We’re on day eight of a lingering cold that has seen us go through five boxes of tissues. The freezer has been raided for meals because cooking was the last thing on my mind and it’s safe to say that patience is most definitely wearing thin. A 3am ambulance trip to hospital with a croupy Percy last week undid me; I’m tired and unmotivated and hoping that some semblance of energy comes back – soon!
But then this morning we felt it – autumn. Cool and crisp and a glimpse of the new season which is always inspiring.
Indeed, it’s the perfect time of year to make chicken broth and keep a supply in the freezer for when sniffles strike. I know there’s lots of talk about broth out there and it’s safe to say that there’s just as many recipes. But it really is such comfort food and I reach for it whenever I’m feeling tired, run-down, a little on-edge or when I’m in need of a pick-me-up. This week I’ve sipped it every day and have added it to all manner of meals; spaghetti bolognaise, stir-fry vegies and pumpkin soup.
So what’s the easiest, most efficient and no-fuss way to make broth? A slow cooker – straight after you’ve eaten a roast.
This is a weekly habit for me now and I consider it second nature. Basically, while the chook is in the oven I add all of the broth ingredients to the slow cooker; two onions, two carrots, celery leaves and wilting stalks, a few cloves of garlic, peppercorns, two bay leaves, a generous dash of apple cider vinegar and fresh flat-leaf parsley if I have it on hand. It’s also good to note that I leave the vegies unpeeled (I just give them a good wash before adding them to the pot).
Once the chicken is cooked I remove all the meat (this video from Babymac is a great guide to carving a chook) I put the carcass and bones from the drumsticks and wings in the slow cooker, cover with filtered water and turn to high. I’ll leave it on high for a few hours and switch to low before I got to bed.
And then I let it bubble away overnight and into the early afternoon the following day.
My very favourite lunch following a roast is pictured above and I’ll make it straight from the slow cooker before I spoon the remaining broth into glass containers for the freezer.
I ladle three soup spoons of broth into a saucepan, add a bit of fresh garlic and bring to a gentle boil. I then add a small handful of soba noodles and some leftover chicken and potatoes from the roast. Serve with cracked pepper and voila – immune boosting comfort in a bowl.