Chicken Stock: How to Make it and the Benefits

Chicken stock or broth is very nutritious, simple to make, and something I think no freezer should be without. I use the Nourishing Traditions recipe.
Chicken Stock Ingredients:
2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings or 1 whole chicken.
Chicken Feet (Optional)
4 quarts of cold filtered water
2 tablespoons of vinegar(I use ACV)
1 large onion coarsely chopped or onion skins
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley

Place all ingredients excluding the parsley in a stock pot. If using a whole chicken, its recommended that you remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. I highly recommend that you use chicken feet, which will produce a gelatinous stock. I use a dozen chicken feet. I purchase them from the farmers market, another good source is Whole Foods(I would call first). I usually purchase 2 dozen at a time, and freeze the other dozen. If you roast chickens, keep your bones and use them to make stock, I almost always have a bag of frozen chicken bones in my freezer. Any poultry bones you have will work: turkey, chicken, duck, cornish game hens. After placing all ingredients, excluding the parsley in the stock pot let it stand for 30 minutes to an hour. By adding vinegar it helps extract minerals from the bones.

Bring to a boil, and remove the scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12-24 hours. I used to let mine sit for 12 hours, but the last two times I did it for 24 hours and it produced a much more flavorful and gelatinous stock. 10 minutes prior to turning the stove off, place the parsley in the pot. This will add additional mineral ions to the broth. I almost always forget this step! If you use a whole chicken, after an hour remove the meat from the chicken. You can use the chicken for soup, salads, enchiladas, omelets or curries.

How I strain my stock

Strain the stock into a large bowl, I place cheesecloth in the strainer it catches more, and it makes it easier to clean up. Now you can place the bowl into the fridge until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Then remove the fat, and reserve the stock in covered containers in the freezer or in the refrigerator. If you leave it in the fridge it’s good for a couple days. I used to do this step, but not anymore. I just place the stock into mason jars, and then place it into the fridge or freezer, when placing the jars in the freezer do not put the lids on, until the stock is frozen, this will prevent the jars from cracking and seek Mason Freezer Glass Jars.

After 24 hours.

If you place the jars in the refrigerator, you will develop that layer of fat on top so it can be removed once chilled, or when you go to use it. Depending on what you use your stock for will help you decide if you need to remove the fat, I primarily use mine to make soup, and since I use organic free-range chickens, I know that the fat is healthy and since fat=flavor, I think it makes my soups taste a little better. If your going to be drinking the stock by itself, then I would recommend letting the fat come to the top and scraping it off. For onions I save my onion skins and place them in a bag in the freezer and if the bag is full, I use only onion skins, you can also freeze carrot tops, along with the tops and bottoms of celery. You can also freeze the stock in ice cube trays, or muffin trays and store them in a bag in the freezer.

Made 14 cups of stock

Now that it’s cold season, it’s especially important to have homemade chicken stock on hand. Stock contains minerals, which are: calcium. magnesium, phosphorus, silicone, sulphur, and trace minerals. Research has shown that chicken soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School for Medicine, says chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. For example, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

If you use chicken feet, your stock should gel when it cools. According to the Weston Price foundation here are some of the benefits of gelatin: “The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.”


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