Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Does Your Broth Jiggle?

If it wobbles, jiggles bounces or shakes, your in good shape.

I've posted a fair amount on broth; how to make it, and why it's important, but haven't gone into too much detail on gelatin. If you make broth and chill it, and it cools to a aspic or jello consistency, this means you've gotten the gold.

Not only is gelatin good for the skin and joints, it soothes digestion and has been proven to help digest the proteins in wheat, oats, barley and dairy. By promoting gastric juices, gelatin is an overall digestive aid, perhaps why we crave it when we are sick. As the body is compromised fighting colds or other infections, gelatin is already broken down into easily absorbed amino acids, containing essential trace minerals while offering the digestive tract a break.

I prefer making broth with chicken or duck feet, which are very high in gelatin. But you can also get plenty of gelatin from bones.

Lately I have been slow cooking whole chickens or a couple pounds of chicken legs in a dry crock pot with a chopped onion, garlic, a lemon, sea salt and black pepper. The meat tenderizes beautifully over the course of a full day, and the liquid produced during the process is chock full of gelatin. I strain and chill it, then skim away most of the fat. The result is a concentrated jiggly bounty (pictured). It freezes well and serves as an excellent base for soups and sauces.

With cold season upon us, this stuff will keep you from running to the drugstore the next time you're laid-up on the couch. Make it now, throw it in the freezer, then warm it up and sip when you need a boost.