Chicken Stock – Easy and Nutritious

Easy and nutritious chicken stock

“The wise food provider, who uses gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems” – Sally Fallon

PREPARATION TIMECOOKING TIMESIEVING STOCK TIMEMAKES
35 minutes (if using filtered water)1.5 – 2 hours10 minutes4 – 4.5 liters

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Making your own chicken stock is surprisingly easier than you may think. This easy and nutritious chicken stock recipe is very simple to do.

Chicken stock is very gentle and soothing on the stomach and very nutritious. The 12th century physician Moses Maimonides prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma.

Meat and fish stocks are regularly used in cuisines around the world and in professional kitchens, but sadly, have almost completely disappeared from kitchens in the home.

Meat stock contains gelatin and amino acids which heal the gut lining and aid digestion. It is also full of minerals, vitamins and various other nutrients including collagen which has been used to treat different ailments. Sadly these days the majority of us are brought up with commercially made stock granules or bouillon cubes which are highly processed and sometimes contain ingredients which can be harmful to health – see Healthier Options for more information.

Many people prefer to make chicken stock by cutting the chicken into pieces and adding vegetables. That’s fine if you can manage this. But all I’m doing is putting the whole chicken in the pot with salt and water.

You may find this simpler way of making it easier for 2 reasons:-

  • It saves time, which is good if you are a busy, working parent.
  • It saves energy. Those of you who, like me struggle with chronic fatigue will understand having a limited amount of energy – see My History.

You will still end up with very nutritious and beneficial stock to make healthy meals for you and your family.

Try to use an organic chicken if possible. But don’t worry if you can’t – if you make meat stock regularly with whatever you can get locally, you will still benefit.

Handling Raw Chicken

Raw chicken is often contaminated with campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with salmonella and clostidium perfringens bacteria, therefore it’s best to follow these simple instructions:-

  • When you wash the chicken, keep the stock pot right next to the sink. That way you can put it straight into the pot without spreading any chicken juices over the counter tops.
  • Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken (before you touch anything else!)
  • Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken and before you prepare the next item.
  • Never place cooked food or fresh produce on a plate, cutting board, or other surface that previously held raw chicken.

A note on water: I only ever use filtered water to make stock. Obviously this takes longer to fill the stock pot but is much healthier than tap water. For more information see Healthier Options and Brita Water Filter Review.

Equipment

  • One stock pot about 7L in size, preferably stainless steel (for more information see Stock Pot Guide and Review)
  • fine mesh sieve, preferably stainless steel
  • a “tablespoon” measuring spoon
  • a dish to put the chicken in when the stock has finished simmering
  • a large slotted spoon or ladle for taking the chicken out of the stock
  • containers for the finished stock. I like to use this Pyrex 2 Liter Glass Bowl With Lid (see below)

CHICKEN STOCK INSTRUCTIONS

PREPARATION TIMECOOKING TIMESIEVING STOCK TIMEMAKES
35 minutes (if using filtered water)1.5 – 2 hours10 minutes4 – 4.5 liters

1 whole chicken 1.5 – 2 kg in weight (preferably organic if possible)

1 – 2 tablespoons salt, according to taste (Pink Himalayan or sea salt – see Healthier Options)

Filtered water (see the note on water above and Brita Water Filter Review)

  1. Wash the chicken, inside and out, under running cold water (see notes above). Then place the chicken (if it comes with giblets, put these in too) in the pot (see notes on Handling Raw Chicken above).
  2. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of salt.
  3. Fill up with water, leaving about 1 – 2 inches from the top of the pot (see picture 1 above ).
  4. Put on to boil. As the water heats up some scum will form on the top (see picture 2 above). Just skim this off with a spoon (you may need to do this 2 or 3 times before it starts to boil).
  5. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer and leave for 1 1/2 – 2 hours with lid on.
  6. When it has simmered long enough, take the chicken out using the slotted spoon or ladle and put in a dish.
  7. Carefully pour the stock through the sieve into the container. Then set aside to cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer.

The stock will keep in the fridge for at least one week and for several months in the freezer.

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TOP TIPS

If freezing in a plastic container, pour the hot stock into a glass or earthenware bowl to cool first, then transfer it to the plastic. Chemicals in the plastic may leach into food and liquid when hot.

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