Stock, or ‘broth’, is probably one of the most basic things you can make. In good restaurants there are simmering pots of it on the stove every day of the week. It is an ingredient in many recipes and can be added to stews and curries to make them even more nourishing. In traditional foods circles, you’ll hear a lot about broth, stock and bone broth – and they’re typically used interchangeably. Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic foundation: water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings. Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids. As it cooks, the liquid is typically skimmed, although this is not necessary since the scum that rises to the top of the stock pot – off-putting though it may be – is a rich source of amino acids. Eventually the solids are removed by straining the stock with a sieve or coffee filter. To increase the calcium of your broth, make sure you add the apple cider vinegar.
• 2 kg free range chicken
• 3 medium onions, cut in half
• 4 large carrots, trimmed and peeled
• 1 root end of a whole celery stalk, 4 inches long
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 whole black peppercorns
• 3 medium fresh tomatoes, cut in half
• 1 cup parsley, stems only
• A few sprigs of parsley
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
• Cold water
Add all ingredients to a large stockpot and fill with cold water until ingredients are covered by 5 cm. Place over high heat until the water comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to hold a medium simmer, and simmer for 3 hours. Use a large spoon to remove residue floating on surface. This residue is coagulated protein and will occur at first boil and decrease after you skim it for the first 15 minutes
Pour the broth through a large fine strainer. Save the chicken and de-bone while it is still warm. Discard extracted vegetables.
Taste the broth and adjust for salt. Refrigerate broth overnight. You can use the chicken for chicken soup or chicken salad.
Use your broth in soups, stews and curries. A good homemade chicken broth gives you the foundation for making delicious soups and sauces and has a myriad of other uses. You can cook your grains and legumes in it for extra nutrition and taste. You can flavour stir fries, chicken pot pie, taco filling and many other dishes with it. Having chicken broth on hand gives you the ability to make some wonderful dishes easily. It is also a nourishing drink on its own.
Thick, clear, light, rich, hot or cold – soups come in a myriad of colours and flavours to tickle taste buds and satiate rousing appetites. Kanika Aggarwal presents her diverse selection.
Fatima Bheekoo Shah is a wife, mother food blogger, foodie and breast-feeding activist. Finally answering her calling to be a writer.