I started making our own chicken stock a few years ago when we started raising our own pastured chickens. Sadly, making your own stock or broth has become a lost art, especially in the younger generations such as mine. I’m a prime example of someone who had no earthly idea how to do it. I just picked up a can of broth at the grocery store when I needed it and did not think any more about it. I didn’t think about the factory it was made in, the workers who worked in that factory, what ingredients were in the broth, or the treatment and origin of the animal used to make the broth. It’s insane to see the difference between store bought broth and homemade. It’s darker and thicker, and not watery like grocery store broth. My brother-in-law (who is not a health nut AT ALL swears by this broth when he’s not feeling well!)
A friend of mine recommended the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook a few years ago, which challenges the American diet full of processed and additive-filled food. It explains the many benefits of adding homemade broth to your diet. It is known for aiding the digestive system, used to heal and prevent the flu and cold, and protection from a variety of health problems. Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions, states, “Properly prepared meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into broth.” It’s not only extremely healthy, but perfect to eat plain or add to soups and casseroles. It’s the perfect example of food being medicine! Some even say it works better than Tylenol!
If you are not able to purchase frames and feet from our farm, you can use a whole chicken. Our chicken is sold in several locations around the state of Oklahoma so feel free to contact me on where to find them if you’re interested.
Because our processor packs our frames and feet in large packages I had to moderate the original recipe.
1 pack of chicken frames-necks are included (5lbs.)
1 pack of chicken feet (3lbs.) The feet add extra gelatin to the broth, which adds even more nutrients.
Here’s what I use:
- 1 pack of frames (ours are 5lbs.)
- 1 pack of feet (ours are 3lbs.)
- Cold filtered water (I fill the pot I’m using 3/4 full)
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bundle of carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
I use my big canning pot right now. I’m hoping to invest in a stainless steel stock pot soon.
You place all the ingredients (except parsley) in the pot. Let it stand 30 minutes to an hour and then bring it to a boil. After an hour remove any scum that rises to the top. Then reduce the heat and simmer. I let mine cook for 24 hours. The recipe says 6-24, and the longer you cook it the richer it will be. 10 minutes before it’s finished you add the parsley.
I let it cool for a few minutes when it’s finished and then use a large slotted spoon to get out the large pieces. Because our pot is so huge I have Chad help me pour it into a large pot through a strainer to make sure I only have the liquid broth. I give all the chicken and veggie parts to the barn cats! After it has cooled, I ladle it into jars I’ve recycled. When freezing in jars you have to make sure to leave plenty of room at the top so the jars do not crack, since liquid expands in the freezer. One pint of broth is 1¾ cups if using it for a recipe.
I love the nice rich dark color it produces!
There you have it! I was really overwhelmed the first time I made broth, but it’s actually really easy. I encourage you to try it if you haven’t already. You will feel so good about yourself for accomplishing such an old tradition and nourishing your household!