This value-added chicken broth not only forms a tasty foundation for soups and stews, but it also contains nutrients that build bones and improve joint health and amino acids that improve immune and lung health. A bit of astragalus root makes the immune-strengthening potential even greater. The apple cider vinegar extracts calcium from the chicken bones and makes your broth rich in minerals.

DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, NUT-FREE

MAKES 12 TO 16 CUPS | PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES, PLUS OVERNIGHT TO CHILL | COOK TIME: 5 HOURS

1 (3- to 4-pound) organic chicken

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

16 cups cold water

2 ounces dried astragalus root slices

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2.Put the chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the skin is brown and crispy.

3.When the chicken is finished roasting and cooled enough to handle, remove the meat and set aside for another meal.

4.Put the bones, skin, pan drippings, onions, carrots, and celery in a stockpot and cover with the cold water. Add the astragalus root slices to the broth.

5.Bring to a low boil. Add the apple cider vinegar. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the richer and more flavorful it will be. Remove from the heat and strain the broth through a colander into a large bowl or soup pot. Season the stock with salt and pepper.

6.When the broth has cooled, refrigerate overnight. The next day, the broth should be rich and gelatinous. The fat will have solidified on the top, so you can remove it, if desired.

7.At this point, your medicinal broth is ready to transform into a healing soup or tea or frozen in quart-size containers for later use.

SUBSTITUTION TIP: If you prefer a vegetarian broth, simply omit the chicken, double the vegetables, and roast them at 350°F for 40 minutes before covering with the water.

HERB PROFILE

ASTRAGALUS

Dried root slices

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Should not be used during acute respiratory illness with fever or with wet cough

TASTE/ACTIVITY: SWEET/WARM/MOIST

PROPERTIES: Adaptogen, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardiotonic, hypotensive, immune amphoteric, mild diuretic, tonic

USES: Restores depleted immune health; treats cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, weak or depleted lung conditions, dry cough, chronic bronchitis, high blood pressure, and diabetes; aids recovery from lingering illness or chemotherapy

SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS: Soup, stock, tea

ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR: IMMUNE HEALTH, LUNGS

Astragalus is a tough woody root used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic to build and support the immune system. It is especially helpful for people who get sick at the beginning of cold and flu season and relapse or never quite fully recover, cough for weeks or months, or are subject to colds turning to bronchitis every winter. Use it to build up depleted immune function and lung health or to prevent colds and upper respiratory infections. Unlike the culinary herbs and spices featured in the book, astragalus is not used as a flavor enhancer. The woody root releases its powerful medicinal constituents when simmered for a few hours in water for tea or soup stock and is then discarded. Its taste is very mild and pleasant. Sip 1 to 3 cups per day beginning 6 weeks before cold and flu season.

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