First of all, why make chicken stock homemade when you can just go buy it at the grocery store?
1. Cheaper! I use a lot of bone broth and this would be a very expensive ingredient to buy in bulk. Plus I am using the chicken carcass and feet and necks, and a whole bag of vegetable scraps that I would normally throw in the trash. I love the fact that I am using every last bit of that bird, and not wasting a thing.
2. Tastes Better. I can’t even describe to you the difference in the taste. Store bought stock contains lots of artificial flavors and colors as well as MSG and it still doesn’t taste a bit like the real thing. I would say that even if you don’t care about the health benefits, you will still continue to make this a priority after you taste it!
3. Health Benefits: Contains a large amount of gelatin, amino acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals. Liver detoxifier and gut healer. Promotes beautiful skin, limber joints and strong cartilage. For a really in depth article on the many health benefits click here
Remember also that the amino acids in gelatin, like all amino acids, can only be properly utilized when the diet contains sufficient fat-soluble activators–vitamins A and D–found exclusively in animal fats. So don’t hesitate to put cream in your broth-based soups and sauces, and include other sources of vitamins A and D in your diet, such as butter, egg yolks and cod liver oil.
So now that we know why, lets get started.
Prep: I keep a gallon size bag in the freezer for chicken scraps and bones. I save chicken carcasses, necks, feet anything I can get my hands on. I am very blessed to have a farm co-op in the area and I have access to really healthy organic free range soy free chickens. I have another gallon sized bag in the freezer for vegetable scraps. I put carrots, onion skins, celery, and garlic scraps in this bag. When the bags are full I dump all the contents into my crockpot and I’m ready.
Homemade Chicken Stock
1 crockpot full of chicken bones, feet, necks
2 cups veggie scraps (carrots, celery, onion, garlic)
Cover with cold purified water
Add 2 Tbsp vinegar
Let this sit at room temp for 1-2 hours. The vinegar acidifies the water, which draws a lot more minerals out of those bones.
Turn your crockpot on low, and leave it alone for 24-48 hours.
Strain out the goo (great dog food) and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Use it for soup, stew, cooking grains, or as a healthy hot tonic.