A Better Buillon
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By Lia Threat
Fall has arrived, and with fall, our eating habits change. Heavier, richer foods are usually incorporated into our daily menu alongside more soups. A common ingredient of Latino households is the little yellow
squares with the chicken on the package. Bouillon is added to many familiar recipes throughout Latin America to flavor soups, rice dishes, and more. However, a closer look at the label may provide a good reason
to make your own chicken stock.
#1. Unilever makes it, yes, the company that also makes your soap.
#2. It contains palm oil, one of the most environmentally destructive crops. Large areas of the Amazon have been cleared to produce this oil.
#3. The oils are hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oils may lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, metabolic diseases, and obesity (Kochan et al., 2010).
#4. The salt intake for just ½ a cube amounts to 48% of the daily recommended intake at 1110 mg/serving.
#5. It lacks vitamins, minerals, protein, and other beneficial spice components in a whole food broth. A healthier alternative that will deliver maximum flavor is to make your own! All you need is a chicken carcass/bones, vegetables, and herbs.
See the recipe.
Chicken Broth Recipe
Here is a recipe for a chicken broth. If you would like to make more, double or triple the recipe depending on the size of your stockpot and how much chicken you have available.
You will need a stockpot, cutting board, knife, and large spoon to skim any debris and fat that rises to the top while cooking.
At least 3 lbs. chicken bones, cleaned and trimmed
1 onion (skin included)
1 bay leaf
½ dried pepper (optional for spicier dishes)
About 3-4 sprigs of thyme/oregano
6 cloves of garlic (skin included)
½ bunch parsley
½ bunch of cilantro with or without leaves
Sea salt or Himalayan salt
¼ tsp. of turmeric
Cover ingredients until they are submerged in water.
Simmer for about 2-3 hours, depending on how strong you would like the flavors.
Skim fat and foam during the cooking process and remove.
If water decreases too much during cooking, you may add a bit more. However, for concentrated flavor, do not add water.
Upon completion, strain, cool, and freeze in small, medium, and large containers for multiple uses. A quick internet search for “souper cubes” (ice cube trays that fit the perfect amount of soup or stock) will provide you with a silicone tray that pops out the ideal amount of broth when you need it. It is like an ice tray with larger compartments! Not only will you have a healthier alternative to bouillon, but you can always build your stock as you trim vegetables while cooking. Pop trimmings into a freezer bag for later use!