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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Restorative Broth

Restorative Broth |
Tis the season for colds and flu. We've been battling it in our household for the last few days I decided it was past time to make a big batch of my warming Restorative Broth. Okay, so it's basically an uber concentrated stock...but it works for clearing your head and bringing you back to life. I put in a good dose of garlic and most importantly...ginger (both of which have fabulous medicinal qualities)!

The Cherokee used garlic as an expectorant and to prevent and fight the common cold. Ginger has also been a long-standing folk remedy for colds...and it is oh, so warming. A good dose of these two plants along with a chicken, some common vegetables and some herbs simmering away on the stove will fill your home with such a comforting scent that you may start to feel better already.

Other than the fact that we really needed it, I knew I was supposed to make the broth when I went to the market and found whole chickens for .88 cents per pound! A sign...I bought two...chickens, not pounds. I always make a big batch of this broth because other than being a powerhouse on its own, it is also great used to make chicken noodle soup...or any other recipe you would use broth or stock in.

Restorative Broth |
start with a whole chicken

Restorative Broth |
restorative goodness

Restorative Broth |
boil gently and skim the scum as it rises for a clear broth

Restorative Broth |

Restorative Broth |
If your fridge is full, cool it off in the snow

Restorative Broth |
Refrigerating overnight makes removing the fat easy

Restorative Broth
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Keywords: simmer soup/stew chicken ginger garlic winter fall

Ingredients (3-4 quarts)
  • 1 whole chicken (or pieces w/ skin & bone)
  • 3 small yellow onions, wash and quarter (do not peel)
  • 5 carrots, wash and cut into chunks
  • 5 celery stalks, wash and cut into chunks
  • 6-8 fat cloves garlic, smashed & peeled
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & quartered
  • small handful thyme sprigs
  • small handful fresh parsley and/or cilantro
  • palmful black peppercorns
  • scant palmful whole cloves
Put all ingredients in a large stock pot (approx 8 quarts). Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low. Skim any scum that forms on the top. Partially cover and let simmer lazily for about 3 hours.

Line a strainer (or use a chinois) with a wet coffee filter or cheesecloth. Ladle broth into storage container through strainer. You can discard all the leftover solids. (You can use the meat from the chicken to add back in soup later or in a separate recipe; it will fall off the bone, but most of it’s flavor will be gone…given over to the rich broth!)

Cool broth down as rapidly as possible by putting container in an ice water bath, an extremely cold cooler (w/out other food) or whichever method works for you. I leave it overnight in refrigerator once cooled. Remove from refrigerator. All of the fat will have risen to the top and congealed. Remove with a spoon (this is why I refrigerate overnight…makes it so simple to remove fat). You now have a beautiful, golden, restorative broth.

To serve, heat over stove (or in microwave) until piping hot. At this point, you can season whole batch or per serving (to taste) with salt. You may also use this as a base for soups or in place of other broths, stocks or water in soup.
Restorative Broth |
drink hot in an oversized mug that you can wrap your hands around for warmth when you're feeling under-the-weather