So…it’s been a while since I’ve had a new post on the blog. Unfortunately, it’s cold and flu season and our house has been plagued by both. I’ve literally been making gallons of homemade chicken broth in an attempt to get everyone feeling well again. And while my kids are are pretty good about sipping broth straight up, I was getting pretty sick of it. There is only so much chicken noodle soup one can take without getting bored. Thankfully, I received some much need inspiration at Panera the other day when I tried their Thai Chicken Broth Bowl.
I always make my own stock, and technically speaking it’s “bone broth”. Don’t worry if the name weirds you out, it did at first for me too. So, what makes “bone broth” different from chicken stock? Turns out its all about how long you cook it. Bone broth is cooked for a minimum of 24 hours, often longer, which ensures that the minerals and vitamins from the chicken bones are extracted into the broth. This process is helped along by the addition of apple cider vinegar to the cooking water. I make mine in the crockpot..it seriously takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and you just let it go for 24 hours, strain, refrigerate and enjoy endless health benefits. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and numerous other trace minerals. Bone broth even contains glucosamine and chondroiton. I always have some in the freezer for when sickness strikes, which this winter seams to be often!
So, back to my inspirational lunch at Panera. They have this delicious “broth bowl” that is so simple and understated, but incredibly satisfying and hearty at the same time. This recipe is an attempt to reproduce their dish, and it really couldn’t be easier. Throw a few fresh veggies in a bowl, add some shredded rotisserie chicken and some cooked tortellini ( cooked rice or quinoa would be equally as delicious) and ladle steaming broth flavored with ginger and soy sauce over the top. I am such a huge fan of letting the kids make their own plates, and this recipe really is great for the kids to do just that. I put everything on a huge platter in the middle of the table and encourage the kids to add whatever they like to their bowl. All the options are great, so you really can’t go wrong. My daughter chose a heaping pile of spinach and chicken. Great!! My son chose the pasta, carrots, spinach, and chicken. Super!! The point is, they each had a hand in making dinner and were pleased that I gave them the freedom to pick what they wanted. The vegetables are raw and do retain their crunchy texture, which my family enjoys. If you want softer veggies, simply through them in the boiling broth for a few minutes before you serve. Super easy…super satisfying. And, if your house is struggling with winter colds, a great alternative to plain old chicken noodle soup. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 quart homemade chicken bone broth (or good quality store bought broth)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ inch piece fresh ginger
- juice of ½ lemon
- broccoli pieces
- shredded carrots
- shredded cabbage
- sliced mushrooms
- raw baby spinach
- cooked tortellini, quinoa, or rice
- shredded rotisserie chicken
- Cook pasta, rice or quinoa according to package directions
- Slice vegetables (relatively small) and arrange on platter.
- Heat broth in saucepan with ginger and soy sauce until boiling. Turn heat off and add lemon juice.
- Add meat, pasta, and veggies to bowl and top with hot broth.
- I didn't include measurements for the veggies or chicken, as I just cut up enough to throw on a huge platter. But, have no fear, if you have leftovers, it all makes an amazing salad for lunch the next day! 🙂