For me, homemade chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food. The scent fills the house and wraps me in warm memories of my grandmother’s kitchen. This food was a staple for me growing up. But for many people a good quality chicken stock has been replaced by the salted water of canned and boxed “stocks”.
Real chicken soup is made from good quality stock. And to make a stock all you do is toss a whole chicken and a few vegetables into a pot of water and simmer it for an hour. It’s probably the easiest recipe on the planet. If you can boil water, you can literally make chicken stock.
The Benefits of Chicken and Beef Stock:
Because most people’s digestion is far from optimal, eating homemade soup stocks can be a wonderful way to provide your body with vital nutrients while you work to fortify digestion.
- Stock contains vitamins and minerals in a form that is easy to assimilate.
- The gelatin contained in stocks is very unique because it actually attracts digestive juices. (Most cooked foods are hydrophobic or water-repelling which means they repel digestive juices making them harder for the body to break down.)
- The gelatin in stock is effective, therapeutic treatment for digestive and intestinal disorders as well as anemia, ulcers, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, and even cancer.
- And the collagen contained in stock is beneficial for those with arthritis and other joint problems.
My Grandma’s Chicken Stock Recipe
For the Stock:
• 1 gallon water (enough to cover the chicken)
• 1 whole chicken 4 – 5 lbs (organs removed)
• 1 large white onion, peeled or 1 large leek
• 3 stalks celery broken to fit in pot
• 2 carrots, peeled cut to fit in pot
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Do not cover.
• Skim off any foam from the pot with a skimmer or large spoon
• After about an hour your chicken should be done. Check this by grabbing a leg of the chicken with a pair of tongs. If the leg has loosely separated from the rest of the chicken at the joint, it should be done. Carefully remove the chicken and place in a large bowl to cool.
• With a hand strainer or large slotted spoon, remove all of the vegetables from the stock and discard. (All of the flavor and vitamins from the vegetables are now in the broth.)
*Note this broth has no salt in it. This is on purpose! When you use it in other recipes, you may be cooking it down reducing the amount of water. Then it would become too salty. So make sure to salt your dishes to taste. The plain broth tastes like dishwater! That salt brings out all the flavor and makes it delicious.
• Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove all the skin and discard it. Pick the meat from the bones and discard the bones (or freeze the bones to make bone broth.)
Use the broth in soups, stews, gravies, or sip as a snack.
Use the meat in soups, chicken salads, or as a filling for burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.