Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicken Broth

1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
(*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.)

If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

This recipe is taken directly from "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon the Weston A. Price Foundation president. It sounds more complicated than it is. In a pinch, don't worry about letting it sit for an hour, or adding parsley. Great if you can but don't get bent out of shape if you don't have time for that. You can cook the broth for longer than 8 hours too, it gets more flavorful over time. Some people cook it for days....But I take the chicken meat off after 2-3 hours and then let the rest cook til the end. When the broth is all done and I have strained it and cooled it and taken the fat off, I use part of it to make soup and the rest I measure into 1 and 2 cup portions and freeze it in plastic freezer containers. When they are frozen, I pop them out and put them in large ziplock bags. That way they are always ready to go.

I do buy store chicken sometimes, the best I can find, and it works out ok. I guess J&B sells chickens from Hawley that may be a better bet. They are in the long open freezer diplays and reasonably priced.

Good luck with the broth.

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