Years ago Ramon told us that his grandfather in Mexico only drank broth, never the meat. “The broth will make you strong,” he said his grandfather told him. “The meat will weaken you.”
Of course, we Americans do pretty much the opposite, eating primarily what we would call the choice parts of the meat. Recently a once-vegetarian friend told me that she did not start feeling better until she started making and drinking bone broth.
Bone broth is coming into the public eye in a big way these days, at least in nutritional circles. It is being touted as an important way to support healthy digestion, clear skin, and joint and bone health. Recently our doctor suggested that we too drink at least a cup of bone broth a day, and so I began to experiment making it.
The process itself is one that slows you down, a goal of mine these days. I begin by roasting the chicken (the primary kind of broth I have been making) which I have rubbed inside and out with olive oil, sea salt, and dried lavender flowers. I include with various vegetables (onions, garlic, carrots, celery). This chicken makes the first meal, as I remove the meat from the carcass, leaving any that sticks to much, and either serve the chicken immediately or freeze it to add to soups or other dishes.
Roasting everything first makes a rich chicken bone broth, but it is not necessary. The next step is to put the carcass and the veggies into a crock pot, cover with water, add a little apple cider vinegar which leaches the minerals out of the bones, and cook this for at least 24 hours up to 48 hours. Cool a little and strain, and you have a wonderful bone broth to season and use as you wish.
This version is particularly good for cold season. Of course chicken broth has been shown to reduce symptoms of colds and flu, but the lavender (antibacterial and antiviral properties) and the citrus (Vitamin C) give an added punch.
1 whole organic chicken
3 stalks of celery
2 T fresh sliced ginger
2T fresh turmeric root
6 cloves garlic
2 springs rosemary, handful of fresh thyme, 2-3 sage leaves, 2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
enough water to cover
Rinse and dry whole organic chicken and rub with olive olive oil, sea salt, and dried lavender flowers. Place rosemary, sage, and thyme inside cavity. Coarsely chop garlic, onions, and carrots and toss with a little olive oil. Place in a roasting pan and bake until chicken reaches 165º.
Allow to cool and remove meat. Place carcass and roasted vegetables in crock pot along with chopped ginger, turmeric, and celery. Cook for at least 24 hours up to 48 hours. Cook and strain. When using broth, adding lime juice and chopped Italian parsley adds a fresh flavor for wintertime.