“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb. Said Escoffier: “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.”
I took this quote from the Weston Price website. If you’ve never visited the site, you should check it out. There is a wealth of information there.
I’ve been making my own stock now for quite some time. The nutritional benefits from making your own stock (and for avoiding the toxic store bought stuff) are HUGE! Some say it can cure colds/increase your immune system, build strong bones, be a digestive aid/gut healer, joint support, gives strength to your hair, nails and skin, detoxify and on and on and on. This stuff is amazing!
You’ll first need to start with a good quality chicken. Lately I have been buying pastured whole chickens from Across the Creek Farm. Sometimes I’ll use the whole chicken when making the stock and have meat leftover for soups or chicken salad. Most of time I like to make this roast chicken or garlic crockpot chicken and then save the bones. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make the stock right away, just freeze the bones and do it another day.
This stock is the first time I’ve used chicken feet. I know, it sounds very scary. And well, it is actually pretty scary to look at too. I try to just focus on the nutritional benefits and not think of nightmare on elm street…
When you add the feet you get a more gelatinous stock as well as glucosamine chondroitin, collagen and trace minerals. I bought my feet from Green Fork Farm at our local winter market.
Bone Broth (I follow the Weston A. Price recipe)
- 1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
- If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
- Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.