Of all the food trends… ramen, vegetables as pasta, acai bowls, fried chicken… bone broth is definitely the healthiest. Calling something that has been around for thousands of years a trend seems a bit silly, but the past year bone broth is everywhere. Farmer’s markets are filled with the stuff, photos appear on my Instagram feed daily and the twitter posts sharing who drank their bone broth this morning abound.
Bone broth tea. It’s a real thing. Check it out.
This isn’t a trend wagon I was planning on jumping on, and I honestly did not know much, err anything, about bone broth. Isn’t it just a hipster version of broth? The latest cure-all for all that ails you, and banishes belly bloat.
Ya this wasn’t a trend I was jumping on.. Until one night after roasting a whole chicken for dinner, I started to break down the carcass to make stock when I realized I accidentally had tossed out the vegetable scraps. Oops. With just an onion and bay leaves on hand, my stock plan needed to be revisited.
I decided it was time to educate myself on bone broth and give it a go. So if you are in the dark like me here is a basic breakdown of all things broth. Broth, stock, and bone broth share the same foundation – bones, water, seasonings, and vegetables. What sets them apart is the preparation.
What is bone broth?
- Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones. Broth is simmered for a short period of time from 45 minutes to 2 hours. It is very light in flavor and thin in texture.
- Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat. Often the bones are roasted before simmering them to improve the flavor. Stock is simmered for a moderate amount of time for 3 to 4 hours. Stock is richer in color.
- Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat that is remaining on the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time from 12 hours to 48 hours with the purpose to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints and to release minerals from bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.
What’s all the fuss about?
Lovers of the broth claim a long list of health benefits, including increased energy, better sleep, plumper skin, stronger joints and an improved immune system. As I said the latest cure-all.
Let’s break that down a bit.
Bone broth is full of glycine an amino acid. Glycine is credited with making our tummies happy again when digestion is off and helping us relax to get a good night sleep by falling asleep quicker and stay asleep.
The proteins in bone broth have an anti-inflammatory effect, and a cup of broth can provide your body that it needs to speed up recovery and fight off the common cold.
My personal favorite is high level of collagen in bone broth means you can skip your eye cream and still continue to look youthful. Okay I am sticking with my eye cream, but the collagen levels do support healthy skin and shiny, healthy hair.
- Chicken carcass, some meat remaining, broken into pieces (5-7 lb.)
- ½ white onion, cut into wedges
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 8 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 225F.
- Add all ingredients into an oven-proof stock pot, and over medium high heat bring to a boil.
- Place pot in oven. Check after 12 hours. The bones should be soft, the longer is remains in the oven the more flavor and nutrients develop. Slow cook for 12-18 hours.
- Strain into a large glass container using a fine mesh strainer. Skim off fat.
- Use immediately, or store in fridge for 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Now that I have shared all my wisdom I was able to collect I have to ask – are you convinced yet? Running out to pick up bones and hop on the bone broth wagon?
After my first bone broth experience, and all my reading, I have to say I’m not buying into all the health benefits, nor will I be starting my day with a hot mug of beef tea any time soon. What I am convinced of, is that it smells amazing while the broth slow cooks. I cooked the broth overnight and I may have woken up starving and craving soup around 5 am. Which brings me to my second buy in and that is bone broth makes AMAZING soup! Just check out that color.. The chicken bone broth is so rich in flavor and the texture is much thicker (in a good way) than my usual soup stock.
If you feel a cold coming on or just feel like a warm, hug a cold day; then I can certainly see the benefit of having some chicken bone broth in the freezer to make soup. Next up I am going to experiment with beef bone broth as a base for beef stew.
Until then this is a healthy, delicious soup and that will make the most of your chicken bones.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ large sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- ½ cup handful fresh parsley,stems and leaves split up, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 cup shredded cooked roast chicken
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups of kale (stems removed), finely chopped
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Lemon juice (optional)
- In a large stock pot, gently fry the onion in olive oil until it is soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and celery, stir and let them fry for a minute. Then add the carrots, finely chopped parsley stems, and broth, bring to the boil then lower to medium-low to simmer for 20 minutes.
- When the carrots are tender, add the shredded meat and kale, simmer for a few minutes to cook the kale.
- Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, then add lemon juice if using.
- Serve in bowls topped with fresh parsley.