Smoked Chicken Broth (in crock pot)

Smoking meat can be a bit of a pain, and I’m not entirely sure that it’s all that healthy for you, but…it sure makes for some delicious broth!!!

If you don’t have a smoker, you can still make this recipe if you:

A) Are fortunate enough to know of a grocer who sells whole smoked chickens with no artificial ingredients or flavorings.

B) Have a friend or acquaintance who smokes chickens but normally throws the carcass away. (Just don’t ever let them taste your broth or they’ll start keeping their carcasses to make their own, and you’ll be back to square one!)

For more great recipes and all of the grocery shopping tips you need to ensure that you select the most additive-free versions of all ingredients needed to make this recipe (and all of my recipes), check out my book “Eating Additive-Free“!

MAKES ~ 12 cups


  • Cooked carcass and skin from 1 whole, smoked chicken (if there are a few meat scraps still dangling from the bones, that’s all the better)
  • 1 large onion (skin on), chopped into large chunks
  • 2 or 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 bunch celery, cut into large chunks (I usually use the inner stalks/leaves)
  • 1 head/bulb of garlic (skin on), cut in half so all cloves are cut in half
  • 1 heaping TBSP sea salt
  • 1/2 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 2 TBSP Bragg brand apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • about 4 quarts water


Place all ingredients in a large crock pot. Cook on low 8-12 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (Make sure your strainer is fine mesh, so no bone slivers slip through!) Discard all bones, skin and veggies. To remove excess fat from the strained broth, allow it to cool completely in the fridge. The fat will settle to the top and harden a bit, so you can scrape/skim it off if you’d like. Use right away, or can/freeze in the portion sizes you most often use!


  I’ve tried all sorts of recipes, rubs, etc. for smoking chicken. Honestly, I found it to be a pain, so I decided one day to just throw the chickens into the smoker plain – I’m talkin’ absolutely no oil, butter, seasoning or anything. And they tasted just fine to us (especially given the labor savings). So that’s the way we always smoke them now!

We’ve also grown fond of stuffing our smoker to the max – after all, if you’ve gotta clean it, might as well make it worth your time. In our smoker, that means smoking 4 birds at a time.

We eat the meat warm (as quarters) for dinner on the day we smoke them. Then I take all the meat and skin off the carcasses and make 4 batches of broth over the following 48 hours. (Of course, if you don’t have time/desire to make the broth immediately, you can also throw the carcasses/skin in the freezer for later use.) I cut or rip apart all of the meat, and we eat some of it in salads over the next few days. The rest is thrown into the freezer for future use! I just LOVE to cook once, and eat a bunch of times!

I’m not including smoking instructions here because every smoker is different. Ours happens to take about 4 hours to get to the point that the meat is falling off the bones 🙂

Homemade Catalina/French Dressing Recipe

This dressing is especially great for taco salads or any salad with leftover meat or hard-boiled eggs on it!



1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar (we use Bragg brand)
2 TBSP raw honey
2 TBSP tomato paste (only ingredient should be, “tomatoes”)
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
¼ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: Only ingredient in each spice should be that spice (e.g., “garlic”). The chili powder should list just single, real spices (e.g., “chili powder, paprika, onion, etc.) and no vague words like “spices” or chemical ingredients you don’t understand!)

*Check out our Grocery Shopping Guide for our tips on selecting the most additive-free versions of every ingredient used in our recipes.


Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

Use a funnel to transfer to a storage bottle.


This recipe makes about 1 cup.

If you try it and like it, save time by making a quadruple batch (which will fill a 32 oz. jar as shown here – although filling a bottle that full does make it difficult to shake it well); it will also use nearly the whole 6 oz. can of tomato paste, too.

Please try it, and comment below to let me know how you like it!

(Psst….If you enjoy this recipe,  be sure to get yourself a copy of our additive-free cookbook & grocery shopping guide, “Eating Additive-Free“! It’s stuffed with 150+ more tasty recipes!! Your satisfaction is guaranteed…or your money back!)