Basic Chicken Stock or Broth

brothBasic broth is a good starting point for healthy homemade soup or you can drink it just as broth for an energizing boost to your health and wellbeing.  This is a time consuming labor of love but it mostly just cooks with no effort on the cook’s part except to look at it once in a while.  An added bonus is the house smells great while it’s simmering. It’s very flexible and a lovely way of cleaning out the refrigerator. You can substitute a turkey carcass for the chicken.

1 whole chicken uncooked
(or the remains of 1 roasted chicken with some meat left on the bone)
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
2-3 celery stalks, cut in chunks
2-3 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
a few sprigs of parsley
water to cover

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and add water to just cover all. Heat covered to bring to a boil and then reduce heat to gently simmer for several hours. Check occasionally and push the carcass and vegetables back down into the broth. When finished, the meat will all have fallen off the bones and look stringy and broken apart; the bones should be clearly visible with very little meat clinging to them. This can be a lengthy process; you can refrigerate the pot or put it on the back porch or in a cold garage (covered and protected) in colder weather and continue in the morning.

When the stock is ready, strain it into a new container to remove all solids; apply pressure to the solids to push as much liquid out as possible. Discard solids and refrigerate the reserved stock until the fat rises to the surface and makes a solid layer on top; the stock underneath will probably be like jelly and relatively solid but jiggly. Scrape the solid fat off the top and discard. The gelatinous mass left is your nutritious stock. More gelatinous broth is more nourishing than thinner broth so if it gets solid and jiggly when refrigerated it’s been made well. The collagen that leaks out of the bones while cooking the broth and makes it so healing causes the broth to solidify when refrigerated.

This broth can be stored refrigerated and reheated to boiling regularly (at least every 5 days) to maintain safety or it can also be frozen. If you have a pressure canner you can heat the finished broth to boiling, put it in mason jars and pressure can it for later use.

These are my base ingredients; feel free to experiment. Some people want salt added; I find the chicken and celery add enough flavor that I don’t need it. This is your stock so do what works for you. If you are an herbalist you can also add more herbs to the stock for medicinal purposes as you are simmering all the ingredients.


Comments are closed.