Stacey's Homemade Chicken Stock

Stacey's Homemade Chicken Stock
Stacey's Homemade Chicken Stock

For the longest time, whenever I would make homemade soup, I'd just get a box or can of broth from the market and toss it in. Then one day I read the nutritional info and saw -- even on the organic box -- ingredients like "chicken flavor" and "cane juice." Um, what? Evaporated cane juice is still just sugar and, well, what the heck is "chicken flavor" anyway? The non-organic kind is even worse. MSG, hydrolyzed soy, corn doesn't even seem like food, but a chemistry experiment gone awry.

So I decided I was going to make my own. And? WOW. Total game-changer. Not only more economical because you can make massive amounts and freeze it, but homemade stock tastes 100 times better. It's more nutritious (The Weston Price Foundation has a great article about why here) and uses less waste (no non-recyclable wax coated boxes taking up space in your trash). Win win win win.

Wanna give it a try?

Fill up your biggest stock pot with a good amount of filtered water. I use my lobster pot which can pretty much double as a bathtub for my two kids, so I'm thinking at least two gallons of water will do. Then add in your chicken carcass. Bones, wings, everything. If you've saved the organ meat you can pitch those in too. This may sound gross to you, but imagine -- could it be better in a factory? What are they tossing in there? Do you really know? Do you want to?

Then throw into your pot:
-several stalks of celery
-a few carrots (I leave the tops on for this; it adds good flavor)
-several bay leaves
-a generous amount of salt (to your own taste)
-10 or so whole peppercorns
-1 tablespoon raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg's)
-several garlic cloves
-a quartered onion
-a few leeks if you have them
-a bundle of fresh Italian parsley

The beauty of making your own stock is that you can do it however you like. No celery? Oh well. Forgot the onion? No biggie. Because, honestly, if you're making it in your own kitchen, even if you leave off half the stuff I listed, I promise it will still taste better than anything out of a can or box.

Next, bring all the ingredients to a low simmer and let them go. For a while. You can simmer your stock all day long. Go for a walk. Play with your kids. (Just don't burn down your house.) After at least a few hours (no more than 12 because the broth can tend to get bitter if left on too long) strain it through a colander and discard the veggies/seasoning. Then you can divide up the stock into containers to freeze or stick in the fridge. Or make some soup (which is what I'm going to do next!).