Does making your own chicken or beef stock sound old-fashioned? Does the mention of it conjure up pictures of Laura Ingalls stirring at the hearth, serving a bowl of steaming broth to a sick child? If you answered yes, it’s probably because broth has been around for ages.
It is a traditional remedy across cultures for colds and flu. It is a food as well as a medicine.
Homemade stock has unsurpassed flavor and healing properties. Broth is especially healing for arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, cancer, a decreased immune system, and malnutrition.
When you make it yourself, you provide taste and health for your family! We eat it as the base for soups, sauces, and gravies. It’s a tasty way to fortify the everyday health of your family!
Grocery store shelves are stock-piled with bullion cubes, boxes of ready-made broth to give another short cut to the busy homemaker’s life. So, isn’t it a lot of trouble to make your own? Is it really worth it?
How to Make Homemade Chicken/Beef Broth
Surprisingly, it’s quite simple! You only need 3 ingredients and time to let it simmer.
- Chicken or beef bones
- Salt (I recommend sea salt)
There’s no chopping or dicing of vegetables unless you want to turn your broth into a soup later. Just throw the above ingredients into a pot! The salt is essential because it draws all the nutrition like the protein, calcium, minerals and amino acids out of the bones.
Make sure the chicken or bones are covered with water. As a rule of thumb, I usually just fill the pot 3/4 the way full.
You can use a whole chicken with the meat on or just the carcass of a chicken you’ve already feasted on at a meal. For example, after we roast a chicken and eat the meat, I throw the rest of it in a pot to make stock.
Bring it to a rolling boil by cooking it on high. Then, put the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Now, you’re not going to believe this but I cook my stock for 2-3 days. You don’t have to of course. But the longer you cook it, the more nutrients you’ll pull from the bones. Three days is the max.
I leave it unattended on the stove whether I’m home or not. You may not be comfortable doing this. If not, I recommend cooking it for at least 3 hours. If you do leave it on for a few days, you’ll watch the stock grow richer in color and flavor.
If you’ve boiled a whole chicken, after the broth is made, don’t waste the meat! Use it in a pasta dish, green salad, enchiladas, or for sandwiches. Throw the carcass away.
Sometimes, I strain my broth (although it’s not necessary) as I pour it into 1/2 gallon mason jars. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Otherwise, you can freeze it for months.
So, now you have homemade stock on hand anytime you need it! Almost as convenient as what you find in the supermarkets and much tastier and nutritious!
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