i have one question that i cant seem to find the answer to anywhere, once your done cooking your bone broth, are you supposed to let it cool in the fridge for a couple hours, then skim the fat off of it, then you are allowed to eat it?
or can you eat it hot right after your done cooking it and not worry about the fat
Don't worry about the fat. You don't have to skim it off. Sometimes I scoop some out and use it as it's simmering on the stove.
You should let it cool before you put it in the fridge. Cheesecloth is a good idea, or even a sheet of aluminum foil. I just leave it uncovered because it seems to take forever to get down to warm. It doesn't have to be "cool cool", but it should be warm. That's what Gordon Ramsay says, anyway. LOL
The gelatin gels when you put it in the fridge, but it only takes a few seconds to liquify on the stove. It's not like Jello or anything. You can cook veggies and stuff in it.
I don't see why you couldn't eat it right away if you're not worried about eating/drinking the fat.
I think most people let it cool because they're not planning to consume it right away, and because they specifically want the tallow (or whatever animal fat is coming out of your stock) to solidify so they can remove it and use it for cooking in the future.
Just as an aside: Most people let stock cool on the counter for a while before putting it in the fridge. It's just so darn hot at first that it might lower the temp of your whole fridge and affect other stuff in there.
I make bone broth once a week with chicken carcasses, leftover bones and sometimes add in extra necks/backs that I purchase for cheap from my butcher.
Cool in an ice bath in the sink. Don't put directly in the fridge. I plug the sink using the same cover I use when taking a bath. Fill up the sink partially with cold water, add some ice. Prior to this step, I strain the stock directly into a large (heat-proof) bowl. This is where the stock will live a) while it's cooling and b) once it's cooled, in the fridge. You can cover it if you want but I don't since it will take longer to cool.
Depending on how long you cooked the stock, ratio of bones:water, etc. - the stock will take about 24h to set in the refrigerator. Waiting until it sets doesn't really matter, per se, other than the fact that it looks cool and you'll be able to tell how high the ratio of gelatin is by how "solid" the stock gets. For instance, my stock is usually firmer than your standard jello, but last Sunday I was super lazy and let it cook for 6 instead of my normal 8-10, and it barely set.
When you let the stock set in the refrigerator, the fat will separate and rise to the top. From what I've learned, chicken fat is a little high in omega 6 so I suppose you could skim off if you want. I don't, though. I just scoop it all out and add to whatever recipe I'm making! Also I suppose you should consider your chicken source to decide if you want to keep the fat -- foster farm stock fat = bad, happy chicken stock fat = good or at least neutral.
You can reheat directly on the stove, it'll melt in a matter of seconds but make sure to bring it to a boil before consuming. If you are heating it up to drink directly or to make chicken soup, I recommend thinning out with at least 1 part stock/1 part water, maybe a touch more water depending on how concentrated your broth is.
I'll also add stock directly to recipes like when I braise kale . zomg braised kale with chicken stock is the bomb. Talk about healthy.
When I am particularly on top of it, I'll just scoop out some stock as it's cooking and drink it up, make soup, or add to another recipe.