If you missed this week’s Baby Step to Better Health |Broth|, check it out here.
Chicken broth is such an old-timey concept that brings to mind the comforts of home and doting Jewish bubbes.
Broth is a well-documented staple of all traditional cultures and a very important component in many of my witch doctor brews. In our fast-paced society, we have lost that slow-cooked richer than gold goodness in favor of instant MSG-laden icky chemical water. Mmmmm chemical water!
As Americans, we tend to go for bouillon cubes especially for chicken broth. I’m sad to say that much of the world is following our get sick quick methods of eating. Have you ever turned the box over and read the ingredients in that stuff?
|Knorr Chicken Bouillon: Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Starch, Beef Fat*, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Dried Chicken Meat*, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Chicken Fat*, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide (prevents caking), Dehydrated Parsley, Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Yellow 5, Annatto (Color) and Yellow 6,. &* Adds a dietarily insignificant amount of fat and cholesterol.|
YUCK! Dear readers, please please stop eating that stuff. Throw it in the garbage where it belongs and make this super simple chicken broth.
If you need a dozen or more reasons why you should incorporate healing broth into your diet, check them out here.
The following recipe allows you to reap the gut healing benefits of meat stock and the mineral-rich properties of a good bone stock from a single chicken.
By making a pure broth – without spices or vegetables -, it can be added to any dish and seasoned to taste and is suitable for the littleist member of your household, including your pets. Broth is a wonderful addition to any meat eating pets’ diet!
Uses for Broth
- mashed potatoes
- rice and other grains
- quinoa and other seeds
- gravy and other sauces
- stir fry
- use your imagination!
Why does my version of chicken broth look so different from Sally Fallon’s in Nourishing Traditions?
1. I cannot leave chicken cooking for the traditional 24-36 hours, because it tastes overcooked and the flavor is off-putting. Even the cat shies away from it when I cook my broth for more than 6 hours.
Once you reach the 3 hour mark, taste it once each hour to determine where your threshold is and note it for your next batch.
2. Adding an acidic medium is also recommended to help dissolve the bones. We find that it tastes pretty horrible, so we leave that out.
3. There are also people who can reuse the bones over and over to make new batches until the bones disintegrate. We can’t do that either. Same overcooked taste.
Try it at least once to see if you can tolerate it at your house. You will definitely reap the benefits of saving money and releasing more of the bones nutrients if you can follow these methods.
- 1 whole chicken, preferably organic and pastured*
- enough water to cover chicken
- Place whole chicken in your largest stockpot. If the chicken is taller than the stockpot, turn it half way through to cook the portion that was hanging out of the top.
- Add enough water to just cover the chicken or 1 inch below the top of your pot.
- Heat on medium until water begins to simmer. Bringing up to temperature slowly will make for a clear broth.
- Once it reaches a slow simmer, adjust the temperature as needed to keep it at a slow bubble. Never boil broth during the initial cooking or it will become cloudy and the meat will be overcooked.
- Cook chicken for 1 hour. Remove meat from carcass with any combination of fingers, forks, or tongs that you need to keep your fingers from being scalded.
- Cut larger bones while still hot to expose the bone marrow with a sharp knife and controlled movements. No need to lose any fingers! If they are still too hard, cook them for another hour and then try again. Exposing the marrow releases important nutrients into the broth. If you're feeling too ill or super lazy, skip this step.
- Return carcass to the pot and simmer for another 2 hours. At this point, begin tasting to determine the amount of cooking time your palate can handle. The ideal cooking time is 24-26 hours. My max is 6.
- My Secret to Jello-like Gelled Broth: Cool broth on stove until it is as close to room temperature as possible. Place in fridge overnight. Bring to a simmer the next morning and simmer for 1/2 hour.
- Strain and it's ready to use!
- Optional - Strain through cheesecloth for a fully clear broth.
- Chill broth and remove schmaltz (fat) from the top. Use fat for cooking.
*Pastured refers to birds who live outside in the grass and sunshine and have access to their natural food source – insects, worms, and greens that grow in their habitat. Many farmers will supplement with commercial feed if the land isn’t enough to sustain them, so make sure that is organic.
Photo Credit: Olga’s Flavor Factory