I’ve always wanted to do this!
After reading so much about the health benefits of bone broth (a.k.a stock) from books like Deep Nutrition and Nourishing Traditions, I figured it was about time to make it myself.
But I didn’t want to just wing it.
So, I got called on the experts to help me put it all together. Luke and Dr. Cate Shanahan, co-authors of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Foods, joined me yesterday via Skype to coach me through the process.
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!