Chicken Broth

Stock provides a foundation for deep flavor and body for any soup or grain cooked in liquid. It's not only easy to make, but can be frozen and used later. You can either use the leftover bones from a previous chicken dinner (or lamb or beef), or use a whole chicken. The latter yields a poached chicken which can be shredded and eaten throughout the week for many meals.

Chicken Stock

1 whole chicken or leftover chicken bones
1 ½ gallons cold water
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 carrots, cubed and peeled
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon each of parsley and thyme
1 large bay leaf

Optional: neck, gizzards, heart and chicken feet (not the liver)

Place all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. Once the liquid begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 4-5 hours for a whole chicken, or 2-3 hours for chicken bones. If cooking a whole chicken, remove the breasts, thighs and legs when cooked through. You can pull the meat off the bones and use it for tacos, chicken salad casseroles and many other dishes.

Skim off the foam as needed. When skimming, remove only the foam, not the fat. The fat contributes flavor and body to the stock and if desired, can be removed after cooling the stock when it will rise to the top of the liquid. Make sure the broth is simmering after the initial boil; cooking the broth at too high a temperature will cause the fat to bond with the water, creating a cloudy and greasy broth. Always begin with cold water, which as it heats will draw the flavor out of the vegetables and bones. The amount of water you choose to use will determine the intensity of flavor in your broth. If storage space is an issue, reduce your stock and reconstitute after refrigerating or freezing by adding water.

When the stock is finished, strain through a colander to remove large pieces. If desired, strain liquid again through a cheesecloth or cotton towel to produce a clearer broth. Either serve immediately or allow to cool and then refrigerate or freeze.
Chicken Stock.doc
click to download
Interested in purchasing one of our organically fed, pastured chickens? Click here!