I’m a big fan of recipes where the food roasts, slow cooks, or simmers. It means I don’t have to stand over a hot frying pan while the toddler is clinging to my legs, getting into trouble, or needing a diaper change. More and more, I’m finding that nutritious meals don’t always need to be complicated, and that a little prep once a week makes it much more likely that we’ll be eating healthy all week long.
In the fall, winter, and early spring, I make a big batch of bone broth about every other week. Bone broth is so great for your body in so many ways! It’s rich in minerals your body can easily absorb such as magnesium, glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus. It’s got gelatin which heals your gut, supports your digestive system, and strengthens your nails, skin, and hair. The amino acids fight inflammation and infection from cold and flu viruses, so it’s a great boost for your immune system during those cold winter months. Last but definitely not least, it’s cheap and easy to make! I like to roast my chickens first, which leaves me with delicious tender chicken meat I can use in countless recipes. The carcasses and giblets I’m left with are used for the bone broth, which can also be used in countless recipes!
- 2 whole organic chickens with giblets
- 1 T paprika powder
- 1 T salt
- 1 T pepper
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 large carrots, halved
- 2 celery stalks, halved
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Remove the giblets from the chickens and save in the fridge for the bone broth.
- Rinse the chickens, pat dry, and place breast side down in a roasting pan.
- Sprinkle liberally with paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes per pound (go by the largest chicken).
- Remove and leave on the counter until it’s cool enough for you to handle with your fingers.
- Remove the meat and save the rest!
I had about 5 cups of chicken meat! I used it for tacos, chicken avocado dip, and chicken soup. But really, your options here are endless! Quiche, chicken and broccoli casserole, chicken tikka masala… . For the tacos, I seasoned the chicken with taco seasoning, sautéed some onions and peppers, and heated up some corn tortillas in a skillet. Garnish with salsa, avocado, sour cream, and cheese. For the chicken avocado dip, I mixed 1 cup of chicken with 1 avocado, half a diced tomato, and 1/4 of a diced onion. Add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lime juice, and you have a delicious dip for some organic corn chips (or a bed of lettuce). For the chicken soup, I threw 1 cup of chicken back into 4 cups of bone broth, and added some seasoning, carrots, and zucchini. Simmer until the carrots are soft.
Directions for the bone broth:
- Place the carcasses of the two chickens you roasted as well as the giblets you saved in a large pot.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and add water to cover all the bones and vegetables.
- Add a splash (about 1/4 cup) of apple cider vinegar.
- Bring to a boil. Bring down to a simmer and cover.
- Simmer for 24-48 hours, stirring every couple of hours
- Place a large strainer over a large bowl (or you can do this in batches). Spoon or pour all the liquid, bones, and vegetables into the strainer.
- Keep the liquid and discard what’s in your strainer.
Keeps in the fridge for up to a week, and freezes very well. I usually use a few cups to make some kind of soup (like butternut squash soup!), and freeze the rest for the next week.
I find that this doesn’t even need salt and pepper, but I’ll usually add some to whatever dish I’m making with it. When I’m sick with a cold or I feel like my immune system needs a little boost, I’ll warm up a mug of this with the juice of half a lemon, and some freshly grated ginger. Add some cayenne if you’re congested.
Have you tried bone broth? What did you think?