Chicken stock, like any meat stock, is rich in minerals, gelatin, and collagen. This elixir keeps bones and teeth strong, joints supple, and hair soft. I have experience with the last one as my hair used to be dry with grey coming …. I started drinking stock and within weeks, my hair softened with much less grey; likely the collagen had a play in that.
As a kid, I remember that there always seemed to be a pot of meat soup on the stove. As I grew up and became vegan in my early 20’s, cooking chicken just wasn’t in my vocabulary.
Nowadays, I make a pot nearly every week with slightly differentiated versions of the recipe below. You don’t have to use chicken, try other kinds of meat, just make sure to leave the bones in to get all the benefits.
Chicken Stock Recipe
Makes about 4 quarts
- 4-5 lb whole, pastured chicken ~or equivalent weight in bony parts (neck, back, breastbone, wings, joints)
- Gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
- 6-12 eggshells, cleaned (optional)
- 5-6 quarts cold filtered water
- 2-3 Tbs. acid (i.e. raw apple cider vinegar, lemon)*
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
Remove gizzards from cavity as well as the wings and neck – If the bird’s head is intact, keep it there – better for stock.
Place whole chicken or bones in a stainless steel/ceramic pot with all but the parsley.
Let stand for 30-60 min.
Bring to a slow, gentle boil – removing scum that rises to the surface.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hrs.
Remove the whole chicken from pot and separate meat from bones (If using only bones only, then leave it alone and simmer for 6-24 hours).
Place cleaned carcass back into pot, cover, and simmer for another 4-22 hrs.**
Add parsley 10 minutes prior to stock being finished for extra minerals.
Strain stock into a large bowl and put in fridge until fat coagulates – rising to top.
Skim and reserve fat to use in other delicious dishes.
Store stock in pint/quart containers in fridge for 1 week, or freeze for 3 months.
Tips & Tricks
- Fat that rises to top acts as a preservative, so leave it there until ready to use stock.
Chicken feet are gelatin-rich. They’re worth the effort to find them. Purchase them from your local butcher/farmer, or at www.freerangechicken.com (2 chicken feet per gallon of water).
Substitute any other meat on bone for chicken (i.e. lamb, venison, beef). Note that beef bones can cook up to 72 hrs.
*Using an acid helps to leech valuable minerals (calcium, phosphorous, sulphur) from the bones and put them into your stock water.
**Cook 6-8 hrs. if you’re in beginning stages of healing digestion (i.e. stage 1 of B.E.D). Cook longer once your digestion has improved. Keep in mind, that if stock is cooked longer than 24 hrs. it can acquire an “off taste”.
Bauman, D. (2011). Homemade Stock Is Full Of Minerals. Retrieved at http://indianapublicmedia.org/eartheats/homemade-stock-minerals-every-dish/
Campbell-McBride, N. MD. (2011). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Soham, Cambridge; Medinform Publishing.
Fallon, S. (2010). Nourishing Traditions. Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications.
Mercola, MD. (2013). Bone Broth – One of Your Most Healing Diet Staples. Retrieved at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/16/bone-broth-benefits.aspx
Paleo Diet Lifestyle (2011). Making Fresh Bone Stock. Retrieved at http://paleodietlifestyle.com/making-fresh-bone-stock/
May all bellies be happy!