Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Stock, the good way.

     You know that old adage to feed a cold chicken noodle soup? Wonder why? Well, in the olden days, chicken noodle soup was made the proper way. The whole chicken was slow simmered with veggies until meat was falling off the bones and there was a rich, yellow stock. What is so great about that rich yellow stock is the nutrients it contains. The bone marrow of the chicken has great health benefits, particularly to the immune system. Thus, helping with healing of the body. However, today, our chicken noodle soup usually consists of powdered, MSG laden broth, antibiotic filled chicken and pesticide sprayed veggies. I can't imagine how that would help a cold.

     To get that days of yore feel good soup, you need to start with a good , organic chicken carcass. I had roasted a chicken previously that night and took a majority of the meat off. You can just use a whole, uncooked chicken also. However, don't waste a left over chicken carcass! It makes great stock!!! 

      I took the carcass and put it in a large pot with a few carrots, celery stocks, onions, about 15 peppercorns, some parsley and a bay leaf. I covered it with about 12 cups of water and brought it to a boil. I then lowered the temp to a simmer. You want to simmer it about 3-4 hours making sure all the meat is completely cooked when done if starting with a raw bird. I was running out of time so mine was closer to 2 1/2 but it tasted great. After it has simmered, salt to taste with some Celtic salt and strain through a fine strainer. I put mine into two half-gallon glass jars with 6 cups of the broth in each. I put them into my freezer but they can also be pressure canned. Another option is to freeze into cubes to throw in recipes like rice or steamed veggies. 

     With the left over carcass, I took every last piece of meat left on the bones and put them in the freezer as well to add to a soup later. With the cost of a good organic chicken, I am not wasting one morsel! The left over veggies from the broth were enjoyed by my chickens. 

     It is nice to have my soup base ready to go in the freezer. I really wish I had a garage lined with freezers. If I lost power, I would cry. However, I am still ready with my back up plan to quickly pressure can everything in my freezer if needed! There is a lot of hard work contained on those shelves!

****Thanks for the tips, readers! Vinegar will help the meat fall off the bones and help pull nutrients from the bones. Use Apple Cider vinegar. Also, the longer you simmer, the more nutrients and flavor you will have. You will still have great flavor in 3-4 hours but simmering 8 hours or more will given you better health benefits. 



Tosha said...

I have started the GAPS diet and have been making a lot of broth and stock. Thanks for the info. Did you know you can chew the marrow out of the bones and eat the soft tissue as well? I tried it, not too bad, of course I used an organic chicken so it is nice not to waste anything.

GrainCrazy said...

Great information. I would love to have more freezer space too. I love storing food in the freezer. :)

Shea said...

I always add a splash of vinegar in my bone broth to help break the bones down and release the nutrients in the marrow. I too love the fact that I can get so much nutritious broth from something that most people just throw away.