Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the other liquid gold

(The first, of course, being human milk...!)

Yes, that's right... another post on bone broth!

 Every time I make a chicken, which is usually every second Sunday, I make stock. On Sunday we roast the chicken, on Monday we eat any leftover meat, and then I toss the bones and skin and bits right into my crock pot, then rinse out the pan before we even sit down for supper that day. I cover the bones etc. with water, then a few good splashes of apple cider vinegar, and turn it on low for 12 hours. Then I go sit at the table and enjoy my evening.
 It's really that straightforward. I used to fuss more with salt, vegetables, etc., but I've learned these really don't matter. If you've first seasoned and roasted the chicken, there will still be salt on the remains. The point of the stock-making process isn't to make a perfectly balanced soup - the point is to extract as much nutritional content and flavour as possible from the leftover bones and meat. Vegetables can be added when you cook whatever it is you make with the broth.Chances are you'll add more veg then anyway, so save yourself the extra time!
 In the morning I turn off the crock pot, remove the lid, and let it hang out for awhile, like 2-3 hours at least, to cool off. I then use a medium sieve to get out what solids I can, and start to work it, squeezing out the liquids, crumbling the bones, and pressing it all against the sieve to let the goodness drip into the stock. (To see this process a bit check out this entry from last year, which has a video of me crumbling chicken bones cooked in water and vinegar). I put the squeezed-out solids aside in a bowl, then continue to repeat the process. At some point I pour the liquid over the sieve into my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, because it's a nice fit, and finish the scraps there. I then pour all the squeezed-out bits back into the sieve, pour a bowlful of stock over it, and then squeeze it out once more. I swipe the bottom of the sieve with my fingers and let the fine loose particles fall into the stock. Then I serve the solids to the cat. (Where you wondering what those pictures were?)
 The resulting stock is very different from your typical animal stock. In fact I think there should be a different word for stock that is made with vinegar. It's a whole new level of nutrient density, and the quality is just very different...! Look at this recipe on allrecipes.com, for example. See the top picture? Bright yellow and clear stock, made with no vinegar, bones discarded. Will it taste chickeny? Sure. Is it thick and nutrient-dense like the vinegar-kind? No. Look at the solids on the bottom of my jar! (Are you confused about the difference between broth and stock? Apparently a lot of people are. No worries, just be sure to support me when I become president and insist that we clarify our vocabulary.)
Lovely fats and gelatin floats on the top, and will solidify in the fridge. Be sure to lovingly help it all out of the jar when you use your stock to make anything; don't leave behind that goodness! Can be used to make soup, or cook rice, quinoa, beans, etc. Bon appetit!


  1. I disagree on the use of vegetables when making broth. Ive tried both with and without (making sure to use the same things so I could measure them up), and taste wise, the broth that had been done with the veggies won hands down, no questions asked. I wouldnt be able to say if it actually added nutritional qualities or not (although I assume so, in a way). In any case, broth for everyone!

    1. Oh, I don't disagree that the flavour is better. Obviously vegetables and herbs contribute something unique to the broth.

      What I'm getting at is that if you're using the broth to make soup, which is how I usually use it, you're going to be adding vegetables to cook that anyway - and because I like to make my stock in as little time as possible, and not add more prep than necessary, it makes more sense to me to just do the vegging at actual cooking time.

      With my routine I think it's better to keep it simpler even if I know I plan to use it to cook rice or something. This is also I guess because chicken stock takes a long time, to get out the minerals from the bones, and the length and intensity of heat can actually diminish vegetable flavours as well as vitamin content of veggies... whereas if you add them to a dish to cook for just an hour (with rice) or 20 minutes (with quinoa) or whatever, you retain a lot more of the flavour, colour, and nutrition of the veggies, and since you're in cooking mode anyway, prepping the veggies at that moment isn't a big deal.

  2. I do not understand the difference between broth and stock. I guess in my head, broth is lighter, and stock is darker. I know you posted about it before, but I don't get it. Isn't stock just the stuff that broth is made of? Like stock cubes?