When you have a kid in daycare, you get sick. Like a lot. When Owen was five months old, and about eight weeks after he had started daycare, I woke up in the middle of the night sicker than I can ever remember. I was convinced I had food poisoning, and since we had invited a friend over for dinner the night before, terrified that I had poisoned her as well.
It got better, for sure, as our immune systems strengthened against all the toddler germs. But it can still be rough going. This past month, we were all feeling a little under the weather from a virus we just couldn’t seem to kick.
We went through a lot of this healing lemon ginger bone broth. I love it so much, and it’s so healthy and wonderful at this time of year, that I had to share the recipe—the first non-vegetarian one I’m posting. I hope you don’t mind 🙂
Last winter, I wrote an article on bone broth and had the chance to interview some bonafide experts. There are a few ways in which bone broth differs from plain stock:
- Bone broth is uncluttered. When I make chicken soup, I like to add carrots, turnips, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns to the pot. When I make bone broth, I keep it as simple as possible.
- As low and slow as you can go. Bone broth is best when it is cooked over the lowest possible heat (barely a simmer), for as much time as you’ve got.
- Apple cider vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar helps to draw all nutrients and minerals out of the bones. Don’t worry—you won’t taste it.
- Top quality, organic ingredients are key. I mean, ideally we should always buy local and organic, but I know it can be expensive! This is one of those times when it’s totally worth it.
The benefits of bone broth are said to be numerous. Many people swear it has improved their gut health and joints, as well as the appearance of their skin. Lots of women think it’s great for pregnancy (or trying to get pregnant) and nursing. It’s also paleo and gluten-free.
Whether or not you believe the hype, there is no denying that bone broth is incredibly hydrating and nourishing.
Bone broth is often made with beef bones, but they can be hard to find. I use a split organic chicken breast, which you can get at any supermarket. The subtle heat from the ginger and the tart, aromatic lemon make this recipe extra comforting.
I like to sip this lemon ginger bone broth piping hot from a mug, whereby some magical alchemy it always makes me feel soothed, fortified, and replenished.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 (3-inch) piece of ginger, chopped (no need to peel)
- Zest from 1 lemon, peeled into strips
- 1 whole split (two halves) organic chicken breast (about 2 pounds)
- 10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and lemon zest and cook until the onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the water, apple cider vinegar, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, partially cover the pot, and cook for as long as you would like, but at least 3 hours.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Remove the bones and skin, shred the meat, and reserve for another use.
- Pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve (lined with cheese cloth, if you have it) into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to quart containers and refrigerate overnight. The next day, use a spoon to skim excess fat from the surface of the broth.
- Reheat the broth until it is piping hot, then transfer to mugs and serve.