I have been making stock for a while now, but this is the first time that I have properly followed the recipe in Nourishing Traditions. I found that this made a lot of stock (sadly I don’t think I measured exactly how much!). It was flavourful and good. I personally didn’t use gizzards or chicken feet. I would quite like to have a go at some point, but I used a good quality chicken from Waitrose Duchy organic range rather than a chicken I plucked from my own back yard. I would love to find good local producers but so far I haven’t looked hard enough to find someone. I often add bay leafs and peppercorns etc to my stock, but this is a great basic recipe that you could add variety to.
You can use stock in all sorts of ways. It is a great base for soups, casseroles, gravies, and it is even a really good hot drink (with a pinch of salt or soy sauce). I always try to get my kids to drink it like this when they are ill but sadly they are not so keen so I usually need to hide it in other sauces.
There are so many wonderful health benefits that it is a great idea to try to get as much stock in your diet as you can. I make quite a lot of stock and it is fairly easy to cook up a big pan once a week or so and keep some in the fridge/ some in the freezer. The only thing I really don’t enjoy is washing up all the greasy pans afterwards. Sometimes I wish I had a cleaner….
This is part of my mission to cook through Nourishing Traditions
Chicken stock (recipe from p 124 Nourishing Traditions)
- 1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds (1-1.5kg) bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breast ones and wings
- gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- feet from the chicken (optional – if you’re feeling brave!)
- 4 .5 litres cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarse lay chpped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarse lay chopped
- 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them – they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.) Even better, use a whole chicken, with the head on. These may be found in Oriental markets. farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
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.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 4 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavourful 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. (The skin and smaller bones, which will be very soft, may be given to your dog or cat).
Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and conceals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
Have you made stock? Do you have any tricks or tips you could share?