Meet our writers

 

Go60 YUM - articles about food and the joys of dining
YUM articles - The enjoyment of food

Rainbow Kitchen

A Chicken in Every Pot, Broth for Every Day

By Allison St. Claire
Rate this item
(0 votes)

In the midst of these dark winter days, miserable cold and flu season, and the even darker times of a sluggish economy, a chicken in your pot and the healthful, delicious broth it creates is one the brightest foods you can make.

Remember President Hoover’s famous slogan “A chicken in every pot”? (Actually King Henry the IV said it several centuries earlier, so this is definitely a time-honored economical concept.)
In the midst of these dark winter days, miserable cold and flu season, and the even darker times of a sluggish economy, a chicken in your pot and the healthful, delicious broth it creates is one the brightest foods you can make. Easily. Cheaply. Quickly (at least in prep time).

Easy: all you really need is a chicken – or its carcass – and water (preferably filtered to keep chlorine and fluoride out of your food).

Economical: hundreds of recipes call for chicken broth or stock – only the ratio of bones and meat used differentiates them. And I can’t think of a single vegetable or grain I cook that isn’t infinitely more flavorful and nutritious with some added chicken stock. There’s no need to buy store-bought which is far more expensive and unhealthy.

Unfortunately, homemade broth has been replaced with bouillon — perhaps the worst item in the market as it is full of sodium and MSG. After WWII, the food industry figured out how to hydrolyze proteins to a base containing free glutamic acid (MSG), a neurotoxin. Some tetra pak containers of “organic” broth also have added MSG and “natural flavorings” which are a negative. They are certainly not cooked in the traditional way to gently extract the minerals, collagen and gelatin from real bones and have very little nutritional value.

Plus, soup cans -- as well as other food cans -- are lined with an estrogen-like chemical called bisphenol (BPA) to help prevent rust and keep your canned goods from having too much metallic taste. But this chemical doesn't just sit there in the can lining -- it breaks free and leaches out into the soup. That means you're getting a secret burst of hormones with every spoonful.

Building Health

Almost a thousand years ago (remember our “time-honored concept” above), physician Moses Maimonides prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma, thus the name “Jewish penicillin.” Recent scientific studies confirm what we’ve known all along.

Meat stocks contain the minerals – especially calcium, magnesium and potassium -- of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes that are easy to assimilate. The gelatin produced allows the body to use the complete proteins you consume – especially important if you can’t afford large amounts of meat. Gelatin also helps in treating many chronic disorders such as diabetes, muscular dystrophy, gut problems and even cancer.

Good Resource: Soup of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year, by Kate McMillan. (Weldon Owen and Williams Sonoma, 2011). Includes 26 chicken-broth based soups.

 


Recipe:

Broth for Every Day


p_allisonbonappetit

Allison St. Claire loves to dream about, study, grow, play with, prepare and ultimately enjoy eating great food.

Meet Allison