Nourishing broth – the perfect base

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Brodo, broth, stock.

Stock recipes are an art more than a science. It’s really just a case of throwing in whatever you have got, However, some things can make the stock bitter, so the following is a good base from which to work. Remember you can use scraps and off-cuts too. Keep a container in your freezer and fill with off-cuts of carrots, onions, parsley stalks etc for future stocks.

Stock has been found to be one of the most nutritious and healing foods.Traditionally given to people when sick, hundreds of years ago a warming bowl of stock was commonly offered to travellers and the frail. (BC – before coffee!). The longer you cook it the stronger and thicker it gets. If you want it quickly  for soup, you might not want to cook for more than 4-5 hours. But the longer you cook it the more gelatin seeps out of the bones, which is great for bases in stews and risottos.

Note: Try and use pastured chickens if you can. The more conventionally grown chickens will produce a lot of scum, so If you have had to economise you will want to keep your eye on the scum and fats and remove.

Basic home-made chicken stock

  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 4 to 12 hours
  • Total time: up to 12 hours
  • Serves: approx 6 – 250 ml containers.
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 chicken carcasses (preferably left over and scavenged from a roast) or one carcass plus 600 – 800 grams chicken legs, wings or necks. It’s best to get a good mixture of meat and bones to get a well-flavoured stock. (I find legs give the best gelatinous texture and flavour)
  • 2 large onions quartered
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 5 parsley Stalks
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 6 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • I add about 5 cloves of garlic – If you are not a garlic fan – add just one clove or leave it out
  • Optional – I like to add a roughly chopped fresh turmeric root for healing. It’s a great anti-inflammatory.

Instructions:

  1. Stick all the ingredients in a very large pan. (I use a 10 litre pot)
  2. Fill with cold water to cover and bring to the boil.
  3. Once boiling — lower the heat and simmer for a minimum of 4 hours. Longer if you have time — 8 to 12 hours gets a good stock.
  4. To get all minerals and nutrients from the bones its best to cook for 12 hours. (the apple cider vinegar also helps to extract the minerals from the bones)
  5. If there is a scum on top, scoop it off and throw away.
  6. The stock should reduce by half by the end of cooking. If the stock looks like its drying out or getting too low, then add a bit more water.
  7. Strain the stock into a large bowl or pan through a sieve.
  8. Pop in the fridge to chill. Take the fat off the top and throw out if you had to use conventional chicken. If you used organic and/or pasture raised chicken, why not try rendering the fat?
  9. Pour into containers to freeze or use straight away.

Note on storage: I store mine in glass jars. they will last 3 – 4 days in the fridge or a year in the freezer. Mine last about a week as I drink it every day.

For other things to do with stock and broth read more here.

Here is a beef broth recipe.

Do you make broth regularly or do you buy it? What do you use your stock for?

 

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