Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Cup of Healing Broth

Chicken stock is one of those simple staples that we prefer to have on hand at all times.  It's a great add to soul warming soups and stews, but we love to incorporate it in just about everything conjured up on the stove.  Broth offers that level of richness to recipes that can't be matched, making it the magic ingredient you'll use time and time again.

Not only is broth a staple in cooking, but it's also a nutritional powerhouse as well...rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals and an excellent source of amino acids, gelatin, glucosamine and chondroitin.

If you want to give your immune system a boost, simply add broth to your diet.  There's a reason chicken soup always comes out during the cold and flu season...this cure-all is packed with the good stuff to get you back up in running in no time!  We love to sip on a cup first thing in the morning to get us going and then in the evening to round out the day.

I use the recipe from Nourishing Traditions to create our healing pot of broth, with a couple of tweaks of turmeric and garlic to boost liver function...

  • 1 whole free range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of chicken parts (breast, wing, leg, thigh, neck) 
  • 4 quarts cold filtered water 
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1-2 tablespoons turmeric 
  • 5 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped 
  • 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  1. Place chicken (chicken pieces) in a large stock pot with water, vinegar, turmeric, garlic and veggies except for the parsley.
  2. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours.  The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
  5. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley.
  6. Remove chicken (chicken pieces and bones).
  7. Strain the stock into a large bowl and put in the fridge until the fat rises to the top and congeals.
  8. Skim off the fat and save to use in place of oil in other recipes.
  9. Reserve the stock in covered containers in your fridge or freezer.

After the bird is cooked, the meat put away and the broth stored up, I pop the bones back in the pot to create another round of brothy goodness (;  I add the same amount of everything above minus the chicken or chicken parts because we're using the bones.

If stewing chicken isn't your thing, you can still make great broth.  When baked chicken is on our menu, we always make sure to save the bones and store them in the freezer until we're ready for broth makin' time.  Nothing wasted here (;

Jenny from Nourished Kitchen has a great Perpetual Soup recipe using the crock pot that's also a great option so you don't feel chained to the stove.

We store broth that's going to be consumed within the next day or so in glass jars.  The rest is frozen in ice cube trays for quick access.  Once cubes are completely frozen, they're popped into Ziploc bags and kept in the freezer.  This is a great way to have stock on hand at any time and in easy portion sizes.  Two cubes equals 1/4 cup.

So the next time you're looking for a simple nourishing meal, try a cup or two of healing broth.  You might just be surprised at how much better you'll feel (;

In Gratitude,

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