No one likes a dry, overcooked Thanksgiving turkey.
After hours and hours of prep time and cooking, a subpar turkey dinner can be a real bummer for everyone at the table, especially the cook.
So this year, my friend Chef Lance and I have set out on a mission to rid the world of dry bird disasters.
We’re calling it Operation Juicy Bird.
Our objective: To show YOU how to make the juiciest, most flavorful turkey to ever grace your Thanksgiving table.
One that will draw raves from your friends and family.
To carry out our mission, the chef and I filmed a step-by-step video for you below.
And that’s not it…
We also had Carrie the Graphic Designer put together an instructional Underground Holiday Recipe Guide with ingredients and instructions for your Juicy Bird as well as delicious side dishes, including yams, Paleo Bread stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with bacon.
Back in October, my main man and favorite real food chef Lance Roll was my guest on UW Radio. We spoke about all things bone broth — the benefits, the science, and the preparation.
Since that show, Chef Lance has been swamped with emails from listeners asking if he ships his broth to locations outside of San Diego. Unfortunately, due to logistical issues — such as the broth thawing while en route — shipping was not an option at the time.
But I’ve got good news for you. The chef got it all figured out and is now shipping directly to your doorstep!
Last month Lance stopped by my place, where we filmed the video below showing you exactly what to do with your broth when it arrives. He also shows you a few ways to add a little extra flavor and nutrition to what he calls “the magical elixir”.
Over the years, I have gotten my fair share of email from readers, viewers, and listeners wondering what they can do if high-quality (grass-fed, free-range, wild) protein sources aren’t quite in the budget.
Well, here’s a pretty cool option — you can drink more bone broth!
It’s cheap. It heals the gut, thus improving nutrient absorption. And apparently, when consumed in sufficient quantities, it reduces our protein needs. In other words, we can get away with consuming less protein.
Sarah Pope covered this topic pretty thoroughly in her Real Food Summit presentation, which I have posted for FREE viewing as part of yesterday’s blog.
Check out the video clip below in which Chef Lance Roll and I discuss this fascinating benefit of that magical elixir we call bone broth.
Never in my life did I imagine I’d be so head over heels about a soup made from bones.
I guess you can say I have quite the man crush on the rich, brown liquid that fills my coffee cup each morning.
It makes me feel warm inside, and puts a little pep in my step.
And oh my, is it tasty!
But my fondness for bone broth goes well beyond its taste and warmth. There’s a reason why it’s called the magic elixir — and it’s a darn shame that more people aren’t drinking it.
There was a time, not long ago, when bone broth was a part of just about every meal we consumed in this country, as it provided the base for soups, gravies, and stews. Unfortunately, with the disappearance of the local butcher as well as the invention of brain-cell-killing MSG — which gave processed foods an artificial meaty flavor — preparing broth became a lost art.
These days, very few of us even know what it is, or why we should be consuming it.
So today I thought I’d share with you my own personal Top 5 Reasons Why Bone Broth is The Bomb. Here we go!
Reason #1: Bone Broth Makes Your Joints Feel as Smooth as Eggs.
Yes, that was a Dave Chappelle reference. If you don’t get it, don’t worry about it.
In her ridiculously awesome book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Cate Shanahan writes…
“The health of your joints depends upon the health of the collagen in your ligaments, tendons, and on the ends of your bones. Collagens are a large family of biomolecules, which include the glycosaminoglycans, very special molecules that help keep our joints healthy.”
Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). In fact, I’m absolutely certain that you’ve heard of one of them — glucosamine. Yep, those supplements that seemingly everyone is taking for joint health contain one of the GAGs we get from consuming bone broth.
You know me, I’m a food-first kind of guy. Here’s just one of the reasons why I prefer Real Food over supplementation…
Notice I said that glucosamine is just one of the GAGs contained in bone broth. When you consume broth you also get chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and likely a bunch of other equally important GAGs that have yet to be discovered.
What’s more, the GAGs we get from bone broth are resistant to digestion and are absorbed in their intact form. According to Dr. Cate, these intact GAGs like hormones, stimulating cells called fibroblasts which lay down collagen in the joints, tendons, ligaments, and even the arteries.
I can personally attest to the joint-healing benefits of bone broth. Before I began drinking it regularly, I had been dealing with a lingering dull pain in my left shoulder. After about a week and a half of daily consumption, the pain completely vanished. My knees feel much better when running stairs as well.
It’s truly powerful stuff!
Reason #2: Bone Broth Makes Your Hair, Skin, and Nails Look Dead Sexy.
I know people who, in a quest to recapture a youthful appearance, will pay top dollar for products that boost collagen — also the main constituent of hair, skin, and nails.
As we age, production of collagen declines and we start to see the outward signs of aging.
Out here in San Diego (Land of The Beautiful), botox — a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum — is all the craze for the reduction of lines and wrinkles.
That’s kinda weird, in my opinion. And expensive.
Personally, I’d much rather prepare and consume bone broth to keep my skin, hair (if I had any), and nails looking fabulous than have a toxin injected into my face.
But that’s just me.
(By the way, broth is super cheap to make on your own.)
Reason #3: Bone Broth Heals Your Gut!
Let’s keep it real. Most people reading this blog right now are experiencing some kind of gastrointestinal challenge — constipation, diarrhea, food sensitivities, leaky gut, or even autoimmune disease.
One of the most vital nutrients for healing the gut is gelatin. Yep, the stuff that makes the Jell-O jiggle.
There was a time when gelatin was the most studied nutrient under the sun for all of its healing virtues. Times have certainly changed.
To make a long story short, the intestinal lining is supposed to be permeable in order for nutrients to pass through. However, this lining can become too permeable due to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, stress, long-term contraceptive use, as well as bacterial and fungal overgrowths. Just think of poking huge holes in your window screens at home. Yes, the good air will pass through, but the flies, gnats, and mosquitoes will too.
This is how leaky gut — or gut hyperpermeability — works. Undigested food particles can slip through the gut lining and pass directly into the bloodstream. No bueno! When this happens, the immune system freaks out and starts attacking the very foods you eat — we call these food sensitivities.
Over time, this can turn into an autoimmune issue by which your immune system thinks your thyroid — or any other tissue, for that matter — looks like the piece of steak molecule it’s been fighting off for the past few years. In other words, your body starts to attack itself.
According to our good friend Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, autoimmunity will soon be the number one cause of death in this country. Gut hyperpermeability is a big reason why.
What does bone broth have to do with any of this? Well, the gelatin in bone broth spackles the excess holes in the gut lining, so to speak. It’s quite the handyman, and should be part of any gut-healing protocol.
Reason #4: Bone Broth Reduces Your Need for Meat and Protein.
This is pretty darn interesting. In her fantastic Real Food Summit (RFS) presentation, Sarah Pope revealed that studies conducted in the 1800s demonstrated that when there is plenty of gelatin in the diet, the body’s need for protein from meat sources can be reduced by as much as fifty-percent!
We all know that purchasing quality meats can be hard on the wallet. The good news is that you can make bone broth for dirt cheap and thus save money on meat.
Not a bad deal.
By the way, you can watch Sarah’s RFS presentation below for FREE until Friday night. You may learn more about ordering the entire set of summit videos, audio files, transcripts, and bonuses HERE.
Reason #5: Bone Broth Helps Get the Toxins Out.
Here’s another golden nugget from Mrs. Pope. The liver is the master organ of detoxification. Unfortunately, it was never intended to withstand the very toxic, chemical nature of today’s world.
The liver is certainly under assault on a daily basis, and its capacity to detoxify is limited by the availability of the amino acid glycine.
Guess where you can get tons of glycine from? Bone broth, baby!
For now, forget about all the fancy detox programs you’ve heard about. Do your liver a favor by giving it what it needs to do its job most effectively.
Gosh, I can go on and on with this blog. The benefits of consuming bone broth are endless. That’s why it’s the bomb.
Down below, you’ll find a list of resources including a couple videos on how to make broth at home, as well as some excellent articles.
If you missed last night’s radio show, it was all about broth. My main man Chef Lance Roll crushed it! You can listen to the show HERE, or click the player below.
I liked it so much that the Shanahans came all the way to San Diego to hang out and show me how to make Brown Beef Stock.
The stock is loaded with glycosaminoglycans, which are phenomenal for healing and building up collagen. If you have aches and pains, you gotta prepare this recipe!
I had Luke send over a list of the ingredients, as well as the instructions. Check them out below and watch the step-by-step video we put together.
Let us know how yours turns out!
* grass fed soup bones and a joint bone (knee or other joint) w/ some meat on them (2-3 lbs)
* 2 12 oz. cans of tomato puree
* 1 small can tomato puree
* celery, 6 stalks
* onions, 2-3
* carrots, 5 medium-large
* fresh parsley
* bay leaves
* fresh thyme
* black peppercorns
* 2 or 3 cloves
* red wine, nothing labeled “cooking wine,” inexpensive but drinkable
* sea salt
* olive oil
* flour, 1 tbsp
* cold, filtered water, about 3 gal
Step 1) Lightly coat bones and meat trimmings with olive oil. Then rub tablespoon of tomato paste mixed with one tablespoon flour onto bones and roast alone in a large roasting pan for 30-40 mins at 400 f., or an hour at 350 f.
Step 2) Add lightly (olive) oiled mirepoix (rough cut onions, carrots, and celery) and continue roasting for another half hour (check color; caramelize, but don’t burn).
Step 4) Add the bones only to a large stock pot. Put the roasted vegetables aside and refrigerate. Add a cup of red wine, half a can of the tomato puree and enough cold water to cover bones plus one inch.
Step 5) Deglaze the hot roasting pan by pouring in some red wine or water to remove the nice caramelized drippings. (If you have the kind of pot you can put on the stovetop, you can get it a little hotter this way to aid deglazing.) Add this rich liquid (called “fond”) to the stock pot. That’s extra flavor!
Step 5) Heat stock at medium heat, stirring every few minutes and watching closely. Bring to a low, low simmer–but NEVER BOIL with the bones in the stock (as this extracts bitter proteins and clouds the finished stock).
Step 6) Low boil or steep at around 200 f. (just short of making boiling bubbles) for 12-24 hours, no more, no less. You can leave uncovered or partially covered. But never cover (as in seal, with no way for steam to escape) your stock when hot as doing so “sours” the stock. Every once in a while, use a slotted spoon to remove any scum that forms at the top of the liquid. That scum can make the stock bitter, so remove it every half an hour for the first few hours.
Step 7) For the last hour (or two) of low simmer, add those roasted veggies you put in the refrigerator. Throw the bay leaves and cloves in when you add the veggies. If your a fan of tomato (as I am), add another 12 ounce. can of tomato puree at this time if you’d like.
Step 8. For the last half an hour of the low simmer, toss in the fresh parsley (plenty, as in the full bunch) thyme (half as much as the parsley) and a flat tablespoon of peppercorns. (If you only have dry spices, you can steep them in the stock using one of those big tea balls, dangling it from the side of the pot by the chain a full hour before you take the stock off the heat.)
Step 9) Remove the dry herbs tea ball, if that’s what you used. Let the stock cool for a while on a cooling rack, until it’s cool enough to handle and strain. Strain through a fine wife mesh strainer into another big pot. (The bones are big and heavy, so you might want to remove those with big tongs or a solid slotted spoon before straining.) You can also use cheesecloth to strain, as Sean did so expertly when straining his chicken stock.
Step 10) Once the stock’s in the other pot, chill in an ice bath in the sink. Stir both the stock and the ice water to cool quickly. Once it’s at room temperature, put the stock into the refrigerator to chill.
Step 11) After it chills overnight, you’ll notice that the stock has formed a cap of fat on top. This can be as much as an inch thick. Remove this by cutting into quadrants with a knife and gently lifting it off of the gelatinous stock.
Step 12) If you like, reduce the stock by up to a half. Season with a little sea salt, but keep in mind that the more you further reduce, the saltier it will get–so under-season! You can always add more salt later. Now warm the stock for a couple minutes on the stove to make it easier to pour, and pour into little plastic or glass containers and store in the freezer for up to several months. I use painter’s tape to label the date of the stock, and the type of stock. Just remember to leave a little room to allow the freezing liquid to expand. Enjoy!
I know, you can barely see their faces in the video. My bad! The Ustream link below has a better angle.
If you’re following along from home, here’s what you’ll need:
The Main Ingredients
* 2 chicken carcasses – I had Allyson the Assistant pick up a couple of organic rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods
* clean water – of course!
* some cheap white wine – we got the cheapest
* a big ass pot
* 4-5 medium carrots – peel ‘em and cut ‘em into 3-4 pieces each
* 3 stalks of celery – also cut into 3-4 pieces
* 2 onions – chop ‘em (careful, they’ll make you cry)
* bay leaves
* pepper corns
* seal salt
It’s was simpler than I thought it would be. Here’s how it goes down.
1. Put your chicken carcasses in you big ass pot and cover them with water (have about an inch of water above the bones)
2. Add 1/2 cup of white wine to the mix (WATCH the video to find out why we use wine)
3. Throw it on the stove at medium heat (DON’T BOIL IT!) for about 2.5 hours.
4. Check on it every 15 minutes or so to pull off any scum that rises to the top.
5. Once 2.5 hours has passed, go ahead and strain the stock (broth) through a colander to get the chicken bones and meat out. I screwed up this part. My bad!
6. Add the “mirepoix” (the veggies) and the dry spices (pepper corns, thyme) to the now-boneless stock and put it back on the stove for another 45-60 mins. Remember, NO BOILING!
7. When you have 20 mins to go, add the chopped-up parsley, a few bay leaves, and about a TBSP of sea salt for taste. See Luke’s tips below.
8. Once it’s done, strain it again through a small metal colander, a metal coffee strainer, or a cheese cloth (like me).
Straining Tip from Luke: “It’s easier to strain stock when it’s still pretty hot. At room temp and lower, the fat and gelatin kinda stop up the strainer.”
9. Put stock in your fridge after it’s down to room temp and allow to cool overnight. On the next day, remove the fat that has collected on the top.
10. Store in small plastic containers in the freezer. Be sure to leave a little room in the containers for the freezing stock to expand.
A few more tips from Luke:
Toward the end, after you’ve added the fresh parley, you should add about a tablespoon of sea salt to help you taste the stock. Check it for acid. If it tastes kinda flat and fatty (taste from underneath the surface to get the real taste because the fat goes to the surface), then add some more white wine and/or fresh lemon juice. Also, if you plan to use the chicken stock for non-asian soups (don’t do this if your going to make Tom Ka Gai), you can add a whole can of tomato product before the final straining. Trust your taste buds. Check the stock as your cooking toward the end and add acid or spice or–in moderation, because the stock gets saltier when reduced–salt.
Thanks, Mr. Shanahan!
Luke and Dr. Cate’s 4 Stock No-No’s!
1) NEVER BOIL YOUR STOCK! Not even for a few minutes. Vigorous boiling releases unwanted particles that can actually emulsify into the stock, making them impossible to strain out. This can make the finished stock bitter and cloudy. Just a low, gentle simmer or even below a simmer for a hot steeping at around 200 degrees f. extracts flavor, gelatin and other nutrients if you do it long enough. When it comes to chicken stock, however, you can go too long.
2) For chicken stock, don’t simmer or steep for over 12 hours. This is not a magic number. You can make a decent stock in just a couple hours. I let my stock stay on the heat for 6-8 hours. Anything beyond 12 hours, however, and you can start to create off flavors, and you don’t get much, if any, benefit in flavor or nutrition extraction. Beef stock, on the other hand, takes at least 12 hours on the heat, and a full 24 hours is preferable.
3) Never cover your stock while it’s on the heat, or while it’s cooling down. You may partially cover it, it you wish, to retain some extra heat. But covering the pot completely without allowing steam to escape–to use Julia Child’s words–”sours the stock.”
4) Use wine (white for chicken stock, red for beef or lamb stock) for the acid at the beginning of the stock-making process. Avoid using vinegar if you can, as it leaves the finished product tasting sharp. If you don’t have wine, for a chicken stock you can use lemon, and for a beef stock you can use tomato product (pureed tomatoes), presuming that you aren’t planning on using the stock for Asian or other recipes that may be incompatible with tomato flavor.
One last thought. Happy animals make for healthier, far tastier stock. So go free range chickens and grass fed and finished beef if at all possible.
A good stock is a half an hour away from being a fantastic soup, and 5 minutes away from being a great demi-glace or gravy.
One last mistake: They don’t make it often enough!
BIG THANKS to the Shanahan Fam for schooling us on how too hook up some chicken stock! They’ll be back very soon LIVE in the UW kitchen to show us how to make beef stock. Can’t wait!
Be sure to watch the video above. Sorry you can’t see their faces very well. BUT we did stream our shoot LIVE on Ustream if you’d like a better angle. You can check it out HERE and catch all of the great info I edited out of the video above. There’s even a Q&A session with our live audience (a fire alarm, too)!
And don’t forget to buy Deep Nutrition from the UW Store! It’s one of my faves!