Imagine you had to go on a diet that cut out all grains, all dairy, and all sugar (at least the processed stuff). Imagine the grocery bill…
Imagine the time spent in the kitchen…
Imagine the taste…
What if I told you, I not only created a recipe on that diet, but is also: frugal, easy, uses normal pantry items, requires 20 minutes prep, and tastes amazing?
Are you all jumping for joy? I certainly am.
Cue: *eye of the tiger dance*
Anyone who goes on a special diet (i.e. gluten free, dairy free, low glycemic, paleo), can tell you the cost of food is difficult to handle and getting kids on board is ridiculous! With this crock pot chicken we get 4 dinners out of the meat alone, plus another 11 cups of bone broth to boot. Even if we use an organic chicken (which is recommended since bones will store toxins and chemicals) it comes out to $3 or so per family dinner-not including the $7 worth of broth you can make as well. To top that off the kids looove this dinner. It’s like you can’t lose with this thing!
Bone broth Fad or Fab?
When I first looked into bone broth it was during our kill candida phase. I was a bit naïve and didn’t do the research like I should have-and paid. Luckily, bone broth is much better for you than going completely sugar free. A lot of health bloggers tout the benefits of bone broth healing your gut/immune system, gives shiny hair (do I really care?), stronger nails, and the like. Bone broth is considered the back bone to SCD and Gaps diets for its benefits. But what scientific proof is there?
Little to none.
There have been no studies on bone broth. Not to be daunted I looked up the nutrients. Not much there either. There are some preliminary and conflicting findings on Glucosamine and Chondroitin helping with joint pain-nothing saying it’s bad for you, just nothing conclusive on it being beneficial. Everyone agrees more research is needed. There is however a related study on chicken soup helping with colds-it’s not bone broth but pretty close.
The good news is Bone Broth won’t hurt you and is very cost effective to make. The Mayo clinic recommends bone broth on its liquid diet before colonoscopies. It is gentle on your gut, and has at least some benefit in supporting your immune system to battle a cold.
The bad news is we can’t prove it rebuilds your intestines or gives your do a new shine. More research is needed.
I personally haven’t felt a difference. I choose to make it because not only is the chicken kick awesome, but its also on our low inflammation diet, and it saves us money. So here’s how I make the goods.
First I mix the seasoning together in a small bowl and cut my veggies.
½-1 yellow onion
3-4 large carrots
2 tsp smoked paprika (reg. is ok, but smoked is phenomenal)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic (or mince 2 cloves of fresh with holding from the spice mix and use with the olive oil, below)
1 T poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp red cayenne pepper
I put a layer of onion and carrot sticks on the bottom of the crock pot. I’ve found we get better flavor if we put onion down first, they caramelize and spread they’re flavor better. Then I put the whole chicken on that. Pour about 1 T of olive oil on it and rub it all over the top of the bird. Pour half of the seasoning onto the chicken, evening it out on that side of the chick. Flip chicken. Pour the second tablespoon of oil on, if using fresh garlic, now’s the time to put it on. Pour the rest of the seasoning on top and even it out over the bird.
Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. No water needed, plenty of juices will be coming out of the chicken so don’t add water.
It comes out amazing, ready to eat. The hubster and I love the onions and carrots as a side. The kids will eat the carrots but aren’t ready for that much onion (they just don’t like onion). I’ll typically serve it with some green beans, fruit, and possibly grain free biscuits. It’s just a good staple Sunday dinner.
If you want to make bone broth or chicken stock- Do not dump stuff out of the pot or clean it!
Bone broth/chicken stock
After the first dinner we’ll take all the meat off the bones and divide them up into Ziplocs and freeze. I like to discard the skin-it is a good source of collagen but also makes the broth greasy. Then put all the bones, cartilage and the like back in the pot. Many times I’ll leave some of the vegetables as well. Pour enough water over so everything is covered by an inch of water. Throw in a dash of apple cider vinegar and cook the bones on low for 24 hours or more. The vinegar and long cook time help leech the collagen, and a bunch of other enzymes and nutrients, out of the bones. This is the only way to get some of these nutrients into your diet, which is why so many people recommend doing it.
I’ll let it cool to slightly above room temperature before pouring it into canning jars and then freeze without a lid on it. That way it doesn’t have a quick change in temperature to hurt the glass and it has room for the broth to expand without breaking the glass. I only put the lids on once the broth is good and frozen.
I use it for soup and flavored rice. Basically use broth like a can of chicken stock, its just cheaper and healthier. I’ve got a fantastic chicken and rice casserole that uses it. Its gluten, dairy, and sugar free but was still a huge hit at a family reunion recently. One nephew who hates chicken asked me to send the recipe to his mom! I’ll be sharing soon.