I love homemade chicken stock (also known as bone broth) because it’s an essential ingredient in great soups and sauces. I also love it because it’s incredibly good for you.
Because it is made from bones, stock contains natural gelatin (which is great for the digestive system) and lots of minerals, as well. Adding an acid (the apple cider vinegar I’ve used here) helps to draw the calcium out of the bones and into the stock…so the broth is particularly good for bone health.
The recipe below is my “go to” chicken stock, the one I make when I accumulate 2-3 chicken carcasses from roasting chickens (I keep each carcass in a bag in the freezer, so when I have a few, I go ahead and make stock). Feel free to add additional vegetable scraps, too- sometimes I throw in chopped broccoli stalks, green onion tops, and the like that will otherwise end up in the compost.
Adding parsley at the end makes the broth even more mineral-rich, a trick I learned from Sally Fallon, author of the wonderful book Nourishing Traditions.
You can also use this recipe to make turkey stock: just increase the amounts of everything due to the larger size of the turkey carcass and know that you’ll end up with 10-15 quarts of stock so make sure you have enough room to store it.
For a delicious vegetable broth, feel free to load up your pot with any additional veggies that you have on hand, omit the chicken and the vinegar, and decrease the water accordingly (you’ll want it just covering all the vegetables). Cook as long as you like- the longer, the better!
How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock
*use organic ingredients whenever possible
Makes 3-4 quarts
* 2-3 chicken carcasses (from free-range birds)
* 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
* 2-3 large carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped
* 3 stalks celery with leafy tops, chopped
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
* 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
* Water to cover (about 15-20 cups)
* 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (helps to draw the minerals out of the bones and into the stock)
* 1 bunch parsley, rinsed
* sea salt to taste
Put all your ingredients (except for the parsley) into a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
Skim off all of the the foam that has risen to the top.
Reduce heat to simmer and continue to periodically skim off the foam, if necessary.
Simmer for at least two hours or as long as overnight (I usually simmer mine for about 8 hours). The longer you simmer it, the more flavorful it will be, but keep in mind that it will reduce and you will end up with less.
Ten minutes before it has finished cooking, add the parsley (you can leave it in the bundle, rubber band and all).
When it has finished cooking, allow to cool a bit and then sample your broth. Add sea salt to taste.
Strain the broth and refrigerate for a few hours. Any fat in the broth will congeal at the top and can be easily strained off, if you like.
Your stock is now ready for use or you can package it up and put it in the the freezer (I store mine in quart sized plastic containers).
This post is linked to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!