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bone broth...

Well, this one has been in the works for a few years now, since, during a class on holistic immunity, I mentioned I was "just about to" put up my deeply nourishing bone broth recipe.  Turns out, since I next to never actually measure anything when I'm cooking, it was a more onerous task than I deemed when I said this so flippantly.  But, here, now, is the recipe.  But before that, several links, expounding on the virtues of bone broths and offering some recipes...

Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease by Allison Siebecker

The broth manifesto... exceptional information about the incredible nutrition found in bone broths.  Allison rocks.

Some insights from Nourishing Tradition maven Sally Fallon, with recipes:
  Broth is Beautiful
  Why Broth is Beautiful

Two recipes by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, of NPR's The Splendid Table:
  Mother's Broth
  Triple Essence of Chicken Soup

Grandma was right ; musings by herbalist Rebecca Hartman

Heard that rumor that the glutamic acid in bone broth is "toxic"?  Todd Caldecott addresses the issue here:
  Shedding some light on bone broth


jim's chicken stock recipe

(quantified, but add "ish" to all measurements)

All the recipes above are excellent, but none of them mention astragalus or turkey tail mushrooms or burdock root, all staples of my broths.  Infusing these deeply nourishing herbs into an already deeply nourishing broth makes it all even better.  Also, I rather like adding shallots either instead of or in addition to onions.  The addition of a few tomatoes I learned from Lynn Rossetto Kasper, who I adore.


1 whole chicken (organic, free range or amish, but *not* factory farmed)
4 quarts water
3-4 large carrots
4 stalks celery
6-9 cloves garlic (depending on size)
10-12 inches worth burdock
3/4 cup chopped shallots
4-5 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 tomatoes, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
A few sprigs parsley, added at the end of cooking
8-12 slices astragalus root (depending on size)
turkey tail mushrooms

It's nice to saute or brown the garlic, shallots and mushrooms in the olive oil to taste before adding the other ingredients.  Add the water, throw in the chicken and everything else, cut up to allow more surface area to infuse into the broth.  I usually use pruners to cut up the chicken and break open the bones.  Bring just to almost a boil, skin the scum, and simmer over very low heat for several hours, or a day.  I don't remove the fat after straining the broth.


Broths will provide a number of nutrients important to connective tissue integrity, in a very bioavailable form. This can be used as stock for making chicken soup, potato bacon cheddar soup, or in place of part of the water used to make Lynn's Marble Cutter's Soup (god is that good...).  Or, it can be sipped on as is when someone has a fever, and could use some deep nourishment without actually eating a meal (feed a cold, starve a fever).  Keep some frozen so its always around to come to the rescue.  Bring it to anyone unfortunate enough to be stuck in a hospital.


Now, perhaps some here are interested in broth, but have decided not to eat animals.  Though many of the nutrients outlined in the link above by Allison Siedbecker are a direct result of the bones, and the bones do indeed add a lot the the nourishing nature of a broth, this world we live in is not an all or nothing one.  Adding many of the herbs and mushrooms in the recipe above to a vegetable stock will indeed amp up its utility.  My friend, student and fellow herbalist Lisa Rose Starner offers this nourishing burdock stew recipe.


Broth needn't only be considered for soup making, but can be used to cook rice in, use as a base for sauces, etc etc.


jim mcdonald

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