It has been a mission of mine to share this chicken stock recipe with everyone I come in contact with this cold and flu season. The more I understand about nutrition the more I fall in love with our Heavenly Father. My experiences with growing food and raising livestock here on our “mini” farm has revealed more about God and His provisions then all the years I have been a believer. I wrote a little bit about this on my post about winter squash. I am just in awe at times at how loving our creator is.
“So, what’s the big deal about chicken broth?” you ask. Well, there are a number of things great about chicken broth. But first you have to know that the Campbell’s soup chicken broth is not the same thing as homemade chicken broth. In fact, I would say don’t waste your money on the store bought stuff. It’s mostly water and very little nutrition compared to homemade broth. Making broth is very easy so don’t get overwhelmed by the idea. Learning to make bone broth will be one of the best things (besides eating less junk food) you could do for the health of your family.
Benefits of Properly Made Homemade Chicken Broth (and other bone broths)
- contains minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium
- gelatin (aids in digestion of food and used to treat many intestinal disorders)
- cartilage (treatment for cancer, bone disorders, and used to treat rheumatoid arthritis)
- flavors food
- comforting when sick
It’s a shame the practice of making bone broth has been almost lost in our culture. It use to be a common thing for a family to have a stock soup cooking in the kettle. Our modern meat processing techniques have changed the way we view food. For the most part, we buy meat all cut up nicely for packaging and convenience purposes. Whereas, in the past people bought whole chickens and did the cutting themselves or did the butchering themselves. This shift into prepackaged goods has made our culture very detached from our food and where it comes from. And, we seemed to have lost the need to “make use of every part of the animal” because we only buy the breast of a chicken rather than the whole chicken. In the past, even if I had cooked a whole chicken, I didn’t have any interest or knowledge of the benefits of using the carcass to make bone broths. Now that I understand how healing bone broths can be, it’s a staple in our home.
Healing Chicken Stock
- 1 whole raw organic chicken (you can use non-organic but organic and free-ranged is best)
- 2 carrot sticks, peeled
- 3 celery sticks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 4 quarts of cold filtered water
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- For added nutrition include: gizzards from one chicken and chicken feet
The best way cook stock, for me, is in a 6 quart Crockpot but if you don’t have a large Crockpot you can use a pot on the stove. Wash chicken and place in pot. You can cut up the chicken if you prefer. Add remaining ingredients except the parsley. You can put the carrot and celery in whole. Add vinegar and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil if cooking on the stove and then simmer for 12-24 hours. If using a Crockpot, turn it on high for the first hour then turn it down to low for the remaining time. Check the chicken after an hour to skim off the foam (impurities) that will rise to the top. The foam will rise quicker if you are boiling it on stove. Place the parsley in the pot 10 minutes before it’s done to add additional minerals. After the stock has cooled, remove the meat and veggies. Strain it through a strainer to get the smaller pieces out. I use a plastic coffee strainer. Pour stock in a bowl and place in frig. Remove the fat that will separate after it has cooled.
The key to a great chicken stock is the amount of time it is cooked. It should be slow simmered for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook it the better. The raw chicken will offer your stock the best possible nutrients. You will end up with 3 1/2- 4 quarts of stock from this recipe. Save the meat for an enchilada, salad, soup dishes, sandwiches, etc. I use chicken stock in chicken soup, potato soup, winter squash soup (squash is extremely healing as well) and bean soups. You can also drink the stock straight with no added water for maximum benefits. Just add some garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper for more flavor.
Store stock in mason jars or you can pour into ice cube trays,freeze, then store in plastic freezer bags. Stock can be store for one week in refrigerator and several months in the freezer. If freezing in mason jar, leave about an inch of headspace.
This recipe, other great recipes and information on healthy eating is found in a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
I hope you stay healthy this cold and flu season