Duck Bone Broth

If you're comfortable making bone broth now and want to try something a little different why not try duck bone broth. It has a richer flavor than chicken bone broth and works great in all kinds of soups.

Prep: 15 min • Cook: 4 to 6 hrs • Yield: varies depending on pot size; these ingredients are sufficient for 2 to 3 quarts broth


  • 2 duck carcasses
  • 6 to 8 chicken feet or 1 pig’s foot1 (optional)
  • Enough purified water to just cover the bones in the pot; the pot should be big enough to add 2 to 3 quarts water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 4 carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • 3 to 4 stalks organic celery, including leafy part, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorns
  • Small bunch of fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and marjoram

Directions: Put duck carcasses into a roasting pan and place in a preheated 400º oven for one hour until the bones are well browned. This step isn’t necessary, but it greatly enhances the flavor of duck bone broth. Place all the bones in a slow cooker or large stockpot. Add the vinegar and enough purified water to cover everything by 1 inch. Cover the pot.

On medium heat, bring the water to a simmer. Use a shallow spoon to carefully skim the film off the top of the broth. If you are cooking in a crock pot, you will have to wait until the water gets warm before skimming, but you can continue with the next step. Add all the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. You want the broth to barely simmer. Skim occasionally over the first 2 hours, and be sure the bones are always covered with water. You may have to add water during the cooking process.

Cook for at least 4 hours, or up to 6. When the broth is done, turn off the cooker or remove the pot from the heat. Using tongs and/or a large slotted spoon remove all the bones. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Let cool on the counter before refrigerating. You can skim off the fat easily after the broth is chilled if desired. If you do skim off the fat, retain it for roasting vegetables. When chilled the broth should be very gelatinous. The broth will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator and 3 or more months in your freezer.

Notes: You use chicken feet or a pig’s foot for the cartilage which is necessary for good broth and the health benefits of gelatin, collagen, and calcium. Neither the chicken feet or pig’s foot will impart flavor to the broth. If you use chicken feet, you need to remove the outer yellow skin if the butcher has not already done so.

To do this, immerse in boiling water for about 10 to 20 seconds, and they will peel easily. If you boil them any longer, it’s nearly impossible to peel them because they become rubbery. It’s also easier to peel them before they are frozen. You can cut off the claws if you choose. If your crock pot is small (2 quarts or less) you can cut back on the quantities in the recipe.

Measurements need not be specific in making broth. However, your work will be lessened if you use a large kettle or stockpot on the stove top. Since you might use the broth in a variety of recipes, I prefer not to salt it while cooking.