Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bone Broth & Quick Chicken Soup


Bone Broth is my new thing. Any time you open my fridge there is a giant jug of it looking back at you waiting. Waiting to be used to cook rice, boil veggies, or make a quick bowl of chicken soup. I am often seen just drinking a plain mug full of it. This stuff is liquid gold.

Bone broth is a so so good for you and there is no comparison to making your own. Not only is homemade cheaper than store bought, but packaged broth often contains MSG and lacks gelatin, which can heal Leaky Gut and aid in the digestion of nutrients. Homemade broth is an excellent source of minerals and it is known to boost the immune system. It is great to have on hand if someone in the family is feeling under the weather. It contains a natural amino acid called cysteine which can actually thin mucus in your lungs so you can get rid of it more easily and heal faster. 

In California there are Botox shops on practically very corner (I am serious). I saw a guy the other day with a sign on the side of the road advertising a sale on Botox injections. I go for broth instead. It has a high collagen content and helps support joints, hair, skin, and nails. Some even say it helps with cellulite as it does its job to support smooth connective tissue. 

The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints, and reduce pain and inflammation. Plus, the calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in the broth also helps our bones to grow and repair. These are just a few, the list of reasons to drink the stuff goes on and on. 


It can be made with the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish. Vegetables and spices are often added. Most often I have made it with just chicken and spices as that is the flavor I prefer.

To make, you can either put the whole chicken into the pot (which technically makes it called Chicken Broth), boil it for about two hours and strain the cooked meat to save for other uses, OR roast a chicken first, have a beautiful dinner, and then toss in the bones and the leftover bits of chicken into the pot and simmer for about 2-3 hours (which makes it called Chicken Stock) OR extend the simmering time to around 24 hours and call it Bone Broth. Honestly, I am not a fan of the boiled chicken smell so depending on time constants I normally go for one of the second two options. Either way you are simmering the bones and getting the good stuff.


To make your broth pick a method, place what you are placing (bones or whole chicken) into the pot, completely cover with water filling to about two inches over the bones, add salt and crushed peppercorns, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (it is said to help extract the minerals out of the bones), and bring the broth to a boil. Once it is bubbling vigorously, reduce to a simmer. During the first few hours, you'll need a big spoon to skim the frothy layer of impurities that float to the surface.

Your choice of salt is very important. Not all salt is created equal. I use Celtic Sea Salt. Unlike table salt, sea salt provides potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients. I also recommend getting an organic bird, preferably pastured. They are definitely not created equal either. You can save bones from various meals in a bag in your freezer to make the broth or as I have been doing cook a whole chicken once a week.


When your broth is ready let cool slightly, and then using a strainer to collect bits of bone, pour into a large glass jug. I prefer to store mine in glass instead of plastic. Plastic can leach chemicals, especially when hot, into your perfect broth and who wants that?!


And there you have it. Nutrition in a jug. The pictured batch is more of a stock simmered for about four hours. The longer you simmer the richer the color. If it gets all jelly-like when cold you are awesome. Keeps in the fridge for about a week. It can also be frozen so you always have a batch on hand.


I have been using the broth to throw together a quick chicken soup for lunch. To make, start with a warm bowl of the broth, add shredded chicken, cooked carrots, broccoli, or other veggies you have handy, a teaspoon of coconut oil, half an avocado, and salt and pepper to taste. A lunch of good healthy fats.

UPDATE: Here is a picture of my recent bone broth. Wonderful gelatinous goodness, simmered 24 hours and with chicken feet!


Further Reading:
Broth is Beautiful
Reasons Your Dog Will Love Bone Broth


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