when i first made homemade chicken stock i could not believe how easy it was. although the process is long, the actual ‘work’ time is short, it makes your home smell incredible for the entire day, and the health benefits are great.

ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of chicken parts, roughly the bones/carcass of (2) 3-4lb chickens
  • gizzards and livers (optional)
  • 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
  • 1 onion, quartered with skin and roots
  • 3-4 carrots, unpeeled with tops
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half through the center of the cloves
  • ½ of a bunch of celery, leaves and butt included
  • fresh herbs, several stems of each such as thyme, rosemary, sage
  • 1 tbsp of black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • fresh parsley, several whole stems with leaves

place all the ingredients, except the parsley, in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. this allows the vinegar to start extracting calcium and brings the water to room temperature. it is thought that gradual heating brings out flavor.

bring it to a boil.

skim off any scum that rises to the top. reduce to a simmer and cover for 6-8 hours. add the parsley about 10 minutes before you take it off the heat. strain the broth through a mesh colander. press down on the veggies, meat, bones, etc to extract any remaining juices. let it cool before letting it chill in the fridge overnight.

skim any fat that has come to the surface.

pour into different sized containers and freeze. this is helpful in the future when recipes require different amounts of stock.

the benefits:

i have based my recipe off “broth is beautiful” by sally fallon, which is a very informative article that tells of the many benefits of making your own stock. among them it says homemade stock has minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur in a form that can be easily absorbed by the body. it also contains chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine which are known to help arthritis and joint pain, as well as, gelatin that has been shown to treat many different kinds of ailments including diabetes, cancer, and at the very least aids in digestion. back in the day when meat was a luxury item, or even scarce, every part of the animal was used in some way or other. fur and feathers were used for warmth, the meat for nourishment, and the bones were made into stock, but…

“when homemade stocks were pushed out by cheap substitutes, an important source of minerals disappeared…thickening effects of gelatin could be mimicked with emulsifiers but the health benefits were lost.”

i am not sure what the process is for the producers who make boxed and canned stock, but i wouldn’t be surprised if they took short cuts, and that the nutritional value of theirs not matching making your own.

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