Homemade Chicken Stock… this should be called “liquid of the GODS”!
For years and years, every time I needed some “stock” that a recipe called for, I reached into my pantry and pulled out a box. I can remember buying 4 boxes at a time, so I would never run out. (I know, it’s my stock the pantry mentality!)
I can remember the day I stood in front of the “boxes” of chicken stock in my local grocery store and a NEW low-sodium box appeared … I stood there thinking? If they reduced the sodium, then what is in this stuff. Just flipping over the box to read the list of ingredients, most of which I didn’t know what they were … I thought, well that’s not good!
Baby Step # 1,845 … Change out (really upgrade) the kind of chicken stock i bought in the box! So, I went from store brand chicken stock to Organic Chicken Stock in the box. Folks, this is winning in my eyes, right?
I mean it’s winning because I read the ingredients and I changed which kind I bought! Win! Win! Winning!
A few months later I was reading somewhere online about making your own chicken stock and putting the feet in. What!?! … Weirdo food people, what is wrong with them! I mean who puts “feet” in anything … little did I know then, that I would turn into one of those weirdo food people … yeah, yeah .. I should have known!
Now the search started. I pulled down every book, cookbook, article I could to learn. Let me just say that I’m pretty sure my Granny was UBER smart! She used to make Chicken Stock years ago … and I’m sure it’s one of the reasons she lived to 93!
Making your own chicken stock has HUGE health benefits. Great, I need some and my body needs some … pronto!
The recipe called for a chicken carcass, which I later figured out, was basically the bones of a pastured chicken plus the feet. I asked my foodie friends where I could get a pastured chicken (and feet!) and they told me to contact a pastured rancher. Here comes another Baby Step … I was about to make my own Chicken Stock.
I bought a pastured chicken carcass and feet and I was ready to get started.
I had the book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, on my bookshelf and I was ready.
Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
- 1 pkg of pastured chicken carcass
- 2 pastured chicken feet
- 8 quarts or more! of filtered water (from my Berkey water filter)
- 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (aka ACV)
- 1 large onion (huge chunks and thrown in)
- 4 carrots (chopped into 1" pieces and skins left on)
- 4 celery stalks & tops
- 1 bunch parsley optional
- 1/3 c. free-range egg shells (wash & let shells dry, keep in jar until you need them)
- 12 peppercorns
- 6-8 cloves garlic (skins left on)
- I throw all in a HUGE stock pot.
- Add ACV and let sit "about" one hour.
- I bring mine to a boil, then reduce to simmer and leave lid on.
- It says to simmer 24 hours, but I prefer mine after 3 full days and really I leave mine on simmer all week and take some out at each meal to drink (with butter, salt & pepper). (Note: I leave my electric stove on low overnight, but you can leave a crock-pot on if you prefer. In a crock pot if you feel safer just 1/2 the recipe above)
- Once I'm ready to remove, then I strain through a colander, so all the "bits" from the batch don't get in my stock.
- You can keep in fridge or freeze for later use. I use the following containers to freeze stock in. I let it cool first to room temp and then freeze in these:
This is my adaptation from Nourishing Traditions (pg 124).
I really love these food safe freezer containers for stock. I used to freeze in Ball Quart Glass canning jars, but after a couple of jars broke, I didn’t want to chance wasting the liquid gold.
Special Note 1: If you cook a whole chicken on Sunday night, save the bones & skin and you can use that if you don’t have a bag of carcass on hand. It may take 3-4 chickens to give you enough for a large stock pot.
Special Note 2: I only use pastured, free-range, filtered and organic ingredients, BUT start where you are! Use what you have! Begin doing things on a consistent basis … that is when true healing & wellness begins!
Special Note 3: You can have perpetual Chicken Stock, where each time you remove stock to drink, you add back the same amount of water to continue brew it! We like to do this during the winter, you will just need to add more ACV, veggies, spices & chicken “parts” after 7 days. Just an option!
Special Note 4: I keep a gallon size bag in the freezer marked: “Chicken Stock” and during the week, I throw: chicken skin, chicken bones, onion skin & top/bottom, carrot tops & skins, celery bottom & leaves, and garlic skins in the bag. When I have 3-4 cooked carcasses, then I’m ready to make stock.
Don’t forget that Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is super EASY to make at this point.