Homemade, nutrient dense chicken stock is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. There is no comparison to the store-bought versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatine and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade stock.
In selecting the bones for your stock, look for high quality bones from pastured poultry. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible.
There are several places to find good bones for stock:
- Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken, duck, turkey, or goose (pastured)
- From a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal
- From local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local Farmer’s Market)
- Online from companies like Riverford Organic or Able and Cole.
This is my favourite stock recipe and is an adaption of the recipe in Nourishing Traditions
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatine (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- You’ll also need a large pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
How to use bone broth:
Homemade Broth/Stock can be used as the liquid in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to sauté or roast vegetables.
To drink, just like tea. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
If you aren’t already, make bone broth a regular part of your kitchen routine. It’s health boosting, inexpensive and easy once you get into the routine.
*First gather high quality bones, you can find them from sources listed above or save them when you cook. Aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses. If possible I also add 2 chicken feet per gallon of water (completely optional).
*If you are using raw bones, it improves flavour to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.
1. Place the bones in a large stock pot. Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add:
- 2 large carrots (if from an organic source, you can rough chop and don’t need to peel)
- 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
- A bunch of parsley
- The vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
2. Bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 12 hours.
*During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
3. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.