Perfectly gellied Chicken Broth
One of the biggest eye openers I came across when I started my in depth reading about Real Food is that the purpose of broth is not only to add taste to recipes, it is also an incomparable source for a whole whack of vital nutrients.
Not only that, but did you know that the broth that you buy, whether in as cubes or in liquid form, is actually really not any good for you, even if organic? That's right, my sources tell me that they ALL contain MSG, not to mention all kinds of sodium and who the heck knows what else. I promptly headed home and threw out all my packaged broths and vowed to get with the program.
Now I make my own broths, from bones.
The wonderful thing about Real Food and Traditional Foods is that this stuff I'm relating to you is not new fangled hocus pocusy health nut stuff. It's the way that traditional societies have always known to prepare food. We've just lost touch and forgotten about all that stuff in the name of convenience.
Making your own bone broth is SO easy to do, there's no reason why not to do it. It's chock full of essentially minerals, gelatin (which is so important to be consuming during stomach bug season as it attracts and gets rid of viruses somehow and the word chelation comes to mind. Don't ask me how it works, though, because I don't know. I just like that idea), and all sorts of nutrients that are essential to healthy bones and teeth.
A really good stock will gelly up in the fridge but will be liquid when you heat it up. The trick to getting this effect is not to add too much water. I made a whole lot of broth before I figured it out first, so I'm passing on the knowledge to help you get it right the first time.
Now, the tricky part is consuming this broth only because we aren't huge fans of any soup in this house, unless it's my homemade chicken soup, and we can only eat that so often. I use it as my stock in chili and for cooking my Beatmalls. In order to benefit from the healing and nourishing powers of bone broth, you should aim to consume a cup a day, which, of course is easier said than done. Since I've switched back to white rice we consume a bit more than we did before (more on that later) and I use the stock in place of water to cook, simply adding a little sea salt for flavour.
My tastiest broth comes from the bones of my roasted chicken. We devour the chicken and I remind everyone not to throw away their large bones or the carcass. I leave some meat and gristle on the bones for added depth of flavour. Chicken broth I simmer for 24 hours.
I also periodically make broth from beef bones. These I can pick up from my local organic grocer for just a few dollars a bag. First I roast them lightly on a cookie sheet in the oven, and of course I inhale the marrow. Did you know it's 80% fat? Mmmm...drooling just thinking about it.
If you're pressed for time you don't have to roast the bones.
So all you need is:
• A collection of bones, from either a chicken, turkey, bovine or any other organically, pastured animal you are lucky enough to get your hands on.
• Filtered water.
• 2 tablespoons of vinegar, which apparently helps to leach the minerals from the bones.
• You can add anything you like to the stock, such as veggie scraps or garlic, but you don't have to. I prefer to add veggies to soups afterwards when I make them anyways.
• A large stock pot.
• A free burned on your stove (or a crockpot will work as well) as this process is lengthy.
1. Roast your bones if desired.
2. Place bones in your stock pot.
3. Cover with water until the water rises about 1" above your bones.
4. Add vinegar.
5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
6. Add anything else you'd like, such as veggie scraps or garlic.
7. Cover and leave to simmer.
I leave my chicken broth to simmer for a full 24 hours. Broth made from beef bones is left for 72 hours. Always check on the water levels but with the lid on and the heat low, they shouldn't drop much, even after all that time.
Let the stock cool, and then, using a strainer and cheesecloth, strain until your broth is relatively clear. Sometimes I forget the cheesecloth and just use a dirty broth, but that's mainly because I'm lazy or have run out of cheesecloth. I'd suggest freezing it in small, open mouth mason jars, because then it's so easy to add to any recipe. If you freeze too large a portion you'll have a hard time using it up. 1 cup allotments is the perfect size, I find.
And that's that! Easy as pie and you've got a really nourishing and nutritions base for your cooking!
Then you can freeze or use right away.