Today is the perfect day to cook some yummy chicken stock. It’s so cold outside and the smell of chicken soup warms you up inside. I have been making my own broths for about a year but typically only make them in the colder months. However, this very cool group I recently joined makes their broths all year round…even on 90 degree days in August. They see so much value in making broths, they don’t care about the temperature outside. I recently went to one of their cooking classes on bone broths. The class was put on by the Healthy Traditions Network. I wanted to share the cool things I learned. Here are my notes:
v Bone broths are high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many other trace minerals lacking in the American diet. Fish broths can be high in Iodine…vital for thyroid and breast tissue.
v Animal bones have gelatin. When you add apple cider vinegar (a fermented acid) to your broths, it extracts the minerals from the bone/gelatin. Gelatin helps with digestive issues such as chrons, IBS, anemia, arthritis, cancer. Gelatin has glucosamine in it…which is in arthritis meds.
v Chicken stock used to be considered the Jewish Penicillin.
v Beef Stock has been documented to aid in curing cancer.
v Pregnant woman should consume bone broth weekly. The minerals found in broth are essential for a developing fetus.
v If you are ill, drink bone broth. It is very healing.
v When making chicken broth, necks, backs and feet have the highest amount of gelatin. I order my necks and backs through Creswick Farms. Maria recently found out that the organic meat store in Plymouth carries chicken feet for broths. On the other side of town, Auto’s Chicken at Royal Oak Farmer’s market sells backs and necks of chicken. You need 4 backs and 4 necks for one pot. Whole Foods also carries necks and backs, but they are more expensive.
2-3 lbs. free-range chicken bones to 1-1.5 gallons of water, 8 ounces of onion, 4 ounces of celery, 4 ounces of carrots, a few garlic cloves, 1 T. thyme, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 T. of apple cider vinegar, a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.
A side note on carrots: Today I used baby carrots because I had them in the fridge left over from a party this weekend. However, I usually peel organic whole carrots. You should try to use vegetables in their natural state. My MIL went to a raw seminar and they advised her to not even peel the carrots, just wash them really well. The skin holds lots of nutrition.
Add all of the items to the pot and fill with water. Do not add the parsley leaves until the last ten minutes. Let stand on stove for one hour. Then, bring items to a boil. Scoop off scum and reduce to simmer. Cover and let stand for 6-24 hours. Strain all items and from broth. When broth cools for a little bit, add to storage containers. Discard bones and veggies. Veggies have no nutritional value at this point. The nutrition has been absorbed into the broth. You can use the chicken for chicken salad, enchiladas, sandwiches, etc.
Buy Ball jars specifically for freezing. You can get them at Meijer. Broth is only good for three days in the fridge. Try not to store in plastic…leaks in to broth. Leave an inch at the top when freezing. My cousin Kelly freezes her broth in ice cube trays and then pops them out and puts them in a freezer bag, just like you do when you make baby food. One tray equals one cup. One Ball jar is a little more than a cup. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
Use broth for making sauces, stews and soups. I have been adding the broth to various recipes and for cooking rice. It gives the rice so much more flavor and is sooo nutritious.