Everyone wants to feel nourished, and eating food that makes you feel good on the inside and outside is one great way to do that. Unfortunately, so many things get in the way in our fast-paced lives and sometimes the most important get lost amidst the piles and to-do lists, the worries and expectations.
Making broth may take a long time, but the actual preparation is not very time-consuming.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a whole chicken.
2. Put it in a pot and cover it with water.
3. Add a quarter cup vinegar.
4. Boil it, and then turn the heat to low and let it cook all day. (Add vegetables, if desired, in the last hour of cooking.)
Chicken broth takes less than a half hour to prepare and can slowly simmer as you go about your day. Farm-raised free-range chicken create the best broth, which congeals when cooled–that layer of gelatin is nutrient-dense and delicious and exactly what you want. Any chicken will do in a pinch, though, if you’re low on cash or can’t find it for whatever reason.
If you have access to it and are not squeamish, chicken feet are a great addition. They can be found at farmer’s markets and ethnic markets. They’re rich in tendons and cartilage and therefore chock full of collagen, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals, they also have a ton of glucosamine chondroitin–the same substance in those pills people pay a ton of money for to help with joint pain.
You can cook chicken all day, but 8 hours usually does it. If you’re leaving the house and have a big enough crockpot, you can cook the chicken in that on the low setting for up to 24 hours.
Once you’re done cooking, separate the meat from the broth from the bones. You can use shredded chicken in soups, curries, salads, enchiladas and other dishes… or leave them in the broth for some hearty chicken soup. The broth can be used as a base in many soup recipes. Adding coconut, lemon juice, sea salt and chili flakes gives it a whole new flavor, or throw in some vegetables.
You can also make a broth out of chicken feet without the whole chicken–this makes your broth almost pure gel when cooled, and so you can use spoonfuls of it in your meals. If you need to eat in a hurry during the week, better to spend one weekend day cooking your chicken (or letting the crockpot do the work) so you have many days worth of broth and meat ready to go.
What are your family recipes? Or what do you do differently? How do you use your chicken broth? Please share your suggestions in the comments.