Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Chicken Stock

In my quest to feed myself and Grant healthier, more natural foods, I decided to make my own chicken stock. Bone broth is an excellent, healthy food that I can easily make in my own kitchen-- which translates to “you can do this too.” I can easily store the broth in my freezer and it is ready for any recipe I need. I am eliminating the need to buy chicken stock at the store, thus reducing my food costs and trash waste. The best part for me is not ingesting the preservative laden, sodium filled, “fake” stock at the store. To find out everything you wanted to know about bone broths healthful qualities visit this page.

The key to success here is TIME. It takes a while to cook the stock so that it is full of flavor. But since I don’t do this very often, it is time I’m willing to spend. And it’s not like I’m slaving over the stove during that time, but I don’t like leaving the house when I have the stove on (I have three curious cats at home).

The recipe (from Sally Fallon):

A whole chicken with the innards**
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons vinegar (this helps draw out minerals from the bones into the broth)
2 carrots, peeled and cut up into large pieces
2 or 3 celery stalks cut up into large pieces
1 onion peeled and cut up into chunks
3 or 4 or 10 garlic cloves roughly cut (this is my own personal addition-- I love garlic-- stop snickering Grant)
Handful of parsley

** of course it will be a much healthier stock if you can purchase farm raised/free range, antibiotic/hormone free chickens

Cut the wings off of the chicken and place them with the rest of the chicken and innards into the water with all ingredients except the parsley. I immediately start to bring to a boil (although the recipe link above suggests letting it stand in the water for 30 min. to an hour). Anyways, remove the scum that rises to the surface (toxins usually float to the surface in this scum). Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 6 to 8 hours. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be. During the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking you want to add the parsley. When done cooking, remove the chicken and vegetables. Strain the remaining broth into a bowl and freeze or use within 5 days. I shred the meat off the cooled chicken and am able to use it in 3 or 4 recipes.

I get so excited when I think of all the economical and healthy things I am able to make with this one chicken. I am able to get 4 quarts of stock and enough meat for several dishes.

I even got Grant on board with this-- he said it made him very happy to see a bunch of homemade chicken stock in the fridge. I think that translates into “thanks honey for ‘slaving’ over the stove all day so that we can have preservative and sodium free stock for use in our many healthy dinner recipes”-- yes, I’m sure that’s what he meant.

Another recipe that you should try.

1 comment:

BarbaraLee said...

Yeh I like saving the juices from left over chicken and using it for soups later. I usually season it when I make the soup.