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The bone broth at 8 Hands Farm is simmered for five hours. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Cold gray days have a way of zapping your energy and having you reaching for a third cup of coffee before the clock strikes noon. These are days when mac n’ cheese and chili comes calling for lunch. But you might consider selecting a different kind of comfort food.

The warming bone broth at 8 Hands Farm is a lighter option that could give you the pep back in your step without the espresso.

You may have heard a buzz about bone broth lately. It’s essentially stock that is simmered with animal bones for a longer amount of time. The hours-long process makes the bone broth rich in minerals that are said to support the immune system along compounds like collagen. The low fat, low calorie broth is believed to help with everything from low energy levels to inflammation — but as 8 Hands chef Jonathan Copeland put it, “it has to taste good or I wouldn’t eat it.”

Luckily for Jonathan — and for us — he and his chef wife Carly, who operate the 8 Hands Food Truck along with the indoor café in winter, have a recipe for bone broth that tastes exactly like grandma’s homemade soup.

8 Hands uses chicken bones for its take on the broth. The Cutchogue farm raises chickens from May through November and its butcher, Julien Shapiro, regularly makes chicken stock throughout the summer months. It takes about eight hours to make the initial stock, which is then frozen as the base of the bone broth that is made during cold weather months.

The stock is thawed and heated in an oversized pot. Then come the ingredients — among them: chicken bones, onions and celery — the mixture is then cooked for at least five more hours until it is ready for consumption. The ingredients are strained and the broth is ready.

When hot, the broth is the consistency of stock. When cold, however, it becomes congealed. That is not fat, it’s the collagen that was extracted during the slow cooking process.

Try it for yourself all winter long at 8 Hands Farm. The farm store café is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter. Stop in for a warm cup or stock up with take-home quarts for cold nights.

8 Hands Farm is located at 4735 Cox Lane in Cutchogue. Visit them at