Elixir of Life

Are you familiar with the Elixir of Life?

No, it’s not ambrosia.  First of all, smartypants, ambrosia is the Nectar of the Gods.  Secondly, the only ambrosia I’ve ever encountered is fruit salad with marshmallows, and I’m sorry (especially to my in-laws, because I may just catch hell for this), but marshmallows in a fruit salad is just plain wrong.

No, I am talking about THIS elixir.

'Alcohol' photo (c) 2011, Jim Sher - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Oops.  How did that get in there?  It’s like this beer blog has a mind of its own. That is not the Elixir of Life.  (That may or may not be the elixir of my life.  But that is another post or probably not a post at all.  Cheers!)

THIS is what I’m talking about:  (Vegetarians, avert your eyes.)

'stock pot: cooking turkey gizzards for gravy' photo (c) 2008, Adria Richards - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Homemade chicken broth, people.  It is delicious, and oh-so-good for you.  I could tell you all about the benefits of chicken broth, but that would make this a post without a single embedded link, which would just be silly.  Every post needs a link somewhere, right?  It’s practically a rule in the Blogger Code of Conduct.

Er, um, anyway.  Here’s that link to the health benefits of homemade chicken broth.

One amazing broth story I have: I was in San Diego a couple years ago and had a terrible allergy attack from my brother and sister-in-law’s otherwise adorable cat.  I was miserable.  I took two doses of Claritin with absolutely no relief.  We headed home that afternoon- a 2+ hour drive full of freeway congestion, nasal congestion, non-sleeping children, and general misery.  When I arrived, I immediately heated up some chicken broth for comfort.  Within 10 minutes, my allergy symptoms were gone.  Hurrah for the Elixir of Life, I say!

We love broth around here.  Kevin and I drink it straight from a mug with a little salt.  Sometimes we use it to replace our morning coffee or for an afternoon pick me up.  The kids ask for it when they are under the weather.  Soups, of course, are an obviously delicious and filling autumn meal. When used to cook rice, quinoa, or couscous, broth adds a whole barrel of flavor to an otherwise boring grain side dish.  Let your imagination run wild.  Use broth in everything!

Well, use it in almost everything.  From experience, I offer this advice: don’t try to fool your kids by using it to cook oatmeal.  They will not be fooled, and you will end up tossing the whole pot because (let’s be honest) even you will think it tastes gross.

I use a very precise and complex recipe.  It goes like this:

Chicken Broth Recipe

Day 1:
Roast (that’s a fancy word for bake) a whole chicken, or some bone-in chicken pieces. Enjoy this delicious food with your family.  Save the bones and put them in the fridge.
Day 2, in the morning:
Put all the bones in a big pot.#  
Put a lot of water in the same big pot.  (Filtered or spring water is best.)
Put a capful of apple cider vinegar in the same pot.  (This helps draw out the nutrients.)
Turn it on and let it boil for several hours.* 
Add water as needed.
About an hour before you plan to turn it off, add any leftover veggies from the fridge, plus an onion, a couple stalks of celery, and some garlic.
Turn the water off.  Strain the bones and veggies out, and store in the fridge or freezer.

Voila!  Elixir of Life!

# If you’re going to be gone, add all ingredients at the beginning, get it boiling and then transfer it to a slow cooker preheated on high.

*I like to let it cook for most of the day, as it gives a better flavor and gets more nutrients out of the bones.  I have done it for as little as 2 hours and up to 24 hours.  The “sweet spot” for me seems to be at about 8 hours, give or take.)



  1. I’ll give it a try today!