I am not someone who follows any kind of specific diet. I’m not paleo, gluten-free or low sodium. I don’t watch my sugars or fat intake. Right now with the state of my Crohn’s, whatever doesn’t make me sick, is usually on my menu. (And keeps me a size 00!)
But every now and then I do have to follow the dreaded clear liquid diet. When I hear that news, I usually scream silently “Nooooooo.” Do you know what a clear liquid diet is? It is friggin’ cubes of flavored gelatin or broth!!!! (I also get grumpy when I am on liquids, can you tell?)
No offense to the very nice people who make gelatin desserts but years of liquid diets make me want to fling those bowls against the wall. Those silly little lumps are so bouncy that they just come flying back at me. It is an evil, evil cycle. (And it is hard to get off of the walls.)
I used to feel the same way about broth BUT the food gods are throwing me a bone this year. Or should I say bone broth? Because I have been reading that cups of fancy broth are actually one of the newest trends.
It is going by the Italian name for broth (brodo) and in New York there is even a restaurant called Brodo. (I owe this chef (Marco Canora) a hug because his shop is genius!) The menu is filled with “sipping broths” that have actually made my mouth water reading the description. I like that they also offer add ins like garlic puree, ginger juice and bone marrow. (I haven’t been there but it will be on my list if I ever travel to NY.)
There is a little banter going on that all brodo is just stock and stock is brodo….but it is so much more. A good brodo, from what I understand, is a way of making “stock” or “broth” by first roasting the bones and then SLOLWY cooking them with your veggies and water for hours and hours and hours.
This process actually breaks down the bones more so more nutrients are released. (I’m not a nutritionist but this whole feeling like I am doing this for trendy health reasons is making my liquid diet better.)
I know there are naysayers (probably the same people who like gelatin) but this past weekend I made some good old-fashioned chicken brodo for my liquid days this week.
Small disclaimer….I don’t think I really made it the properly new fashionable way. I kind of cheated. I literally stuck a chicken in my slow cooker with water and veggies and let it cook. I did do it for hours and hours and hours.
I had the full intention of roasting some bones but my energy is just shot these days and I couldn’t accomplish that task.
BUT my result may be good enough for the folks around here to keep their fingers crossed that one day we will have a Brodo drive-up window in our county one day. (We love our drive-ups around here.)
I did the richer color that I’ve seen from true broods and I did get the desired gelatinous result when it cooled. (If it cools thicker, that is rumored to be a sign that more of the bones nutrients have seeped into your broth.)
Also note that I did NOT add more than a sprinkle of salt. Since I need to make this broth taste different in my many meals, I wanted to season it as I ate it. I wanted to avoid making it taste like water and bouillon.
So for today’s lunch, I popped open one of my containers, added a splash of ponzu and a dash of sriracha. I tasted it after it warmed up and did add a very small sprinkle of salt. It did not need much.
And I’m going to say something; I don’t think I’ve ever said….this liquid diet will doable and be pretty dang good. I felt completely full after I drank my bowl. It was so flavorful!! I genuinely felt like this was my choice to eat for lunch and not my assignment.
I hope I will be back on my regular diet soon but given this is my refrigerator, I may not be as devastated. I feel like this has liberated me from a really bad food day. (Now if someone would only make gelatin fancy!)
Chicken Broth/Brodo (Whatever you want to call it)
1 roasting chicken 2-3 pounds, break it down and if you have time….roast the bones
1 onion, quartered
4 carrots cut into big chunks
2 stalks of celery cut in fourths
1 Parmesan rind
Misc. fresh herbs (I had some sage and thyme so I tossed it in too)
Sprinkle of salt (you can season more when you eat it)
In a large 6-quart slow cooker, add chicken, veggies and herbs. Cover with water. Make sure there is some space between the lid and the top BUT keep that chicken covered in water!
Set on low and cook 12-24 hours!
Around 8 hours, I pulled the chicken apart more since it was more manageable. Some of the meat was good enough to put aside and use in a chicken salad or something like that.
I let the carcass continue cooking and strained it. I did take a quick taste and will have to season it more before I eat it. Remember you can’t take the saltiness out but you can always put more in!
I put it in smaller containers and let it cool in the refrigerator. This allowed me to get some of the “bad” fat off the top.
Now I still have to be careful right now to keep my brodo clear so I can obey the doctor’s orders. I am looking forward to when I am back on solids so I can make up some broth and serve it with some tortellini or pasting.
Barb — Wonderful blog. So glad you found a way to make your liquid diet tastier and something to anticipate!! The method you hit on is great for getting a true clear broth — the kind that’s perfect for Asian dishes. Anytime you roast a chicken, or get a rotisserie chicken for take home, save the bones in the freezer. When you have a bagful, roast the bones and then do the slow cooker version. Of course, you can save meat bones the same way and take a similar approach to getting your richer brodo.
By the way, one of the ways to make a really good French Onion soup is to oven roast 4 to 6 LARGE onions in butter, stirring every 15 minutes or so (for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours — they should be turning pale golden or light caramel in color). I’ll send along the recipe separately, but you will finish the soup on top of the stove, and you add your (preferrably home made) beef AND chicken broth to it and simmer for about 40 minutes. Until you can eat the onions, just strain them out and you’ll have a very tasty liquid dish!! Hugs and best wishes for healthy days ahead.
Now I know who to contact when I want a guest blogger! : ) Thank you for all of your love and support!