Soup or broth may not be the first thing you think about making in the hot summer, but it can be a healthy addition to your recipe rotation. If you are here in Austin, it is supposed to rain on and off this week, so it would be a cozy time to make a batch of broth. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing one of my Spanish soup recipes that uses this as a base, as well as how to incorporate sipping broth into an intermittent fasting program. Get this made, freeze some, and you’ll be ready for the next steps. :)
What is Bone Broth?
Most people are familiar with old school broth or stock. The term “Bone Broth” was started a few years ago, maybe because it sounded good (who doesn’t like a nice alliteration?), but when we are talking about healing bone broth, it is actually bone stock. Let me explain:
Broth: typically made from whole pieces, including the bones as well as the meaty portion, think whole chicken breasts or thighs. Requires shorter cooking time, and the final result is a thin liquid.
Stock aka “Bone Broth”: typically made with just the bones (minimal meaty portion, although not a problem if your bones have some meat on them). Requires longer cooking times (my instant-pot version cuts this down, but I used to make it in a crockpot and cook it for 24-48 hours!!). Either way, the result has a thicker consistency. If the bones crumble easily when finished, you know you got the good stuff out. The more jiggly the bone broth is when it cools, the better.
Why is it beneficial?
Well, we all know that chicken soup is healing. Our moms gave it to us when we were sick, and there is a whole healing book series named after it. Who remembers Chicken Soup for the Soul? There is no doubt that it is comforting, but why is it healing? When you cook down the bones for a very long time, you extract the nutrients out of them, which are nutrients that are not easy to find in everyday foods. You will get collagen, gelatin, amino acids, and minerals. All promoting healing of the gut, boosting the immune system, reducing joint pain and inflammation, and improving skin and hair. Cook up a batch and sip on it throughout the week, use it to replace water in certain recipes, or as a soup base itself.
How do you make it?
First, you need bones. There are a variety of ways to do this, including getting them from your butcher, some traditionalists even use chicken feet for the extra gelatin (no thanks), or do what we do and use the leftover bones and carcasses from roasting whole chickens.
We have really been enjoying the Buttermilk Roast Chicken Recipe from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which is both an awesome cookbook and highly entertaining Netflix docuseries. You can sub coconut yogurt for the buttermilk if avoiding dairy. After using the roasted chicken meat, stick the bones/carcass in a freezer bag and toss in the freezer until ready to make the Bone Broth. We like to pair the roasted chicken meat with a nice veggie or salad. You need to try it. Makes for an easy and healthy dinner, plus then you have your bone broth bones!
Instant Pot Roast Chicken Bone Broth
2 organic roast chicken carcasses/bones
2 organic carrots, rough chopped
3 organic celery ribs, rough chopped
1 organic onion, cut in half
Few cloves of garlic
2 large bay leaves
Juice of half of a lemon
Large pinch of whole peppercorns
1 large handful of fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, or whatever you have)
Sea salt, to taste
1. Place all ingredients in the instant-pot, and fill with filtered water to just cover the contents. Should be a couple of inches from the top.
2. Put cover on instant pot and set to high pressure on manual mode for 2-3 hours. Two hours will get it done, but if I have the time, I’ll do 3, and even switch to slow cook mode for a few more hours if I’m not ready to transfer it. (If you are using a slow cooker, you can cook on low overnight or 12+hours)
3. Once depressurized, open the top and skim off some of the fat/foam from the top.
4. Strain bone broth through a stainless steel colander. Avoid using plastic with hot liquid.
5. Let cool and then pour the liquid into single serving mason jars. You can use the refrigerated broth for one week. If you keep it in the freezer, it will be good for 3 months. Freeze in silicone molds then toss the cubes in a large freezer bag. Easily pop them out to add to recipes.
6. For sipping, season with salt, pepper, turmeric, or your favorite herbs. Enjoy!