It is no secret that chicken stock is a healer. A proper stock is not only nutritious, but also helps the body digest and assimilate nutrients from other foods. Meat stocks contain minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium from all the bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables. The gelatin aids digestion and treats digestive and intestinal disorders. Also, stock adds so much great flavor and depth to food. From a simple soup to a rich gravy to a fortified rice, homemade stock is the key to making nutritious and delicious meals.
You’ll need: 1 organic roast chicken carcass**
chicken neck and gizzards
4 quarts (16 cups) filtered water
2-3 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 large yellow onion, quartered with skins on
3 carrots, washed and cut into 4 parts
3 celery stalks, washed and cut into 4 parts
2 bay leaves
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 bunch parsley
7 quart crock pot or large dutch oven/stock pot
Cut the chicken carcass into 3-6 pieces. Cut wings and neck into several pieces.
Place chicken and all other ingredients, except the parsley, into the crock pot and let stand for 30-60 minutes.
Bring to a boil and remove any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours.
Strain contents of the pot through a colander or sieve and discard solids.
Allow to broth to cool and chill in the refrigerator until the fat and gelatin congeal. Store stock in covered containers in the refrigerator (up to 1 week) or freeze (up to 3 months). Do not discard the fat/gelatin- that's part of what makes it so good for ya.
**Notes on chicken: An organic, free-range chicken is key for making a rich, nutrient dense stock. For the best flavor, roast the chicken first, or buy a pre-roasted chicken. If using a whole raw chicken: Bring to stock to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until a leg pulls out easily. Remove entire chicken and cool just long enough to remove the meat. Return carcass to the pot and continue.
A frugal option is to instead use 2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts (breast bones, wings, necks, backs), as well as, various chicken giblets (liver, kidneys, heart).
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon, New trends publishing 1999