I love homemade chicken broth. I add it to soups, gravies, vegetables, rice, and really anything else that is simmering in my kitchen. Chicken broth does not only make all our food burst with flavor but it is extremely nutritious and healing. However, when it comes to drinking straight chicken broth, I am not a fan. Not in this universe.
I am aware of its many benefits so I WANT to WANT to drink broth. One reason I am adamant about introducing more homemade broth into our diet is the wealth of nutrients it contains, like: amino acids, calcium , phosphorus, glycosaminoglycans, and gelatin, to support our joints and immune system, heal our gut, and maintain a good hormonal balance. The Coconut Mama has a great article on the benefits of bone broth here.
Here is my dilemma: to me, chicken broth by itself smells and tastes too much like a cup of hot straight fat. Sometimes I feel like I am drinking the hot water we just rinsed our greasy plates in. Sorry to be so graphic!
After many failed attempts trying to make my broth drinkable, I had an idea. I decided to introduce two new ingredients to the usual lineup: Japanese sweet potatoes and kombu. I got this idea after making a pot of Mineral Magic Broth from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen. This nutritious vegetable broth has a delightfully sweet flavor thanks to the potatoes. Alas, it is very soothing and easy to digest, but it does not contain the much coveted gelatin that chicken broth does. So, I decided to try and merge the ingredients from both recipes in an effort to achieve the best of both worlds…. and you know what? It worked!
Wait, but what is a Japanese sweet potato and what in the world is kombu?
Japanese sweet potatoes, also known as Satsumaimo, are high in essential amino acids and B vitamins.
Japanese sweet potatoes are a rich source of a variety of vitamin essential for optimum health, including vitamin A, C, E, and B6. According to the USDA, Japanese sweet potatoes contain 11,062 mcg of the beta carotene form of vitamin A, for 202.2 percent of daily recommended intake of vitamin A. One average sized sweet potato provides nearly 30 percent of the requirement for vitamin C and about 12 percent of the vitamin B6 requirement. These vitamins are thought to act as powerful antioxidants, preventing cellular damage from free radicals in the body. Because Japanese sweet potatoes are so high in vitamin, they’re often recommended as an essential part of a healthy diet. They are also full of calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Source
The sweetness of this type of potato does a great job balancing that overpowering chickeny flavor.
Kombu is and edible sea vegetable that is full of iron, iodine, vitamin K, Folate, Magnesium, and Calcium. Little Owl Crunchy Momma has a great article on why as a culture we are iodine deficient. You can also use pretty much any other sea vegetabele for this part also.
Sea vegetables may be a better source of bioavailable iron than previously thought. One tablespoon of dried sea vegetable will contain between 1/2 milligram and 35 milligrams of iron, and this iron is also accompanied by a measurable amount vitamin C. Since vitamin C acts to increase the bioavailability of plant iron, this combination in sea vegetables may offer a special benefit.Brown algae (including the commonly eaten sea vegetables kombu/kelp, wakame, and arame may be unique among the sea vegetables in their iodine content. Some species from the brown algae genus Laminaria are able to accumulate iodine in up to 30,000 times more concentrated a form than sea wate! Source
Disclaimer: Please consult with your homeopathic doctor before eating kombu or other sea vegetables, if you have a thyroid condition.
There is a common misconception that kombu contains a lot of glutamic acid, which is found in MSG. I have dome some research on the issue and come to the conclusion that it is only artificiality derived glutamic acid that is neurotoxic, not the naturally occurring kind. Please read here for a more in depth explanation.
Also, it is equally important to choose a clean source for your sea vegetables. Fellow blogger Gutsy recommended this site when I was trying to find a reputable online source to share with you. I have also a been able to find a good clean source of kombu at my local grocery store.
Yes I make the drinking chicken broth with chicken feet! Be brave! You can do it too! Why? Because you want to terrify your housemates! Well besides that, chicken feet will make your broth more gelatinous and you WANT a gelatinous broth because that is what supports your joints, heals your gut, and does all those amazing things discussed above. Also, it only cost me five dollars (plus a few curious stares) to buy these at the butcher shop.
I recommend using raw rather than cooked bones; I have found that they are more flavorful yet don’t have as much of that greasy taste to them I seem to find unpalatable.
- Two raw chicken backs
- 6 chicken feet
- 1 large onion
- 3-4 carrots
- 2 small sheet of kombu
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 gallon of filtered water
- 1 Japanese sweet potato
- 1 pinch of Sea salt
1. Rinse the chicken bones and then place them in a pot.
2. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the bones and let it sit for ten minutes.
3. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cracked black pepper.
4. Add the bay leaves.
5. Cut the onion into large chunks.
6. Throw it in the pot.
7. Add enough filtered water to cover everything.
8. Simmer it for 5 hours on very low heat. You may also use a crock pot.
Five hours later the broth will look like this and it will still taste mostly like chicken fat. It will have plenty of gelatin, so if you are planning just to add it to other dishes you can stop here. If you want to drink it, keep going with part two.
1. Cut the Japanese potatoes in large chunks.
2. Peel the carrots. You can put as many or as few carrots as you like. None of this is an exact science.
3. Throw in the vegetables.
4. Add the kombu. This step is optional.
5. Let it simmer for 3 or 4 more hours.
6. Let it cool off for about 1/2 hour, then strain it.
7. Once mine cooled down I stored it in a 1/2 gallon jar in the fridge. A couple of hours later there was a thick layer of fat on top of the
broth. I took that off and cooked some soaked rice with it. You are welcome to keep it, but too much fat makes it unpalatable for me.
Voila! The finished product. Yummy gelatinous broth!