With the beginning of Fall there is a lot more soups and stews being made in our home. Not only is chicken broth delicious, it’s one of the most nourishing foods as well. This recipe for homemade crock-pot chicken stock is easy. It’s also a great way to stock up so that you always have some on hand.
Why is homemade chicken broth so good?
Here are just a few of the facts on why you should be including a lot of homemade fish, beef, or chicken broths in your diet:
- Chicken broth contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals.
- Chicken broth contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–that include things like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine. The kind of things found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
- While not a complete protein, gelatin serves as a “protein sparer”…meaning it helps the body better utilize the complete proteins that are taken in. This is why chicken broth is essential for those who choose or cannot eat a lot of animal proteins. (Read about all the benefits of gelatin here.)
- Chicken broth supports the immune system by promoting the assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Yep, chicken soup really is good for the common cold!
- Chicken broth is gentle on the digestive system and very healing. It has been used to successfully treat gastro-intestinal disorders including hyper-acidity, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and infant diarrhea.
Of course, homemade chicken broth or stock is often very different from what you buy at the store. Many food industries cut corners and produce an inferior stock… often from animals who are treated poorly and are sick.
Why you should make your own crock-pot chicken broth
Three simple reasons:
1. It’s nourishing. I can always see a difference in my skin, energy, and intestinal wellness when I’m consuming a lot of homemade chicken broth.
2. It’s way cheaper than buying organic chicken broth. I was a bit taken back when I first started buying organic free-range chickens. They are so much more expensive than what I was used to buying. But once I started actually using the whole animal and making chicken broth from the bones and organs, I was amazed at how much money I was actually saving (and how much more nourishment I was getting for my buck)!
3. It’s so easy to make! So here’s the recipe. What’s stopping you? Absolutely nothing.
- 1 whole pastured chicken (or the frame of a roasted chicken)
- 1 bag of giblets
- 3 stalks of celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 organic onion, cut in half
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- filtered water
- (I leave salt out because it can interfere with the mineral absorption. Just remember to add salt to your recipes as this is a salt-free broth.)
- Place chicken or frame, giblets, celery, bay leaves, and onion in large crock pot. Fill with filtered water, leaving 1 inch at the top. Add in vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. (This helps the ACV pull minerals from the bones).
- Allow the stock to cook for 24 hours on low heat. (Check at 12 hours to make sure water level is still good. Add more water if needed.) If using a whole chicken, you can remove the meat at this point and store for uses in soups, tacos, etc. (The meat is so tender. I just use some tongs and pull it right off the bones).
- Remove no more than half of the liquid. Strain. Use right away or store. (Chicken stock freezes really well!)
- Add more filtered water. Repeat step 3: adding water (as needed) every 12 hours, and taking out stock ever 24. You can repeat this for 3 - 5 days. You want a nice rich caramel color. Good broth will become gelatin-like once cooled.
- Note: When freezing stock, be sure to leave space in your container for expansion. If using glass, make sure to cool before putting in freezer to keep glass from breaking. You can also freeze stock in ice cube trays... they are the perfect size for making sauces!
Now that you have stock… check out some yummy soup recipes!
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Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson