Dad’s recipes start with making broth by scratch before proceeding to the actual preparation of a dish. We have playful arguments about whether homemade or store-bought stock makes a difference in recipes. Of course he’s right, but when it comes to time, the quality of ingredients are sacrificed. As his nine-to-five working daughter, it is my duty to rewrite his recipes starting with organic, low-sodium store-bought broth (preferably from a box, instead of a can or powder to avoid a metallic and salty taste). Such changes encourages people to attempt Dad’s recipes. After all, most beginning cooks are intimidated at the thought of staying in a kitchen for a long length of time.
Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel could be Dad’s best culinary friends when it comes to arguing for homemade chicken stock. In Morell and Daniel’s new cookbook, Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World, they scientifically explain the health benefits of rich bone broths with a bit of modern, grandmotherly advice. Part one explains the science behind collagen, cartilage, bones, marrow and additional nutritional benefits. While part two explains how bone broth could ease certain ailments and enhance overall health. Finally, part three defines the difference between stock and broth, demonstrates how to make and store broth; and shares various recipes based on homemade broth.
When I agreed to review Morell and Daniel’s Nourishing Broth cookbook, there were visions of Dad saying, “I told you so….” For the first time in my life, I made homemade chicken stock using Nourishing Broth’s recipe for Classic Chicken Stock (recipe below). The smell of the simmering broth returned memories of being a young child in Dad’s kitchen on Sunday afternoons. Cooking broths have a minimal prep time, and the rest of the time is mostly hands off with a couple minutes of skimming impurities, maybe adding extra water to the pot and making sure the stock doesn’t boil over the edges of a pot. After a few hours, the chicken broth was ready, and I rediscovered the richness of homemade chicken broth. It’s the foundation to the soul of Dad’s recipes.
The following day, Nourishing Broth’s recipe for Easy Kid’s Wonton Soup (adjusted recipe below) was made with the homemade chicken broth. The flavor of the broth was simple and complex. Using the wonton soup recipe as a guideline, a few ingredients were altered. Instead, the version below is an adult version, in which kids shouldn’t have difficulty enjoying the taste, too. Bok choy replaces the original watercress, and edamame replaces the hard-boiled egg. As the boiling chicken stock with the wontons was poured over the bok choy, a few thin slices of serrano chili and sliced scallions garnished the dish. The flavor of the broth and the fresh vegetables’ immediately comforted me.
Honestly, having homemade chicken stock in a freezer demonstrates a luxury in time, but Nourishing Broth does have at least a couple recipes for cooking stocks in slow-cookers. It’s an idea to explore on how to keep homemade stock in the refrigerator. For now, there are two types of chicken stock in my refrigerator: store-bought and homemade. I now rewrite Dad’s recipes recommending water-down, store-bought broth for households with less time to spend on meals, but they have an asterisk leading to a note on how homemade broth nourishes your soul.