Tuesday, February 17, 2009

B is for broth

I'm gone for a week, on a muse hunt and came away with feverish kids.

Go figure.

But when you have a stopover in Feverland - adjacent to Whiny Kidsville and Too Much TV town - brewing your own chicken broth, between petting heads, just makes sense.

It's soothing for sore throats and coughs; homemade broth tastes great and leaves you with chicken for another dinner, later in the week.

So, vegans: Avert your eyes. Here's my recipe for chicken stock, straight from Nourishing Traditions, the cookbook my Naturopath recommended last fall when my blood work came back all wonky.

Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken (You can also use 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts, but I'm lazy and like to knock out another dinner in the process, saving the chicken for enchiladas, or salads. And by whole chicken, I mean I throw in all those less than savory bits and pieces.)

4 quarts of cold filtered water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

I should suggest the celery and parsley here, but I rarely add them. But you could. It's your broth, right?

You can cut up the chicken, but I'd rather not. I place everything in a big stainless steel pot, and let it sit on the counter for about an hour. I skipped this step once, and the broth was less gelatinous, so I've been faithful ever since.

(You know all those expensive supplements, for arthritis? Well, I like the fact that I can get these same nutrients in this broth; the gelatin is essential. It's also why I choose a free-range chicken; battery-raised chickens tend to produce a stock that is refuses to gel. Insolent brew.)

Bring the concoction to a boil and skim the scum. (Words to live by.)

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. I can't take cooking overnight, because I'm a Nervous Nelly, but I start this early in the morning and it works just fine for me.

I strain the stock into quart containers, freezing some and sticking the rest in the frig for soup, for cooking, for risotto. It's amazing.

I cover the chicken - I deal with it the next day - stick it in the fridge, proud of my Suzy Homemaker ways.

Now, I'm off to check on Zack, the straggler, staying home another day.

Someday soon, we'll be back on our feet.

Chicken stock shot from google search.


lapoflux said...

I am so impressed - I am threatening to leave town after my two weeks of sickies (hubby too) and here you are making stock.
Thanks for the recipe - it may be the only way I would ever try - you may have me motivated!

lapoflux said...

and glad you are back!

~Swankymama said...

Yummmmm, will this help with misery as well as colds? I hope so!

Professor J said...

Yumm. Glad you're back.

Susiej said...

It is so empowering to make this and give this to your kids... knowing it's exactly what they need. (I'm glad your back... I enjoy looking at your header sooooo much.)

Fantastic Forrest said...

Great recipe! That is truly the wonder food.

Kimberly said...

I feel like I haven't cooked "for real" in so long. I'm feeling inspired now!

phd in yogurtry said...

vinegar, huh? will have to consider. do you also add vinegar to chicken soup?

Stephanie Breuner said...

Sounds good to me. Now just read the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes and you will have a full meal.

Shana said...

Oh no, now the boy is ill? I'm sorry. A little broth will have him back on his feet in no time, no doubt.

The Girl Next Door said...

Wow looks totally yummy and useful - hope you are all feeling better soooooooon!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Welcome back.

Thanks for the chicken broth for the soul.

Suzanne said...

I have never understood the difference between broth and stock. Glad you've gotten your mojo back.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I don't know what role vinegar plays...I'm guessing lactic acid? I'll have to check into that one...

Erika said...

who is lena & how did she make your blog cuz your blog is AWESOME - streamlined, beautiful, inviting, i love it! Need your help!

yes, i am catching up - copied the broth, put it in email & sent it out, printed it out :) and will be doing this for SURE soon & FOR SURE using my OWN stock this year for thanksgiving (not buying!!!). Love you, thanks for taking the time to write it out after i pathetically begged :) twice :)