Bone broth was one of the biggest trends of 2015, with restaurants, delis, farmers markets and even a festival shilling the hot stuff in New York City.
But for one local chef, the nutritious stock isn't a passing fad.
"It's literally been around for 30,000 years -- [the practice of] utilizing bones to make broth," said Marco Canora, owner of Hearth. "I like to think it's like juice -- juice is not super trendy and talked about every second the way it used to be six years ago, but it was a market that didn't exist before that still exists in a big way today. I'd like to think that bone broth will follow suit."
In November 2014, Canora started serving bone broth in cups from Brodo, a take-away window service at his East Village restaurant. This month, he came out with a cookbook on the basics of bone broth, from tips, tools and techniques for making it at home to recipes for sipping broths and add-ins such as ginger juice, roast garlic puree and shiitake tea.
As a chef, Canora has been making broth in professional kitchens for years, as it's a stock for foods like soups and risotto. He's also a fan of it personally.
"I'd always enjoyed sipping on broth in a bowl, the way you'd get a large cup of café latte, it's something I've been doing for years," said Canora, who drinks bone broth every day. "I eat less food when I have broth around -- it keeps me from snacking. It's energizing and delicious and satisfying and keeps me from eating a lot."
Bone broth is also rich in gelatin, amino acids and collagen, which can improve digestion and joint health, and is considered a healing food that helps build a healthy gut and immune system. In fact, many of the customers lining up outside Brodo's window have been referred there by their doctors for therapeutic reasons, Canora said. The broth is also dairy-, gluten- and sugar-free -- perfect for those who follow a Paleo diet.
"It checks a lot of the in-vogue boxes right now," Canora said.
Recipes in the cookbook for sipping broths include a roasted chicken broth -- ideal for fall and winter months for its rich flavor from roasting the bones first before boiling and simmering them in a pot. To find the chicken necks, backs or feet that the recipes call for, Canora recommends talking to your local deli or meat counter and seeing what they have available.
"You don't need to be fixated on 'I need x bone or y bone' -- many bones are created equal," Canora said. "Go to your guy, take what you can get and make broth out of it."
Canora also highly recommends investing in a 16-quart, stainless steel stockpot when you make broths at home to maximize the amount of broth you end up with.
"It certainly is time consuming, but it's not labor time, more like cook time," Canora said. "It doesn't take more time to make double or triple the amount, so if you're going to put in the work, you might as well do it on a larger scale. It goes fast."
Brodo's roasted chicken broth
Makes about 6 quarts
10 pounds chicken necks and backs (if available, substitute chicken feet for 1 to 2 pounds)
3 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
5 bay leaves
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
Fine sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Arrange the bones in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets (if using chicken feet, set those aside). Roast the bones until well browned, about 1 hour, flipping after 30 minutes.
3. Put the roasted bones and feet, if using, in a 16-quart pot. Add cold water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, about 1 hour, skimming off the foamy impurities every 15 to 20 minutes.
4. As soon as the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low and pull the pot to one side so it is partially off the burner. Simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, skimming once or twice.
5. Add the onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, tomatoes, and parsley and push them down into the liquid. Continue to simmer for 3 to 5 hours, skimming as needed and occasionally checking to make sure the bones are still fully submerged.
6. Use a spider skimmer to remove the solids and save to make a remy or discard. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Season with salt to taste and let it cool.
7. Transfer the cooled broth to storage containers (leaving any sediment in the bottom of the pot) and refrigerate overnight. When the broth is chilled, spoon off any solidified fat. Store the broth for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or freeze for up to 6 months.