Healthy to the Bone

A new book celebrates this souped-up stock as the cold weather cure-all it is.

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If you aren't one of the many wellness devotees who has swapped out their morning coffee—or cold-pressed green juice—for a warm cup of collagen-rich bone broth, then you've probably at least heard tales of the wonders it can work. Here's what you should know: the rumored health benefits—healthy gut, boosted immunity, collagen support—are all true, but bone broth isn't simply some new craze. Chefs have been using it to add flavor, aroma, and richness to soups and sauces for centuries.

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The lost art of making it at home involves roasting the bones—including any other meatier parts, like marrow—for an added depth of flavor, incorporating aromatics like onion, celery, and herbs. Adding an acidic element like apple cider vinegar helps extract nutrients from the bones, as they simmer away for at least 24 hours.

That's why your grandmother's soup always tastes better than yours—the secret lies in that slowly simmered, homemade broth. Radiant skin and healthy, flowing locks are just the cherry on top. With the Bare Bones Broth Company, Katherine and Ryan Harvey have taken it upon themselves to do what some might consider impossible: convince everyone living in the age of convenience not to take the store-bought shortcut.

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"When people ask us why we launched an artisanal, small-batch broth business, it's tough to summarize all of the reasons in one answer," they write in the Bare Bones Broth Cookbook. "On one hand, we wanted to create a nutrient-rich alternative to the salty, preservative-laden bouillons and stocks you'll find lining most supermarket shelves. On the other hand, we also hoped to revive culinary interest in cooking with real bone broth, by showing everyone just how delicious it is when you make it the traditional way." All you need is a stockpot, soup ladle, strainer, and some freezer containers for the leftovers.

The Bare Bones Broth Cookbook, out today, features more than 100 recipes, from simple stocks to soups with additional, heartier ingredients. Here, we've asked the authors to share the recipe for their chicken bone broth (a long-simmering foundation you'll need for many recipes) and another that brilliantly incorporates it: Lemongrass-Ginger-Carrot Soup.

Sipping Broths

First Up:

Chicken Bone Broth

Servings: 4 quarts

Ingredients

2 whole chickens

1 pound chicken feet

¼ cup apple cider, white, or white wine vinegar

6 to 8 quarts cold water, or as needed to cover ingredients

4 cups ice cubes

3 carrots, peeled and halved

4 onions, peeled and halved

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 bay leaves

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the wings, thighs, drumsticks, and breasts from the chickens. Place the carcasses, wings, necks, and innards that came inside the chicken on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Roast until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. For a lighter flavor, skip this step. If you're planning to drink the broth by itself, or with herbs or seasonings, this step adds a nice depth of flavor, umami, and richness.

Place the bones, feet, and vinegar in a stockpot or slow cooker, at least 10 quarts in size, and cover with the cold water. If using a stockpot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. If using a slow cooker, turn the temperature to high. Once simmering, reduce heat to low, cook for 30 minutes, skimming and discarding the film that rises to the top. Add the ice and skim off any fat that congeals on the top along with any other impurities. Simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 hours, adding more water as necessary just to keep the bones covered.

Add the carrots, onions, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and simmer for another 5 hours. Continue to skim off any impurities; add water as necessary to keep the ingredients covered. Gently strain or ladle the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a container. Fill your sink with ice water. Place the container of broth in the ice bath to cool for about 1 hour. Use the broth right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 year.

Remove any fat that has solidified on the top before using. You may discard this fat or use it as you would any other cooking fat (the book includes details for this).

Next Up!

Lemongrass-Ginger-Carrot Soup

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons clarified butter or olive oil

1 ½ cups diced onion

1 ½ pounds thinly sliced carrots

2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger

One 2-inch-long piece lemongrass, pounded

4 cups chicken bone broth

Sea salt

How to Make It

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the clarified butter or oil. Add the onion and sweat until translucent, about eight minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, ginger, and lemongrass, and stir to coat the vegetables with the butter or oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broth and increase the heat to medium. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, completing in batches if necessary. Season with sea salt to taste and serve immediately. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the soup for up to one week, or freeze it for up to six months.)

For more information, see barebonesbroth.com.

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