It’s officially bone broth and soup season! Bone broths are all the rage at the moment, and with very good reason. Bone broths contain gelatin, which helps heal gut inflammation and is also great for inflamed joints and the immune system. When I’m making my bone broth I do two batches at once. One batch; the broth – to use for the next few days in whatever meals I can possibly add it to, like spag bol, soups or stews. The other, I make a stock paste out of and then freeze and use instead of the horrible stock cubes full of salt and unrecognisable ingredients. I have two crock pots cooking at the same time and just add a lot more Celtic sea salt to the one I’m using as a freezable stock, so it doesn’t completely solidify in the freezer. I like to add lots of anti inflammatory herbs and spices too to help with inflammation and for flavour. You can cook your stock anywhere from 2 hours to overnight, depending on your time limits. (If you have histamine intolerance or are sensitive to amines, you really only want to cook it for two hours.) One batch of chicken stock paste generally gets me through a season; it lasts me about three months in the freezer. It’s really not that fiddly to make, and so good for your gut, plus it makes your meals taste much richer and full of flavour.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN BONE BROTH
- 1 kilo of fresh free range chicken legs (or chicken pieces, carcass)
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic oil or 2 x garlic cloves
- green part of 3 spring onions
- green part of 1 x leek
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon either freshly grated or ground turmeric
- 1 x large carrot
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (you must use this to help leech the nutrients out of the bones)
- 1-2 sticks celery, diced
- 4 litres filtered water or more if needed depending on how long you cook the broth for. (Use only 1 litre if doing the stock paste)
- Salt n pepper to season.
METHOD FOR THE BONE BROTH
Add olive and garlic oil to crock pot and add chicken legs with herbs, ginger, garlic oil, spring onions, leek, turmeric, chopped carrots, celery and tamari. Cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat to brown the chicken slightly then add enough boiled water to cover the chicken. Let it simmer away on a low heat. Let it cook for a minimum of two hours to let all the minerals out of the cells of the chicken bones, which is where all the beneficial marrow and T cells are. (Vegetarians would be disgusted in this! ) But this, combined with the gelatin, is what helps heal the gut. The minerals from the bones are also much more absorbable in this form. Keep topping it up with water every 20 minutes or so when the water has reduced, the bones should be covered with water at all times preferably. Then, scoop the chicken bones out and slice the meat off them. Make sure you use this chicken in another dish, as this chicken is full of goodness! Season with broth with salt n pepper to taste. Strain the broth of bones, meat and vegetables, and store in air tight containers or jars in the fridge.
This broth should keep in the fridge for approximately 3-4 days or in the freezer for at least 3 months.
FOR THE STOCK PASTE:
FOR THE STOCK PASTE USE THE SAME INGREDIENTS IN ANOTHER CROCK POT/ BIG SAUCEPAN/SLOW COOKER AND JUST ADD APPROX 100 GRAMS EXTRA OF CELTIC SEA SALT TO HELP PRESERVE IT, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE COOKING PROCESS. YOU’LL ONLY NEED APPROX 1 LITRE BOILED WATER FOR THE PASTE AS YOU WANT IT LIKE A THICK STEW, NOT A LIQUID SOUP.
This sounds like a lot of salt I know, but I’ve tried reducing it and you don’t seem to get the same consistency when you freeze the paste. You want to be able to scoop it out of your jar so it comes out easily. Without the right amount of salt it freezes solid and it’s a pain to scoop. Plus its a good quality salt that you are using, so slightly better for you. Much less salt per serving also than supermarket stocks. Approximately 1 tablespoon of paste is what you’ll need to use in a dish like a curry, soup or spag bol.
For the stock paste you want it to be thick like a stew not a soup. Take the meat off the bones of the chicken and discard the bones. Put the chicken meat back in the crock pot then remove from heat and let it cool for half an hour. Pop it in to a food processor or thermomix, then blend away until the paste is a smoothish consistency. I blend in my thermomix for 1 minute on Speed 7. Transfer the paste into clean sterilised jars, then freeze. This will keep for approximately 3 months in the freezer; long enough to keep you nice and healthy through the Winter season!