Next time you roast a chicken, freeze the cooked carcass and you’ll have the foundation for Chicken Soup (page 48) and a host of other recipes. Roasting the bones — a classic French technique — adds tons of flavour, renders most of the fat, and removes the need for skimming any scum off the broth as it cooks.
It’s also a great way to use up those jaded vegetables or scraps you might otherwise throw away – carrot peelings, celery roots, leek tops, onion skins, squashy tomatoes. We keep a bag in the freezer and stockpile them for just this purpose.
Emerging research suggests that bone broth may help to protect the intestinal barrier between the body and the gut, which could be helpful for sufferers of Crohn’s disease, IBS, and colitis. Either way, it provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K2, calcium and phosphorous for healthy bones, and collagen which may benefit your hair, skin, nails and joints.
Makes: about 1.75 litres (3 pints) Keeps: 3 days in the fridge Freeze: 3 months
Per serving: 20 cals, 5 g carbs
2-3 roast chicken carcasses, or 900 g (2 lb) uncooked parts (wings, thighs, necks, or backbones)
1 large onion
2 large carrots
1⁄2 small head celery green part of a fat leek
2 squishy tomatoes
1⁄4 tsp turmeric
handful of parsley
1.75 litres (3 pints) water 1 tsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns 2 chicken stock cubes
If using roast chicken carcasses, cut them up with a strong pair of kitchen shears so they will fit in a stockpot or large soup pan. If using uncooked joints and giblets, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Arrange them on a foil-lined baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes.
Slice the washed but unpeeled vegetables thickly then add to the pot with the chicken and all the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer very gently for 3 hours, either on top of the stove or in the oven at 150°C/Gas 2 where it will develop an even richer flavour.
When cool, strain the liquid into a second pan or bowl, discarding the vegetables and bones, which by now will have given their all to the stock. Add the crumbled stock cubes and simmer for 5 minutes. It can now be enjoyed as a light, clear broth, or frozen or chilled.