A comprehensive approach to chicken broth

By health & nutrition

Making a delicious chicken broth is easy. All you need is some chicken bones and whatever root vegetables you have in your fridge.

You don’t even have to use fresh chicken bones.

The thing with chicken broth is that it can be assembled using scraps and leftovers from your other dishes. The last one I made used the discarded bones from chicken thighs that I cooked up for dinner. Rather than letting it go to waste, I just chucked it in a pot of water and let it simmer with a carrot for a good hour.

The health benefits of chicken broth

Chicken broth is one of those things that’s been around since the beginning of time. It’s known as a healthy dish – but what exactly does this mean?

I did a little investigation to find out.

Gut health and digestion

Chicken broth contains an abundance of naturally occurring amino acid called glutamine. Glutamine plays an essential role in producing biochemical functions that’s required by our bodies to function at an optimum level.

Glutamine can also boost your gut’s immunity, helping prevent and reduce inflammation on your intestinal tissue. According to this study by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, glutamine plays a role in regulation and is known to help alleviate the effects of inflammatory bowel diseases. This includes but isn’t limited to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and colorectal cancer.

Skin, hair and nails

Another benefit of chicken broth is that the brew is often rich is collagen. Collagen is a protein that is used by the body to promote hair growth and smooth out potential wrinkles.

According to this study, a double-blind placebo study found that women who regularly consumed the peptide form of collagen reported a 20% reduction in wrinkles.

Asian countries tend to have a lot of chicken and bone-based broths in their soups on a daily basis, and perhaps this is the reason why many managed to retain their youthful appearances.

Nutritional diversity

The base nutritional impact of a simple bone broth can help increase your nutritional diversity. Our body is a complex system that requires a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to perform biosynthesis. When it comes to nutrition, there’s a thing called macro and micronutrition.

Macro nutrition is what many people focus on when it comes to food. It’s the stuff we’re all familiar with like carbs, protein, and calories.

However, micronutrition is equally important.

And this is where chicken broth comes in.

Chiken broth contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamins A and K, fatty acids, selenium, zinc, and manganese. These essential vitamins and minerals can help keep you chemically balanced and your body working at optimum levels.

Things you can put in your chicken broth

There are a lot of recipes out there for chicken broth. However, over the years I’ve discovered that you don’t really need a recipe to make a good broth. What you need is the general gist of ingredients.

What you need at minimum is chicken bones. It doesn’t matter what part. You just need some bones.

They can be leftovers from another meal or fresh from the grocery store.

A lot of recipes call for you to cook your bones first. If you’re using leftovers from another meal, this part is already done for you.

In theory, you don’t have to cook your bones. Cooking your bones in the oven will give your final broth a nice and rich warm color with a heartier taste. If you don’t, then your broth will end up a lighter color and an airy chicken taste.

Add some water into a pot, bring to boil then turn the stove to the lowest it’ll go and leave for an hour or two.

And that’s basically it.

To give your chicken broth soul, you can add other vegetables in to simmer. Here’s a list of ideas:

  • carrots
  • celery
  • onions
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • shallot
  • fennel
  • curry leaves
  • bay leaves
  • rosemary

Normally, I just use whatever is in the fridge. There’s no hard and fast rule about what to put in your chicken broth. Add a little bit of salt to enhance the swirl of flavors.

Avoid stirring your chicken broth to prevent it from going cloudy. Strain when it’s done.

Things you can make with chicken broth

There’s a lot that you can do with your chicken broth. You can use it as a stock to add instead of using water.

You can freeze it in ice cube trays and use it later as a flavor enhancer.

Here are a few ideas on what you can use your chicken broth for.

  • noodle soup base
  • risotto
  • cooking rice
  • pasta sauce
  • chicken gravy
  • meat marinades
  • stuffing
  • casseroles
  • smoothies
  • switch your morning coffee for a mug of chicken broth instead

Cheap, healthy and versatile

Chicken broth is cheap to make, especially if you’re already cooking up some sort of chicken that has bones like drumsticks and chicken thighs.

It can help save you money while providing a versatile base for many dishes. The homemade aspect also means that you know exactly what’s in the chicken broth your eating, in addition to the control you have over what goes into your chicken broth.

In addition to all this, you won’t have to buy store brought stocks if you keep making them on the side while everything else is cooking for dinner.

Or if you’re just stuck for something to eat, heat up some frozen chicken broth, throw in a few fresh herbs and you have a hearty and warm meal ready to go.

Last modified: May 27, 2020

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