The leaves are changing, it’s cold in the mornings, college football is back, and soup season (aka winter) is coming. A good chicken stock is the most important part of any good soup, for both the soup and your body, and today I’m going to share my husbands secret stock recipe with you.
Not Just A Tasty Base
Chicken stock starts with bones, cartilage, and connective tissue that simmer in water for several hours. This process allows the tissues to release proteins, minerals, and fat into the liquid*. Collagen is one of the proteins released into the stock, and is one of the most important proteins in your body. It acts as the main component in connective tissue, which provides structure to your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin. Enough collagen leads to healthy joints, as well as greater skin elasticity, less wrinkles, and healthier hair and nails. Gelatin is another form of collagen found in chicken stock, and is important for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health. Your body can also make its own collagen, if provided the right amino acids, but chicken stock is an easy and tasty way to incorporate it into your diet.
The Secret Recipe
1 Tbsp of olive oil
2 Yellow Onions unpeeled and cut into quarters
2-3 large Carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
2-3 celery ribs cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Whole Chicken: broken down with breasts and thighs deboned and reserved for other recipes
3 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 handful of parsley
1 pinch of salt with whole or fresh cracked pepper
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Then, add onions, carrots and celery and sauté for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Add chicken carcass, garlic, pepper, bay leaves, parsley, and 3 1/2 quarts of water to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to a simmer, and let simmer for 3-5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so to make sure nothing sticks.
After 3-5 hours, turn heat off and use a fine mesh strainer to scoop out chicken parts and vegetables. The longer your stock simmers, the deeper the flavor that develops – and the more nutrients will be pulled from the chicken. Once visible parts are removed, pour stock through a strainer into 1 or 2 quart jars. Use in your favorite chicken soup recipe. Stock will keep for 5 days in the fridge, or for several months frozen.
We use this stock recipe for any chicken based soup; chicken noodle, matzo ball, or even risotto, and it’s always a tasty addition. If you want to learn more about making stocks, the book Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther* is a great source. It has detailed explanations, wonderful pictures, and even more delicious recipes.
This recipe is just one of many ways to use home made ingredients to improve the nutritional value of your diet. If you are interested in continuing to improve your health through nutrition, please call the office to set up a consultation and see how we can help you.