By Dr Sarah Lantz
Makes about 4-5 litres
A nourishing broth that is light on effort, but big on returns – and versatility. Historically chicken soup is regarded as a therapeutic dish, several studies confirming its knack to help to unblock congested noses and throats, reducing mucous in the lungs, and supports white blood cells in fighting colds.
In the second century BC, the Chinese medical text, Huangdi Neijing, declared chicken soup a ‘yang food’ – a warming dish – to which different therapeutic herbs can be added to cure various diseases. In China still today, chicken soup is given to women after pregnancy and to elderly people. Both groups are considered to be in the need of energy-giving yang food, which is believed to transport ‘energy’ around the body and have an invigorating effect.
These days we also now know that bone broth is also a powerful gut healer. Collagen-rich gelatin, released from the bones during cooking, is an excellent multitasker: nourishing and helps fight inflammation, and is beneficial for restoring the strength of your gut lining. Adding nutrient-dense vegetables and herbs into your bone broth can provide even more benefits.
Chicken bone broth is a staple in our home freezer. Drinking bone broth daily is a simple – and sustainable – practice to kickstart healing from the inside out, but also for its flavoursome base for soups and stews.
- 2 carcasses of organic free-range chicken
- 5 feet from organic free-range chicken (if you can find)
- 2 brown onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 pieces of ginger (sliced) or galangal
- 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar or kombucha vinegar
- 1 to 2 sticks of lemongrass (optional)
- Coriander and cloves, sprigs of thyme (optional)
- Water (sufficient to cover everything)
- Salt (to taste)
- Fill a large pot or slow cooker (around 6 litres) with all the ingredients listed and water to cover all the produce. Leave the broth to soak for 20 minutes, the acid helps make the nutrients in the bones breakdown and become more available to the cooking process.
- Cover with the lid of the slow cooker or pot and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 24 hours.
- During the first 2 hours of simmering, you will need to remove the impurities (dross) that float to the surface. A foamy layer will form, and it can be easily scooped off with a large spoon. Do this every 20 minute or so. Organically raised, grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much fewer impurities than conventional animals.
- When finished simmering, strain the liquid using a fine metal strainer or a cheesecloth to remove all the fragments of bones and veggies.
- Add salt to taste (if using) and store your broth in glass jars in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer up to 6 months for later use. If you freeze your broth, don’t forget to leave enough space at the top for expansion, particularly if your broth contains large amounts of fat.
- If you want to use the fat, let your broth cool in the fridge overnight. In the morning you will see a nice creamy colour on top of your bone broth. Scoop it out and store it in a jar for cooking.
Dr Sarah Lantz (PhD)
Buchi Brew Co. & Sacred Women’s Way