In case you haven’t heard, there’s this flu epidemic thing going around. Everyone’s sick. And I’m determined not to be, so I’m doing all the immune-boosting things. Drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep, eating lots of fruits and veggies, taking Vitamin C, being strict about staying away from the list of “no-nos” on this diet. And, of course, chicken broth.
I don’t mean chicken broth from a box or a can. I mean boiling a chicken in a big pot of water with onions, garlic, and spices for hours until it’s a powerhouse of nutrients that helps support your body’s systems – including the immune system. If you are actually getting sick, this chicken broth soothes the throat like nothing else and makes you feel good and warm and cozy inside. Who doesn’t want to feel good and warm and cozy inside?
And…AND!…added bonus! Chicken broth has been found to be highly anti-inflammatory! That, and the collagen, proline, glycine all the other great joint-supporting elements from the chicken bones seep into the broth to make your bones happy. If you’re on this diet for joint reasons, this is an excellent thing to start drinking. Bone broth also is extremely healing and soothing to the digestive tract, and is a key component in gut-healing diets. So, there are lots of reasons to drink this on a regular basis, but especially through cold-and-flu-season.
For this, you really want to use the best quality chicken you can find. You’re ingesting the very essence of the animal, so you want that essence to be healthy and wholesome. That won’t be found in a factory-bred chicken. This is the time to invest in a chicken that is preferably pastured, but at the least organic. My CSA slaughters their chickens that are no longer laying eggs and sells them as stewing chickens for a good price, and that’s what I use.
This is all you have to do: take your chicken and put it in a large stock pot filled with water. Put in about 5 whole peppercorns and 5 whole allspice berries, half of an onion, one clove of garlic cut in half, and a bay leaf. Simmer for most of the day – at LEAST 5 hours.
Drink it as it is, or turn it into a recipe. Use the broth in soup, or creamed chicken and mashed potatoes, or chicken and spelt dumplings.
I simply drink it from a mug. Delicious and soothing!
If you’re wanting to drink the broth regularly over the course of a week – whether for general health reasons or to feel better over the course of sickness – I saw this idea at Kitchen Stewardship. This is where the “Everlasting” part of Everlasting Chicken Broth comes in. Put the broth, including chicken and all the other things in it, in a covered crock pot. If you’ve already used the meat in a recipe, just put the bones in. Let it cook on low all week, taking out mug-fulls of it as necessary. Replace the removed broth with water as you use it, and let it continue to cook. By the end of the week, the bones will be very soft, as all the minerals and nutrients in them have cooked out into the liquid – and are being used by your body! Pretty nifty idea.
Everlasting Chicken Broth
- 1 whole chicken – preferably pastured, but at least organic
- Filtered water
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 of an onion
- 5 cloves garlic, cut in half
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric (or to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, filled with water until it’s full. Simmer over low heat all day, or at least 5 hours. Taste and add salt if necessary. (I find that a lot of salt really adds to the flavor.) To keep the broth over the course of a week, put all the ingredients in a large crock pot and cook, covered, over low or warm continuously for a week, drinking the broth daily and replacing what you use with water along the way. Use the meat in any recipe, or just eat it as is.