Stock - and my favorite way to make it
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Stock is the foundation and a staple of every healthy ancestral kitchen. It is the super food of super foods. It is SO RICH in collagen that it actually reverses aging in your skin!! Drinking stock is an important part of any serious beauty and anti-aging routine. It rebuilds your skin from the inside out! It also rebuilds your intestinal tract lining, repairs your joints, and provides abundant vitamins and minerals for strength and vitality. Its healing properties are well-known in ancestral tradition and it has been scientifically proven to strengthen the immune system and restore health.
Hands down, my favorite stock is chicken stock. Don't get me wrong, beef and ham stock are great, but I like to save them for soups. They can be a bit a bit strong for me to sip plain. When the time calls for it, you definitely can't beat a great French onion soup made with rich beef stock! But for just plain old drinking, chicken stock is my best friend. Broth or stock made from poultry is pleasant and mild. The perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory. I love drinking a mug of hot stock anytime of day and in any season!
The best and easiest way to make a really delicious and nutritious chicken stock is with a whole bird, that way you not only get an entire pot of beautiful stock with the perfect balance of fats and vitamins, but you get some really tender shredded meat that can be used for easy meals throughout the week. A super economical and tasty option -- definitely a win-win!
You will need:
a whole chicken (see sources below)
a broth pack (chicken backs and necks)
chicken feet (if available)
egg shells (optional)
Some old carrots, onions, celery, and crushed garlic
Herbs, celtic salt, and peppercorns
Apple cider vinegar (I use this)
A large stock pot - mine is 15.5qt (this is the one I use and LOVE it!)
I highly recommend getting your chicken from a pastured source. I buy mine either from Deer Run Farm of Amelia, Elim Springs Farm, or, lately, I've been buying my whole chickens and broth packs from Shire Folk Farm at St. Stephen's Market. You can also get pastured chickens at Whole Foods. And if you can't obtain a pastured bird, organic chickens found at Costco, Trader Joes, or Whole Foods are a good runner-up! :)
Put the chicken broth pack, the chicken feet (optional), and the whole chicken in the stock pot. It is totally fine if they are still frozen - I do that all the time!! Cover it all with filtered water and fill the stock pot. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (this helps pull the nutrients out into the broth). Let it all soak for an hour or so until the chicken in thawed. (Sometimes I accidentally leave it longer, especially if it is frozen solid!) Then add some veggies --even the old limpy ones in the bottom of your refrigerator work great! I like a few carrots, onions, celery, and crushed garlic.
Put the stock pot on your stove and bring to a boil slowly over medium-high heat. When it begins to boil, the first thing to be released from the chicken are trace impurities which rise to the top and turn into a layer of weird looking foam. This foam doesn't add any nutritional value and if left in the broth can add an off-flavor. You'll want to use a spoon or a small fine-mesh metal strainer to skim it off. Add some peppercorns, herbs, and celtic sea salt (or you can add this to taste at the end as well).
Once you have skimmed the foam and added herbs, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 6-12 hours. Then pull out the whole chicken --VERY CAREFULLY-- to pick the meat off. It will be super tender and will completely fall apart if you aren't careful. Have a big bowl ready to catch the chicken when you pull it out!! :D
Pick the meat and skin off the bones and save for later recipes! Put all the bones and the neck back into the stock pot and simmer on very low for another 6-12 hours.
After a total of 12-24 hours, the stock is ready to be strained! Get yourself a big metal strainer and strain into a big bowl. Pour the stock into jars or containers to be saved for future use! I pour the stock I plan on freezing in to plastic quart-sized containers to put in my deep freezer (glass tends to break when you freeze it, so after a few mishaps I gave up and use plastic now). I use glass to store the stock I plan on just drinking and put it in the refrigerator. I pour the stock into glass ball mason jars while it is still WARM and put the lids on tightly. They seal and preserve the stock even in the refrigerator for like a month!! If there is a delicious layer of fat on the top, it will even keep for longer!! :D
Let me know if you have any questions! I hope you enjoy!
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