With the promise of cooler weather, chicken stock or bone broth is, in my opinion, absolutely essential to preparing nourishing soups, stews, and casseroles. The home prepared version is far superior to those purchased at the grocery store. In addition to pure ingredients, stock made at home is packed with minerals needed to support every function of the body. As processed food has made its way into our kitchens, mineral depletion has occurred at very high rates. Anytime a whole food is processed (even as minor as turning apples into juice) minerals are lost and our digestive system has to go in search of them to complete the digestive process. Where does it find minerals? Our bones, teeth, hair, anything that is not vital to sustain life. So in addition to avoiding processed foods, as well as everything else that depletes minerals, it’s also important to replace them. This is where bone broth or stock comes in!
I’ve been making stock for years and start feeling nervous when I get down to the last container in the freezer. When that happens it’s time to throw simple ingredients into the stock pot to produce a batch of liquid gold! It’s healthy and the flavor of your food will amaze you.
If making chicken stock it’s best to use chicken that has been allowed to roam outside, eating bugs, getting sunshine and being fed grains that are GMO free. But don’t let that stop you from making stock if you are unable to find a source. Remember that small steps are what help make and sustain changes when it comes to changing eating patterns. If necessary start with organic chickens from the store or even a regular purchased chicken.
Vegetables are best if organic but again, make the changes you can now. If conventional is what is available or affordable start there.
Here is the process:
- 1 free range chicken or equivalent amt. in parts such as wings, necks, backs
- (Save carcasses from roasted chickens and add those as well)
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots or more, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, including leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 T Redmond Real salt or Celtic sea salt
- 1 bunch parsley
- Place chicken in a large stockpot. Add vegetables, excluding parsley.
- Add water until pot is 3/4 full.
- Let stand 30 minutes – 1 hour for the cider to start pulling minerals from bones.
- Bring to boil. Remove any scum that floats to surface.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 3 hours. Remove chicken and debone.
- Put all bones, skin, fat, everything back into the stockpot.
- Cook an additional 3 – 21 hours. Longer cook times allows flavor to develop.
- As stock cooks down, add water in pot to keep it 3/4 full.
- Ten minutes before done add parsley.
- Strain and then add salt.
- Refrigerate until cools completely.
- Portion into desired containers and freeze.
Here is a sampling of how I use chicken broth: chicken soup (recipe coming soon), chicken and dumplings, curry chicken, butternut squash soup, cooking rice, and poaching eggs.
What is your favorite way to use chicken stock?