This is so easy and so nourishing that it is almost crazy I just started making it a few months ago. I would buy chicken stock at the grocery store and now I look at the ingredients and realize it isn’t even close to the same for our bodies.
The perception is that it is easier, more convenient, or less expensive to buy at the store but, in this case, I have found all of these to be false. This recipe requires about 10 min of prep time and 10 min of finish time. The rest is watching the pot (or not watching it) for 24 hours. How hard is that?
It is also more economical to do it yourself. All you need is a chicken or two, or just some cheap soup bones, an onion and celery and maybe a few carrots if you have it. That is it. And after you cook the chickens you can shred and use the meat for chicken salads or enchiladas – it is truly many meals in one.
I freeze everything I make in quart containers and it lasts me a few weeks or more depending on how much I make and use. I use a large pot so I get about 8 quarts of stock and 2 quarts of shredded chicken meat. I would say that is a lot less expensive than purchasing a quart of organic store bought ‘stock’ (water and artificial flavorings) for $5.
So back to why I make this – bone broths have many minerals and they help seal your gut lining. Stock helps you better digest your food. Stock contains a lot of iron. I am drinking a cup of broth at every meal and I also use it for making rice (so good), soups and sauces.
- 1-2 whole free-range chicken(s) and/or 2-3 lbs chicken backs
- 1 lb chicken feet
- 1 gallon cold filtered water or enough to fill the stock pot 3/4 of the way up to the top of the ingredients
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 bouquet garni (wrap the following herbs in a cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine: 1 bay leaf, 1 large bunch fresh thyme, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 1 handful tarragon stems)
Place the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and the bouquet garni in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add in all of the chicken and fill 2/3 of the way up the chicken with water. Pour in the vinegar and let the mixture stand for 30-60 minutes. This releases the minerals from the bones.
TIP: Store onion ends, carrot ends and peels, and celery ends in the freezer to use for making stock.
Slowly bring to a gentle simmer (this should take about 45 minutes) and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Add the herbs, cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 12-24 hours, skimming every hour or so for the first few hours. The longer the cooking time the richer the stock.
Strain the stock through a colander lined with a cheesecloth. Place the stock in the fridge until the broth congeals and the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and reserve it for future projects. Store the stock in the freezer for long term storage (more than three days).
Remove the chicken meat from the bones and use in casseroles, salads or soup.
Want to know more about the do’s and don’ts of stock making? Get tips and techniques for stock making in my eBook, The Homemade Mommy Handbook.
Photo credit: merelymel13, on flickr