"Gelatin acts first and foremost as an aid to digestion and has been used successfully in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis, and Crohn's disease. Although gelatin is by no means a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in."
~ Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions
Well, if that quote doesn't get you excited regarding the benefits of homemade stocks and broths where gelatin abounds, (see some benefits of it here) then maybe the fact that they also contain beneficial sodium, chloride, iodine, magnesium, potassium, and lots of natural flavor!
I don't usually make my broth intentionally, as in boiling a whole chicken for the purpose of broth-making, but I do try and make it each time we roast a whole chicken for dinner, using whatever is left over of the meat, fat, and bones.
Here's my usual method, inspired by the cookbook, Nourishing Traditions:
1. Place chicken carcass in crock pot with whatever meat, and skin are remaining.
2. Add 2-3 carrots, 1 onion, 2-3 stalks of celery, 6-8 garlic cloves to crock pot.
3. Fill the crock pot with cold water. The slow warm up of the bones and veggies is a good way to impart as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
4. Set crock pot on low and cook for 18-24 hours. The longer the better for a more flavorful, gelatin-full broth. Nourishing Traditions recommends adding a bunch of parsley for the last 10 minutes of cooking, to "impart additional mineral ions to the broth."
5. Scoop out the large pieces of bone and veggies after the long cooking hours, and then strain the remaining broth to remove the smaller particles.
6. Place strained broth in a bowl and chill overnight or for several hours until the fat congeals at the surface.
7. Remove the fat from the surface of the broth with a slotted spoon. The thicker, more jelly-like the broth is after being chilled, the more gelatin you've got.
8. Ladle into small glass jars or other containers. Leave a half inch or more of headroom in the jars before screwing lids on, and freeze for future use. It will keep for several months in the freezer. (Using smaller jars is beneficial because of different serving sizes needed in the future.)
Now, you're well on your way to chicken noodle soup, tortilla soup, savory wild rice dishes, delicious gravies, and more, and you won't have to settle for the thin, pale, broths you can buy in a can or carton at your local grocery store. They just don't seem to compare to this beautiful, brown, full of natural nutrient, healthful, homemade broth!
Here's the list of ingredients:
whole chicken or leftover chicken carcass from a meal
2 - 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 - 3 celery stalks, washed and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion
6 - 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
cold water to fill crockpot