If chicken soup is for the soul, then homemade chicken stock is pretty much for all that ails you.
With cold and flu season in full force, any extra defense we can provide our bodies against germs is critical. Not only does a chicken soup warm the body from the inside out, but it provides its historic medicinal properties for the sniffles and aches, too. A homemade chicken stock is full of calcium. Also, the gelatin-rich broth helps the digestibility of our entire meal, supports liver function, and aides bone and teeth health through the easily absorbed minerals.
Did I mention it smells divine? I leave mine simmering on the stove overnight and when I wake up the following morning, the whole house is infused with the scent of the rich broth. I’ll make a double batch in a huge stock pot and freeze what I don’t use for other projects.
It’s so easy and delicious.
Plus, whole chickens are on sale at Brookshire’s this week. I’d venture to guess that once you’ve had a homemade chicken stock, you’ll be hooked.
Makes about 6 servings
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
Gizzards from 1 chicken (optional)
1 gallon cold filtered water
2 Tbs vinegar
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 bunch parsley
Butcher your whole chicken into multiple pieces. It doesn’t have to be pretty. In fact, you want some bones exposed. Exposed bones leach calcium and other ions into your broth. Cut off the wings and the neck and cut those down. Put the chicken pieces in a large stainless steel stock pot and cover with the water, vinegar and veggies (minus the parsley). The role of the vinegar is to suck the calcium and nutrients from the chicken bones and add it to your broth.
Let the mixture stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Once you have that all skimmed, reduce the heat and cook (covered) for 6 hours to 24 hours. The longer the better – it will yield a much richer stock. About 10 minutes before the stock is done, add the parsley. The parsley is important because it adds mineral ions to the broth.
Let the broth cool slightly and then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon or tongs. If you used a whole chicken, make sure you save the meat for casseroles or soup. Strain the stock into another bowl and stick it in the fridge until the broth congeals and the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and reserve it for future projects.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 164, Calories from Fat: 86, Cholesterol: 64 mg, Sodium: 111 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 14 g