In our office we see many patients that have intestinal issues, food allergies, autism, depression, nutrient deficiencies and toxicity. Many of our patients are on the GAPS diet or a similar nutrition plan. High quality broth is a main ingredient for these folks!
Stocks are an amazing addition to any diet. Our ancestors used stocks a main source of nutrients, especially minerals as well as the treatments of many diseases. With the growing number of grocery stores on every corner and the increased level of “busy” we all experience, most of us have traded nutrient dense foods like homemade stock for conventional store bought brands of watered down, chemical filled solutions that are sold as stock but far from the real thing. If you read the label on the store bought brands you will find nothing nutritious about them, Most of them are loaded with chemicals including MSG, commonly referred to as autolyzed yeast extract, to enhance the flavor. *MSG causes sever symptoms including migraines, tremors, vision problems and allergic response, just to name a few.
There are so many ways to make stocks that sometimes a simple recipe can become really complicated, really fast. Over the years I have adapted the way I make stocks to achieve different results. These days I am concerned with getting as much nutrient out of the meat bones as possible. Like many of you, I am also short on time, so this recipe calls for a crockpot!
FYI – Stock is a 2 – 4 day process.
First, I purchase a whole chicken. I order mine from Baucom’s Best. Make sure your chicken is pastured – not conventionally raised, no hormones and no antibiotics. I will tell you form experience that it is near impossible to purchase a high quality chicken at a store, any store.
I make stock frequently so many of my meals are planned around when I’m making stock.
Day 1 – Roast the chicken for dinner.
Rinse the chicken, check inside for any parts – some time the liver and heart will be in a bag inside – just like the Thanksgiving turkey! Save those…we will use them later. Rinse the parts, if they are present, and freeze them.
Place chicken in a roasting pan or something like a roasting pan. DO not coat the chicken with anything. Everything you put in this pan will eventually end up in your stock. Butter and oil in the pan = buttery, oily stock. I love butter, but not in my stock!
Cut an onion or 2 into quarters and place around the chicken. You can also add other veggies, like organic carrots, if you would like.
Roast the chicken @ 375 – 400 degrees for 1 – 1/12 hours. Time will vary based on your chicken size. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the breast or the meat of the thigh (not near a bone) to get a reading. The meat should be at 180 degrees.
Eat your chicken! SAVE THE CARCASS and the extra meat.
Later on Day 1 or Day 2 – Day 3/Day 4
This is where some of the recipes vary. The instructions listed below are mine, taken from various recipes and adjusted over the years.
Place carcass, liver, heart, feet and neck (if you have them ) into the crock pot.
Cover with filtered water. The amount of water will vary based on how much chicken. You can add more water later if the level gets low.
Add a Tbls Organic or homemade apple cider vinegar to draw out the minerals.
Turn the crock pot on medium to high (every crockpot varies slightly).
Cook continuously for up to 72 hours. The longer you cook the better the and more nutritious the broth!
You can leave some of the meat on the carcass to cook in the broth. The remaining meat you can add to soup made once the broth is done cooking.
OPTIONS – while broth is cooking you can drink it and use small amounts of it. I like to wait 12 hours before I use any of it.
OPTIONS – You can stop it any time before 72 hours.
OPTIONS – when you are done cooking, strain the broth to filter out the tiny bones .
OPTIONS – you can eat the liver and heart – I’m not going into detail about that here but it is an option.
OPTIONS- storing, you can use the broth right away, you can store in the refrigerator for 5 – 7 days or you can freeze.
OPTIONS – You can freeze in any size mason jar, ice cube trays (after 24 hours transfer to a ziplock or better yet – a glass pyrex dish for the freezer), etc. Stock will keep frozen for 6 months.
OPTIONS – you can make soup with your broth, add it to meals or drink it straight up! The options are endless!
NOTE – While cooking you may find that a “scum” appears. FIRST – do not fear, believe it or not “scum” is normal, in fact you should have a little appear during cooking.
In general – high heat, like on a stove or a pot, will produce a scum that rises to the top and can be removed with a spoon. Lower heat and slower cooking will produce a scum that settles to the bottom. You remove it when the broth is done cooking, while you are straining the broth.
To be totally honest I get scum whether it’s low heat, high heat, 2 hours or more. I just remove it with a spoon and continue cooking!