Traditional Chicken Stock: Recipe
Tara Carpenter, NC.
Holistic nutrition for people on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.).
Originally published: September 19, 2019
Chicken stock, like any meat stock, is rich in minerals, gelatin, and collagen; all of which can keep bones and teeth strong; joint ligaments supple; and hair soft. I personally experienced my hair improving tenfold!! I started drinking a quart of stock a day and in a matter of weeks, my hair softened with much less grey … thank God for collagen.
There always seemed to be a pot of soup simmering on the back burner of our stove growing up. My mother would toss in a whole chicken, couple of onions, carrots, celery, herbs, garlic and then top off with cold water. The smell, especially of bay leaves wafted up through my floorboards; enticing me down for the day ahead and for breakfast 🙂
As a mom myself now, I usually make meat stock once or twice a week using a version of the recipe below. We go through stock faster in the winter as I serve a mug of hot stock with near everything under the sun then. What kind of stock I make depends on the meat on-bone and vegetables I have on hand.
You can find my writing of the benefits of bone stock here.
Chicken Stock Recipe
Makes: about 4 quarts
- 4-5 lb whole, pastured chicken ~or equivalent weight in bony parts (neck, back, breastbone, wings, joints)
- Gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
- 6-12 eggshells, cleaned (optional)
- 5-6 quarts cold filtered water
- 2-3 Tbs. acid (i.e., raw apple cider vinegar, lemon) *
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
Remove gizzards from cavity as well as the wings and neck – If bird head is intact, keep it there – all the better for stock.
Place chicken or bones in a stainless steel/ceramic pot with all but parsley and allow to stand for 30-60 minutes.
Bring to a slow, gentle boil – removing scum that rises to the surface; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 2 hours.
Remove the whole chicken from pot and separate meat from bones (If using bones only, leave alone and simmer 6-24 hrs).
Place cleaned carcass back into pot, cover, and simmer another 4-22 hrs.**
Add parsley 10 minutes prior to stock being finished for extra minerals.
Strain stock into wide-mouth glass Mason jars that you are sure do not have cracks in them! I place my jars on a kitchen towel laid inside a bowl — before filling — in case one has a hairline fracture. After losing jars because of this, this has become my method. Can also pour into another pot. Either way, allow to cool slightly, then place in fridge until you see a beautiful layer of fat coagulate/rise to the top and harden like a layer of beeswax***. When stored this way, stock keeps longer in the fridge; one of Nature’s preservers 🙂
Screw on a fitting lid (only when the insides of jar are completely cooled off, otherwise moisture will rise above the fat and cause mold. I open my jars the day after closing them to wipe the inner top lid with a paper towel.
Store in fridge for up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
Tips & Tricks
Chicken feet are gelatin-rich and worth the effort to source. Purchase from a local butcher, farmer, or at freerangechicken.com. I use 2 chicken feet per gallon of water.
Substitute another meat on-bone for the chicken (i.e., lamb, deer, beef). Note: beef bones are dense and can cook up to 72 hours.
*Soaking bones in an acid prior to cooking leeches more valuable minerals (calcium, phosphorous, sulphur) from the bones and puts them into your stock which eventually gets into your body and will be a more mineral-rich version 🙂
**Cook 6-8 hrs. only if you are in the beginning stages of healing your digestion with stage 1 of B.E.D. As your digestion improves, you can cook the bones longer without worrying about irritating your gut. Keep in mind that stock cooked longer than 24 hours can acquire an “off taste” (unless using dense bones like cow).
***Fat that rises to the top acts as a preservative for the stock below. I leave this layer alone until I am ready to use the stock because the fat helps seal out incoming bacteria from the air. When ready to use, I cut a pie slice into the fat and dip in with a long-handled ladle. You can also pour it out. If you have a hard time digesting fat then skim off the very top layer (not all the way down, otherwise you will get moisture liquid caught up in the fact and more likely to mold in fridge – won’t store as long. Place this in a small glass jar to use in small amounts for sauteing vegetables, etc.
Bauman, D. (2011). Homemade Stock Is Full Of Minerals. Retrieved at https://indianapublicmedia.org/eartheats/homemade-stock-minerals-every-dish/
Campbell-McBride, N. MD. (2011). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Soham, Cambridge; Medinform Publishing.
Fallon, S. (2010). Nourishing Traditions. Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications.
Mercola, MD. (2013). Bone Broth – One of Your Most Healing Diet Staples. Retrieved at https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/16/bone-broth-benefits.aspx
Paleo Diet Lifestyle (2011). Making Fresh Bone Stock. Retrieved at https://paleodietlifestyle.com/making-fresh-bone-stock/
May all bellies be happy!