Ancient remedy back by modern science
The Science behind chicken soup
For me, slow simmered Brodo di Pollo (Italian for chicken broth) is the richness that underpins sauces, stews, curry & soups. It also makes a great stand alone consomé. Probably the ultimate old fashioned ‘feel-better’ elixir. You can pick up fresh chicken stock in many supermarkets these days but if you have a slow cooker then making your own the traditional is quite easy, all you need is fire & time. This recipe is a hybrid of my family’s Scottish-Italian heritage, this is my quick and easy brodo recipe. We don’t eat very much meat at all but I do still make big batches from chicken so I always have portions in the freezer. There are many traditional ways to prepare but this is my quick & effective method.
Two large sprigs of rosemary
A handful of Bay leaves
A generous seasoning of high mineral salt & pepper
A pinch of dulse (seaweed)
Whole chicken carcass including meaty & collagenous parts
Equivalent volume of water to the ingredients
A dash of apple cider vinegar
A splash of olive oil
Non-meat eaters – create a boneless version using wild seaweeds such as dulse & wake, functional mushrooms such as shiitake & season with a mineral rich sea salt & generous amount of black pepper.
You can pick up fresh chicken stock in many supermarkets these days but if you have a slow cooker then making your own the traditional is quite easy, all you need is fire & time. Non-meat eaters – create a boneless version using wild seaweeds such as dulse & wake, functional mushrooms such as shiitake & season with a mineral rich sea salt & generous amount of black pepper.
Add whole chicken, herbs & seasoning to the pot & fill with an equal weight of water. Alternatively if you have bones, gently roast them for 10-15mins in the oven and then add to the pot with equivalent volume of water
Simmer slowly for up to 24 hours to extract the most nutrients and flavour from each ingredient.
Once cooled, skim fats & impurities that float to the surface then use or store in the fridge or freezer.
In recent times, scientists have learned more about the specific components within a well-made bone broth that make your body function better. This broth is a great base for soups, sauces, risotto, stews & more. It’s particularly nourishing for our immunity in winter, improves digestion by protecting the integrity of the gut mucosa & cultivates good joint health & skin texture. Natural antiseptics, herbs Rosemary & bay show biological bioactivities that help resist infection. High in various phytochemicals that are gently stimulating to the immune system & keep unruly inflammation in check.
Bone broth provides a generous amount of minerals, but the gelatine & other protein-rich collagenous parts of the carcass produce a highly absorbable form of protein without the bulk of a meat-heavy meal. It contains the valuable building blocks for our bodies to make Glutathione - a highly important antioxidant that acts upstream of other antioxidants such as vitamin C & E. Glutathione is a key mediator in quenching inflammation & reducing the ageing toll it takes on our bodies, it supports liver function & is even used clinically as an antidote to overdose. It triggers release of the neurotransmitter GABA which inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, having a calming effect on the body.
Although we produce glutathione naturally, increased stress & poor diet depletes our body’s stores. Supplemental glutathione is ineffective in their currently available formulations & the only proven way to support your need is through adequate intake of key building blocks for glutathione (the amino acids glycine, cysteine & glutamic acid) - all found enriched in bone broth. This unique profile is rare in other foods. These also have additional immune benefits to the body: Cysteine helps helps break down mucus in your lungs & Carnosine acts directly on inflammatory cells called neutrophils to calm their toxic effects as they fight infections.