ingredient Ratios: Maintain the ratios. For example, if you double the chicken, double the other ingredients accordingly.
  • Water Coverage: Regardless of scale, ingredients should always be submerged in water.
  • Cooking Time: For larger quantities, you may need slightly longer initial simmering before first use. Conversely, smaller batches might be ready sooner.
  • Taste Test: Especially when reducing, taste frequently. Concentrated broths might need additional dilution.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or chives bring a burst of color and freshness.
  • Cream Drizzle: A swirl of heavy cream or coconut milk creates a rich contrast.
  • Citrus Zest: Grated lemon or lime zest adds a vibrant touch and aromatic boost.
  • Seeds and Nuts: Toasted sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or crushed nuts add texture.
  • Spices: A sprinkle of paprika, cayenne, or freshly cracked black pepper offers warmth and depth.
  • Croutons: Golden, crunchy croutons provide a delightful textural contrast.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

Can I Make Slow Cooker Broth Recipe  In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

  • Slow Cooker: This tool embodies its name, simmering ingredients over extended periods (often 24 hours to a week for bone broths). It allows for deep extraction of flavors and nutrients. Add your ingredients, set them to low, and let them do the work.
  • Instant Pot: A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot significantly speeds up the broth-making process. While a slow cooker might take 24 hours, the Instant Pot can achieve similar results in a few hours. The high pressure ensures efficient extraction of flavors and minerals from the bones and vegetables.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: It’s quick and ready-to-use, perfect for sudden culinary inspirations or busy schedules.
  • Consistency: Commercial broths offer a consistent flavor profile.
  • Variety: Many types and flavors are available, including organic, low-sodium, and specific dietary variations.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Control: You determine the ingredients, intensity, and taste.
  • Nutrient Density: Slow-cooked broths, especially from bones, can be richer in minerals and collagen.
  • Economical: Making broth from scraps and leftovers is cost-effective.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The  Broth?

  • Meat: Beyond chicken, try beef, pork, or lamb bones for deeper, richer broths.
  • Fish: Fish heads and bones, especially from non-oily varieties, create a light, aromatic broth. Shellfish shells, like shrimp or crab, add a delightful seafood depth.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes, like orzo or pastina, can be added to finished broths for a quick, comforting soup.
  • Vegetables: Almost any veggie can enhance a broth. Classics include carrots, celery, and onions. For a twist, add leeks, fennel, or even tomatoes.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe 

Prepping Tips

  • Roasting Bones: Roast meat or poultry bones before simmering for a richer flavor.
  • Cold Start: Always start with cold water; it aids in extracting flavors and clarifying the broth.
  • Veggie Scraps: Save peels, ends, and trimmings of veggies like onions, carrots, and celery. They’re perfect for broth!

Cooking Time Tips

  • Skim Frequently: In the early simmering stage, skim off any foam or impurities that rise.
  • Low and Slow: A gentle simmer extracts flavors without clouding the broth.
  • Taste Test: Adjust simmering time based on depth of flavor. Chicken broth might take 6-24 hours, while beef can go up to 48 hours.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

Nutritional Values 

Broth, often hailed as liquid gold, is more than just a flavorful base. It’s a powerhouse of essential nutrients, from minerals extracted from bones to vitamins from simmered vegetables.

Delve into its nutritional profile to discover why it’s revered both in kitchens and health circles.

What Are Total Calories In The Broth? 

A basic homemade chicken broth made from simmering chicken bones, without the inclusion of meat or any fatty components, typically contains 10 to 20 calories per cup.

Dietary Restrictions For The Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: This broth is naturally gluten-free and doesn’t contain grains or wheat-based products.
  • Keto: The recipe suits a keto diet, primarily if fatty cuts or bones are used.
  • Paleo: It aligns with paleo principles, being made of whole, unprocessed ingredients.
  • Whole30: This broth is compliant if all ingredients are Whole30-approved.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: The basic recipe needs to be more suitable. However, a vegan version can be made by omitting animal components and focusing on vegetables.

Health Benefits Of The Slow Cooker Broth Recipe 

  • Rich in Nutrients: Bones release calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals into the broth.
  • Joint Health: Contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint health.
  • Gut Health: Gelatin from the bones aids in repairing the gut lining, potentially benefiting those with digestive disorders.
  • Skin Health: Collagen promotes skin elasticity and hydration.
  • Immune Boost: A warm broth can help in alleviating cold and flu symptoms.

Nutrition Table

Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

How Can I Make Slow Cooker Broth Recipe  Lower In Sodium?

  • Skip Added Salt: Begin your broth-making without adding any salt. You can always season later if necessary.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh vegetables instead of canned or preserved ones, which often contain added sodium.
  • Check Your Water: Ensure your water isn’t high in sodium. Some tap or well waters might be.
  • Homemade Over Store-bought: Prepared broths or bouillons from stores are typically high in salt. Opt for making yours from scratch.
  • Herbs and Spices: Amplify flavor with sodium-free seasonings like bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and fresh herbs.

How Can I Make Slow Cooker Broth Recipe Lower In Sugar?

  • Avoid Sweet Vegetables: Limit or omit vegetables like carrots, onions, and tomatoes, which contain natural sugars.
  • No Store-bought Broths: Pre-made broths can contain added sugars or sweeteners. Always check the label.
  • Be Wary of Seasonings: Some seasonings or flavor enhancers might contain hidden sugars.
  • Limit Wine or Alcoholic Additions: Some recipes call for wine, which introduces sugar. Use sparingly or skip.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Utilize fresh ingredients over processed or canned versions.
Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

 How To Serve Slow Cooker Broth Recipe In The Best Way?

  • Warm Bowls: Pre-warm the serving bowls to maintain the broth’s temperature.
  • Garnish: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, for a burst of color and flavor.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with crusty bread or toasted croutons for texture contrast.
  • Texture Add-Ins: Add cooked pasta, rice, or protein pieces just before serving.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Always taste before serving; a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon can elevate the flavor.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Slow Cooker Broth Recipe

  • Crusty Bread: Freshly baked or toasted, it’s ideal for soaking up the rich flavors.
  • Salads: A crisp, green salad with a light vinaigrette can counterbalance the broth’s warmth.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Seasonal veggies, lightly steamed, offer a healthful addition.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A delicious, melty companion to dunk into the broth.
  • Stuffed Dumplings or Potstickers: These can be dipped into the broth or float on top.
  • Quinoa or Rice Pilaf: Adds a wholesome, grainy texture to the meal.

How Long Can We Store The Broth? 

  • Refrigerator: After cooling, broth can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days in a sealed container.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, pour the broth into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a sealed bag. Properly stored, it can last 4-6 months.
  • Cooling: Before storing, ensure the broth cools down to room temperature. Rapid cooling can be achieved by placing the pot in an ice-water bath.
  • Reheat: Always reheat only the amount you’ll consume to maintain freshness and avoid multiple freeze-thaw cycles.

Can I Make Broth In Advance?

Absolutely! Making broth in advance is convenient and can enhance its flavors as they meld and mature over time. Prepare the broth as usual, allow it to cool to room temperature, and then store it. 

If you’re planning to use it within a few days, refrigerate it. For longer storage, freeze the broth in suitable portions. Before using, thaw (if frozen) and reheat to a simmer.

Making broth in advance is a time-saver and ensures you always have a flavorful base on hand.

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Soups & Stews: Elevate them with a rich base.
  • Grains: Cook rice, quinoa, or pasta in broth for added flavor.
  • Sauces & Gravies: Use as a base to thicken and enhance.
  • Braising: Use broth to braise meats or vegetables.
  • Steaming: Replace water with broth for a flavorful steam.
  • Freeze: Create broth ice cubes for easy use in future dishes.

Special Tools And Equipment Needed

  • Slow Cooker: Central to the recipe, it maintains a consistent, low-temperature ideal for extracting flavors.
  • Fine-Mesh Strainer: For filtering out solids, leaving a clear broth.
  • Large Bowl: To collect strained broth.
  • Ladle: To remove and portion out the broth.
  • Reusable Coffee Filter: An alternative to a strainer for clearer broth.
  • Freezer-Safe Containers: For storing larger batches.
  • Ice Cube Trays: To freeze broth in smaller, easy-to-use portions.
  • Skimmer: Helps in removing foam or impurities from the broth’s surface.
  • Tongs and Meat Fork: Useful for handling and removing large bones or whole chicken.
  • Thermometer: To ensure the broth stays within a safe temperature range during extended cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Add Spices To My Slow Cooker Broth?

Absolutely! While traditional broth primarily uses herbs like bay leaves and peppercorns, feel free to experiment with spices like star anise, cloves, or coriander seeds to infuse different flavors.

Why Is My Broth Cloudy Instead Of Clear?

Cloudiness can result from boiling the bones too vigorously or not skimming off impurities and foam. For a clearer broth, maintain a gentle simmer and regularly skim off any impurities.

Can I Use Frozen Bones Or Meat For The Broth?

Yes, frozen bones or meat can be used directly in the slow cooker. The cooking process might take a bit longer initially as the ingredients thaw, but the end result will be just as delicious.

Is It Safe To Keep The Slow Cooker On For An Entire Week?

Yes, slow cookers are designed for extended cooking times at low temperatures. Ensure there’s always enough liquid in the pot, and keep an eye on the water level, adding more as needed.

Does The Broth Become More Nutritious The Longer It Cooks?

Extended cooking times can extract more minerals from the bones, making the broth richer. However, after a certain point, most of the nutritional value will have been extracted, so while cooking longer won’t harm, there might not be significant nutritional gains after the initial 24-48 hours.

Slow Cooker Broth Recipe Infused With Soul-Soothing Comfort

Slow Cooker Broth Recipe Infused With Soul-Soothing Comfort

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Broth Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

8

hours 
Calories

80

kcal

A timeless culinary essential, this broth recipe harnesses the slow-cooked infusion of bones, herbs, and vegetables. The result is a clear, aromatic, and nutrient-rich liquid that serves as a foundation for countless dishes, offering depth, warmth, and comfort.

Ingredients

  • 1 1 Whole chicken  (or the carcass and bones of a roasted chicken)

  • 2 2 Chicken feet

  • 1 1 Chicken head (if available)

  • 2 2 Bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Whole black peppercorns

  • ¼ cup ¼ Apple cider vinegar

  • Vegetable scraps (Use any on hand)

  • Cold filtered water (Sufficient to cover all ingredients in the slow cooker)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather all ingredients.
    If using fresh carrots, peel them before proceeding.
  • Cooking
    Place the whole chicken or its carcass (along with optional head and feet) into the slow cooker.
    Add in bay leaves, black peppercorns, apple cider vinegar, and any vegetable scraps.
    Pour cold filtered water into the slow cooker, ensuring all ingredients are submerged.
    Set the slow cooker on a low setting and allow the mixture to simmer for up to one week. Ensure safety by maintaining ample liquid in the cooker.
  • Blending
    After the first 24 hours of simmering, the broth is ready for consumption.
  • Final Touches
    To retrieve broth, use a ladle or measuring cup, dipping into the slow cooker.
    Strain the collected broth through a fine-mesh strainer or reusable coffee filter, removing any solids.
  • Serving
    The broth can be served hot as a comforting drink, or used as a base in various dishes.
  • Additional Options
    As you draw broth out, remember to replace it with an equivalent amount of filtered water.
    If you’ve used a whole chicken, you may remove some of the meat to utilize in stir-fries, soups, salads, or other dishes.
    At the culmination of the week, ensure you strain off any residual broth, clean your slow cooker, and it’s ready for another batch or different recipe.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Opt for organic, pasture-raised animal bones when possible to ensure optimal nutrient content.
  • Roasting bones before simmering can deepen the broth’s flavor.
  • Periodically skimming off impurities ensures clarity and taste.
  • Vegetable scraps, like onion skins and carrot peels, can be added for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Avoid overfilling the slow cooker; leave space for water to simmer and circulate.
  • Broth can appear gelatinous when cooled, a sign of collagen content, but will liquefy upon reheating.

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