As I’ve posted previously, the weather here in my locale is already changing. The chill is already happening at night, leaves are slowly drifting down and change is definitely in the air. Not quite hibernation season yet, but the feeling of moving in that direction is already there. And that’s the time I start making Bone Broth soup.
Bone soup – a mainstay in my Ukrainian culture and life growing up as a farmers’ granddaughter. Soup stock was made consistently – there was never a week that went by, that we didn’t have soup – always from the bones. Our back-bone (no pun intended) staples were onions, garlic, and stock in comparisons to now, where pantry staples are considered to be bread and milk. To be honest, cans of soup or ready made food didn’t exist in our home, and the concept of quick convenience just wasn’t in our mindset.
Broth has big benefits for Bone (what else?) and joints. Basically, broth is an infusion by boiling healthy animal bones – fish, chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef, and essentially pulling the minerals out and into the fluid. As a result, it becomes a highly nutrient dense food laced with collagen, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous – crucial minerals which are often lacking in our western society convenience food diets.
Bones also have protein – at least 50% by volume; as the bones cook down, the protein matrix break down into gelatine which consists of several non-essential amino acids – proline and glycine. In addition to GAGs (glycosaminoglycans), such as hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphate, these form the building blocks of connective tissue formation, such as in tendons and ligaments, as well as improving the health of skin, nails, and hair. Bone broth is excellent for digestion as well, given that glycine helps increase stomach acid production and effective for treatment of ‘leaky gut syndrome’.
Bone broth also is wonderful for immune boosting and now that the seasons are changing here, it will be once again become a staple in my house – oh, and the kids love it too(!) especially when they walk into that cesspool called School.
So, when searching your bone sources, always look out for either grass-feed beef, chicken or wild fish. The health of the animal is critical here, so ask questions of your meat! But honestly, any animals bones will do – I personally love chicken and cook a lot of chicken broth, however beef bones are popular as well. Add backs, necks, feet, tails and knuckles to your liquids – they will all work,
That being said, here is my recipe that I grew up with my Ukrainian grandmother making it – weekly. Have fun with it too! Intention is everything in cooking.
Dr. O’s 1-2-3 Chicken Bone Broth Soup:
1 medium-large size organic chicken (rinsed)
1 cup apple cider vinegar (helps pull out minerals from the bone)
1 liter water (or enough to cover the bones)
2 medium carrots – sliced
2 small white or yellow onions or 2 medium leeks – sliced
2 large celery stalks with leaves
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp (total combined) black peppercorn, + seasalt + fresh ginger sliced
Instructions: Place whole chicken into your pot or crockpot. Trim off the fat as much as possible. If you can’t do that, you need to skim off the fat periodically as you go along in the cooking process. Add all the remaining ingredients. Set your crockpot or pot to boil for the first 30 min. Then reset the crockpot down to Slow Cook or pot to low heat. Walk away for the next 12-24 hours. Be patient! This is key to the whole process.
Do check every ½ hr – 1 hr, to skim off any foamy fat and residue that accumulates on the surface or if any water evaporates – if so, just keep adding a little to keep the chicken submerged.
Once complete, strain out the vegetables and spices (if you like). Take out the chicken and bones. By this point, the meat will be falling off the bones. Strain the remaining broth through a strainer or cheesecloth, to eliminate any remaining fat and residue. You can also strip off the meat at this point if you like, shred it and re-add it to the broth, or simply just consume the broth on its own.
Alternate step: if you cook this throughout the day, and strain the solids out, place the remaining broth in the fridge over night. Any excess fats and residue will rise to the top and consolidate. In the morning, you can skim and remove it with ease.
Alternate step2: after taking out the solids, you can re-blend the cooked veg and herbs in a blender (I use Vita-Mix), re-season and heat on the stove. Voila(!), you now have a second type of soup. No waste whatsoever.
If you make surplus, which often is the case, freeze the broth – you can now use it as a stock for future soups or consume it as you need.
It’s easy as 1 – 2 – 3 !
To your best health,
Dr. O //
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