My secret ingredient for cooking a delicious bone broth
Bone broth is getting a resurgence because the Paleo movement is really into high quality nutrient dense protein, and bone broth is super nutrient dense.
For hundreds and hundreds of years, people have been using it as a cooking ingredient. You can cook your rice with a little bit of chicken stock instead of water, and if you’re looking for a nutrient punch, you can also drink it in place of hot tea at the end of the day!
Difference between stock and broth
The difference between stock and broth is pretty simple. Stock is just the bones boiled with water. It has the nutrients, it has the collagen from the bones, but it doesn’t have any flavor. But broth is when you add in the salt, the pepper, the herbs and spices, the carrots, the celery and onion.
People would make a stock so that they can add whatever seasoning they want for that particular dish. It gave them more creative freedom.
So, I’m going to make a broth because it’s much tastier and I don’t make enough things to need to season it individually. My chicken stock is going to be good for all of my things whether I drink it plain or use it to make more chicken or cook my veggies.
How to make a bone broth
1. You start off with some chopped up veggies.
The traditional ones are usually celery, carrots and onions. I like to chop them small. More of the nutrients and the flavor are pulled out of the veggies due to a higher surface area exposed on each piece.
You can also try freezing veggie scraps to use in broth later on. I like to trim my celery so that it’s easier to store in the fridge. I’ll cut off the top and bottom, store the part that I’m going to eat in the fridge, and freeze the scraps.
2. Then of course, you need bones.
I’ve got chicken bones. I get some excellent chicken leg quarters (the chicken leg and the thigh still attached together) from the farmer’s market. As we eat them, I toss the bones in the freezer until I have enough to do a big stock!
3. Add herbs and spices.
I like to use a whole head of garlic, some fresh oregano from my garden, and some fresh rosemary. Since this rosemary is fresh, I’m doing a small sprig. It’s just a couple of inches because fresh rosemary is much stronger than dried and it can start to taste medicinal if you use too much.
Then I’ve got a whole bunch of sage stems. I pulled off the leaves to use for something else, but the stems still have a whole bunch of flavonoids and are perfectly usable for stock.
Lastly, we’ve got a whole bunch of salt and pepper. About 1 teaspoon of salt per 6 cups of water. Just remember that it’s way easier to add salt than it is to take it out!
4. Use a big stock pot.
I am using a big stock pot which fits about 20 cups of water.
5. Use butter and saute veggies.
So, start the fire from your stove. Then put a little bit of butter on your pot, and saute the veggies a little bit first.
Toss everything in
After you have sauteed the veggies, add in all the salt and pepper, then the herbs. Next is to toss the chicken straight from the freezer into the pot. And finally, add in all the water.
6. Bring it up to a boil then simmer
Lastly, bring it up to a boil, then once it starts boiling, turn the heat down just to a simmer and let it cook for a few hours. You can let your bone broth cook for as long as you want. I would say at minimum of 3 or 4 hours. If you can have it going low all day, that’s definitely a good choice.
My secret ingredient!
So now, I’m going to tell you my secret ingredient. My secret ingredient to add into chicken stock is... a parmesan rind! Instead of throwing away your used up rind, toss it in with the chicken stock. It gets creamy, it adds a little salt, it’s a really nice addition to all those flavors that we put in with the herbs, the garlic, and the veggies. So that is my secret ingredient for bone broth!
Are you a vegetarian but you want to make a broth?
If you are a vegetarian and you like to make your own veggie stock, try adding some prunes! It adds a really deep richness to your veggie stock. The result will be a better substitute for a recipe that calls for beef stock, where you need something really rich and earthy.