A few months back I read a recipe online that called for broth and it instructed the cook to make homemade broth by boiling up some chicken meat for an hour or two and use that liquid as their broth for the recipe. I just about fell out of my chair with the realization that some people really consider that broth. I then polled my friends on Facebook on how long they cook their broth.
There were lots of different times ranging from a couple of hours to days. Me, I'm on the days end. So what I've come to realize is that I have actually been making BONE broths all this time rather than just simply broth. Assuming, of course, that there are bones to be boiled and not just meat. I think there in lies one of the biggest distinguishers. For the purpose of healthy bones, we want the minerals from the animal bones we are making broth from.
Also, how nutritionally dense your broth will be, will depend on how long you let it simmer to reduce the water content. Beef bone broth requires a longer cook time than poultry. People that are having trouble getting their beef broth to taste right should maybe try letting it cook for another day or so and add a bit of salt. That usually works like magic.
Then the next question is....HOW do we get our kids to eat broth? A little creativity can go a long way here. Some people actually like a nice hot steaming glass of broth. Some do not. My kids, not so much. However, they BEG for gravy with just about every meal! So I make bone broth gravy. I also do the traditional broths for soup like chicken and vegetable soups or something. But I also hide it as much stuff as I can. When I cook up rice (only once or twice a month), I cook it in bone broth. Boil potatoes in bone broth, then strain off that liquid to mash and reuse it to make gravy. Saute veggies in broth. Cook eggs in a bit of broth.
Seriously, there are TONS of ways to incorporate bone broths. Even Popsicles! Just use a bit of imagination and you'll be surprised at what you come up with.
We do a lot of whole chickens in our family. I usually save all the bones, skin, juice, etc from one whole chicken in the freezer and wait until I have two to start my broth. Once I have two whole carcasses, I then throw it all in a crockpot, cover with water, turn it on low and let it go. Typically this would get started after dinner. Then next morning I fill it back up to the top with water. I do that each morning. On the third morning I will let it simmer on low until about the same time of day as I started it, then turn it off and let it cool a bit, strain out the bones in a colander over a big bowl. Once it's cooled more to safely stick it in the fridge overnight, I do. The next morning I skim off the fat that has risen to the top and hardened. Then I portion it up and put it in containers to freeze, or reheat it and transfer to sanitized jars and pressure can it.
So to recap:
2 carcasses of whole chickens, or 1 turkey, or a whole bunch of chicken bones of whatever parts you have
3 days time. Cover bones with water and set on low. Refill with water each morning for 3 mornings. On the 3rd day, after simmering all day, drain broth from bones, cool in fridge, skim off hardened fat on top, and store.