Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe: Bone Broth

Last night I filled my freezer with what I lovingly call "liquid gold." You know it as chicken broth. Ahhh, I can hear the jokes about Jewish Penicillin.

I used to not bother much with it. When we were in the mood for soup, I would make some and if a recipe called for broth I would use canned soup or water. No big deal.

At some point earlier last year I was introduced to traditional food and after reading a couple books and websites I started making bone broth and using it in my cooking. I use it in couscous, to cook vegetables, all of my tajines and as a base for just about all of my soups. Not only does it taste good, but the health benefits of bone broth explain my nickname for it.

As Sally Fallon states in her essay Broth is Beautiful:

Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily-not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Once again, more of a method than a recipe. We eat a lot of chicken and I've gotten good at breaking them down to save some pennies. I buy them whole and save the neck, back and wings along with whatever left-overs we have and any bones if I'm making something that needs boneless. They go into the freezer in a box and when it is full I buy a package of chicken feet from the market. (This is the only item I buy specifically for the broth. A package runs me about $6.00.) I've also been trying to save the bits and pieces from carrots, onions and celery but I haven't gotten good at remebering that.

I use my largest stock pot and place the chicken bits, half the package of feet, a couple onions and carrots and a celery stalk or two if I have it. I then add a good glug of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and fill with water to cover. I let this sit for a couple hours and then bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, skim the scum and let the pot cook. And cook. And cook. I usually let it go 24-36 hours.

The broth then goes into various-sized glass jars and into the freezer. I can then pull out the required amount for any recipe and when the need arises. Right now I have 35 cups in there.

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