Throw Me A Bone Here: Bone Broth Trend

I’m usually late to the game with trends. I had a cassette player in my car until 2007. I had a flip phone until 2011. I still haven’t read Harry Potter. (I hope I haven’t lost you already.)

But when I heard about the bone broth trend, which started in NYC in the beginning of 2015, I was immediately intrigued. I was travelling through Virginia and decided to stop at a cafe for a quick coffee. The boisterous young lady behind the counter, who was charmingly chatty, asked me if I needed anything else. I declined, and she asked if I wanted to try some bone broth which had been whipped up that morning.

I obliged. I’ve always been a big fan of chicken broth and the like.

“You’re officially trendy now!” she laughed, holding her hand out to receive the tiny Dixie cup I had just sipped out of.

I was a little lost. Smiling, I hesitated. “Trendy?”

“Don’t you know about the bone broth trend?” she asked me with wide eyes. It’s safe to say I had no idea what she was talking about. She went on to explain the trend, which most of us are now familiar with almost a year later.

If you’re looking for a delicious, fresh bone broth, visit Issei Noodle in downtown Lancaster. All of their pho and ramen bowls are created using the freshest of ingredients. I can personally attest to the health benefits of their food, especially as the cold season approaches us.

I have also cultivated a little collection of helpful links to help you make the best bone broth possible, right at home.

Simple Chicken Broth Recipe
Serving size – about 4 quarts

Ingredients:

1 whole raw chicken (or raw whole chicken parts, cut up) or 1 to 2 chicken carcasses from a roasted chicken, meat removed
Vegetables, coarsely chopped (2 to 3 carrots, 2 to 3 celery stalks, 1 medium to large onion
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Filtered water to cover chicken

Optional chicken parts: 1 to 2 chicken backs, 1 to 2 chicken feet, giblets such as neck, heart, or gizzards, but not the liver

Directions:

1.  Soak.

Place chicken and/or chicken carcasses and optional parts in bottom of stock pot and  cover with cold water and add vinegar.  Let sit for 30-60 minutes. Soaking bones in cold water with a little vinegar helps to pull the minerals from the bones. This is not mandatory and if you’re short on time it’s OK to skip it.

2.  Skim.

Bring to a gentle rolling boil and skim any scum that forms on the surface. True to its name, “scum” is not very pleasant looking but it can’t hurt you. Simply skim it off with a ladle or a small mesh strainer which will easily latch on to the scum. Once you’ve skimmed the broth add in your chopped vegetables.

3.  Simmer.

Turn the temperature to low and simmer very gently, covered, for 4-24 hours. The key is to GENTLY SIMMER and not boil the bones which can prevent gelatin from forming (but won’t ruin the broth). So once the water has come to a boil and the scum is skimmed, immediately turn down the heat.  Simmering should only be slightly perceptible – a few bubbles rising to the surface here and there are a good indicator of a nice, gentle simmer.

Step 4. Strain.

Let the broth cool to about room temperature. Strain broth from bones, parts and veggies using a fine mesh strainer.

Step 5. Store.

Ladle the broth into your storage containers. If you’re filling glass jars that will be stored in the freezer, always leave a few inches of headspace at the top of the jar. Broth will expand when frozen and can crack glass jars if they’re overfilled. Store in fridge for up to 7 days. Freeze whatever you won’t use within a week.