Chicken Stock

October 22, 2013

By Anna Varriano

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This stock will be a delicious foundation for amazing soups, stews, sauces, and gravies, so it’s great to have some on hand at all times. It’s also great for drinking straight up! Chicken stock is known to have anti-microbial properties which can boost the immune system and heal the gut. It is also an important part of the GAPS™ protocol.

What You’ll Need

  • A stock pot or any pot big enough to hold a whole chicken and then some
  • 1 whole chicken (pastured is best). You can also use 2 or 3 pounds of bony parts, like wings, necks, or a couple of left over carcasses. The next time you roast a whole chicken, freeze the left over carcass so you can use it to make stock another time! The more parts of the chicken you use, the more nutrient-rich your broth will be. If you have access to, and are OK with using the ‘innards’ (liver, heart, giblets, etc), head, and feet, put those in the pot too…if not, you’ll still have a nutritious and delicious broth.
  • 12 – 16 cups of filtered water (enough to completely cover everything in the stock pot)
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped (continued on next page)
  • A handful of parsley sprigs (I usually put in around 10 large sprigs – you can use the entire bunch if you like!)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of unprocessed/unrefined sea salt (season to taste)

Prepping

  • Chop up the chicken into a few big pieces to allow more of the bones, cartilage, and other tissues to be exposed to the cooking liquid
  • Put all the ingredients (except the parsley) into the pot and let ‘rest’ for about an hour. This will allow the acidic vinegar or lemon juice to draw minerals from the tissues (especially the bones)

 Cooking

  • Bring to a boil for a few minutes.
  • You’ll likely notice some ‘scum’ starting to form around the top of the pot. Skim off as much of this as you can with a spoon and discard it.
  • Reduce the heat to low, so that you get a gentle, slow, steady simmer.
  • Simmer for at least 6 hours. I usually start my stock first thing in the morning and let it simmer until supper time. The longer it simmers, the more rich and delicious it will be!
  • About 20 minutes or so before you take it off the heat, throw in the parsley. Parsley is loaded with minerals which will make their way into the broth.

 Finishing

  • Once the stock is done, remove all of the chicken from the pot and put it aside in a big bowl.
  • Let the chicken cool just enough so that you can handle it, then remove every bit of meat off of the bones. You can use this meat in sandwiches, stews, soups, tacos, and any dish you want to add chicken to. I like to chop it up coarsely and freeze it in a few portions of various sizes.
  • Next, using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the stock. You can serve them with a meal, or if you are going to use some of the stock right away, you can chop them up and put them back in the stock (if that works with the recipe you have in mind). Otherwise, once everything is out of the stock, strain it through a fine sieve. You may want to do this a couple of times (rinsing the sieve out in between strains) to get a nice clear stock.

 Stocking up on Stock

  • If you are not going to use all of the stock right away, pour it into large mouth mason jars (or any other sealable glass container), leaving a couple of inches space at the top.
  • Seal the jars/containers and let them cool a bit, then put them in the fridge.
  • Once they’ve completely cooled in the fridge, you should notice a nice layer of fat that has risen and solidified on the top. If you used a pastured chicken, this fat is very healthy and should be used with the stock, or skimmed off and saved in the fridge in a glass jar as it is excellent for high temperature cooking (great to roast veggies in!).
  • Stock should last in the fridge for 4 or 5 days, or you can freeze it for up to 12 months. When I made stock, I make a ton of it so that I will have lots to freeze and always have on hand. Make sure you label the jars/containers with the date so you know how long you’ve had the stock in the fridge or freezer. You can write the date on a piece of masking tape with permanent marker and stick it on!

chicken broth in glass jar web version

Enjoy!

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