We all have heard from someone to have chicken soup when we are sick. Chicken soup is delicious but it’s the actual stock that brings all the flavor and nutrition to the soup. Stock is made from the bones, meat, veggies and aromatics that are simmered for hours. You are basically extracting minerals, collagen, gelatin from these bones. Stock and broth are not any new remedies, they have been consumed by people for years. But I don’t think this amazing liquid needs to be only made in winter or when you are under the weather. I have been making this stock regularly. It’s really beneficially for your immune system, your gut. I add it to so many dishes especially for the kids to keep their immune systems running well. I especially keep an eye out for organic chicken on sale. Homemade chicken stock is amazing, you can literally just drink a cup. It’s actually so easy to make a small batch and use it in your everyday dishes or even freeze. I think once you are making your own you will hardly reach for the one at the grocery store. Not only will you be making easy homemade stock but you can use the shredded chicken in many recipes like, soup, chili, tacos, salads. It’s a great way to meal prep.
Chicken stock is so easy to make and is very hands off. But I want to share some tips with you.
I used 1 whole chicken with skin on. It’s your preference to use the skin. If I am using Organic chicken, raised without steroids/antibiotics than I don’t mind using all parts of the chicken. It is even better if you add additional chicken wings/feet. This provides more collagen in the stock.
The other way to make this is without sautéing the aromatics and searing the chicken. This way is adding all the ingredients and water and letting it cook. I have made it both ways and comes out delicious. I sautéing does add some additional flavor and can deepen the color of the stock.
Even if you are missing some ingredients I would advise you to still make this. You will reap the benefits of stock like minerals, collagen.
Apple cider vinegar is added because it helps break down the bones to extract essential minerals. If you don’t have it you can use 1 tbsp. vinegar.
The longer it simmers the better. Total time for chicken stock is about 6 hrs. If you are making beef stock the bones are larger and simmer time is longer.
- 1 whole chicken(4-5 lbs) or 4 lb chicken grill pack
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 med. carrots, roughly chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp. peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh herbs like a poultry blend (rosemary, thyme, sage) you can use dry herbs as well if you don't have fresh. Just use ¼ tsp. each of the dry herbs.
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2-3 tbsp. oil
- 1 lemon sliced
- 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- Use heavy bottom large pot 6 or 8 qt.
- Heat oil. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, ginger. Saute til veggies are translucent 5 mins.
- Add chicken, herbs, salt, pepper, peppercorns, bay leaf. Sear chicken til skin is a little light brown.
- Add enough water to fully cover the chicken.
- Let it come to a boil, take off any scum/foam that floats to top (optional)
- Reduce heat to medium/low it should be simmering. You may have to add water to keep chicken submerged.
- At about 2 hours take chicken out and shred meat off the bones. Place bones back in pot.
- Continue simmering for another 2-3 hours.
- When done turn heat off. Carefully pull out the large pieces out of the pot with tongs.
- Strain entire contents of the pot thru a colander into a heatproof container. Disregard all the solids.
- Let the stock cool. Store in fridge for up to 3-4 days in airtight containers. You can also freeze 1-2 cup measurements in proper bags or containers for up to 3 months.
You can also use any other left over pieces of chicken.
I really like to saute the veggies and sear the meat rather than adding everything all at once to the pot to boil. I think it yields a much better flavor by doing that. You can also roast the veggies/meat but it's much easier if it's done in one pot.
You can simmer even longer that's where the depth of flavor will come from. But if I am using chicken 4-5 hrs is how long I will let it cook for. If you are using larger meat bones I would simmer it longer.
I usually get anywhere from 6-8 cups of broth. Keep adding water as it evaporates. I try to keep the water at where I initially had it. You can eye ball it 2-3 inches from the top of the pot.
I keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze in small quantities in freezer safe containers.