I woke up this morning to a dark, dreary Sunday with the pitter-patter of the rain bouncing off the roof above my head. I couldn’t be more thankful for a rainy day. All I want to do is curl up in bed with a good book, finally break into that DVD of Alfred Hitchcock movies (15 full length movies for $5, seriously can’t go wrong) and eat some deliciously comforting food. For a change of pace, I decided to have some homemade bone broth with bok choy, poached eggs, and pickled cherry tomatoes. Yesterday, I made my first chicken bone broth. This traditional food might make some squeamish, but it packs so much nutritional benefit, it’s really an excellent — and cheap — way to get minerals you may otherwise not get. I only spent $4 for the bones, then just a few dollars for carrots, celery, and an onion, and will have broth to last me all week, and probably beyond. Homemade bone broth provides collagen, gelatin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, among others, and is great for your skin, digestion, and overall health. I went to my local butcher (Tendercrop Farm) and got a big bag of chicken bones: backbones, necks, and feet…yes, feet. Apparently they give an extra boost of flavor. To make the broth, put all the bones in a large stock pot or crockpot and cover with water. You can roast them prior to simmering in the stock, but it’s not necessary. (I roasted mine for 35 minutes at 375.)
Once they’re in the stockpot and covered with water, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, to help draw the nutrients out of the bones. Boil the broth for a few minutes, then turn down to low and simmer for at least 4 hours, but longer is definitely better (overnight or all day, really some people may do 12-72 hours), to make sure the broth is concentrated enough. Mine simmered for 4 hours yesterday, and in the final hour, I added chopped carrots, onions, and celery. (Side note — so grateful for the constancy of fresh veggies from our dear local farmers!!)
Regardless of how long you’re simmering it for, wait until the final hour to add the veggies. Then, strain it and pour the liquid into glass jars to keep in the fridge or freezer. Because I only had mine on for four hours yesterday, it’s spent much of the day simmering away on the stove today, to reduce. You can find more info about making bone broths here and here.I’m a bit run down from working like a madwoman, and the onslaught of mystery allergies that I have yet to figure out. (Upon calling the doctor’s office to schedule an allergy test, I’m met with the irritated response, “Well, what are you allergic to? There are hundreds of things it could be!” Well, lady, if I knew what I was allergic to, I wouldn’t have to have an allergy test, now would I??) Anyway – I could use some help in the strength department, so decided to pour some of the simmering broth into our cast iron pan, warm it up a bit, and make a hearty breakfast.
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the broth, to assist in poaching. Once it is nice and warm, slowly – very slowly – crack a couple of eggs into the broth. Gently add a bunch of bok choy (I used almost an entire bunch, chopped up with the stalk), but be careful around the eggs. It will only take a couple of minutes until the eggs are cooked, but with a runny center, and the greens are tender and wilted. Get your self a big bowl, throw in some cherry tomatoes or any accoutrement as you’re so inclined, and top off with sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil. A splash of balsamic vinegar would definitely be welcome here too, but I didn’t have any on hand. If you feel like this needs a little something something, add some tender, thick bacon to the pan so all the flavors meld together, as I did after taking these photos. (Of course, cook the bacon prior to adding it to the pan.) Here’s to good health. Enjoy!!