“A big stock pot is the best gift a bride can receive.” Francis Pottenger
Throughout the ages stock and/or bone broth has been used to help heal the body. It’s used during colds and flu, known as “Jewish Penicillin”. It’s been used to help with digestive disorders, acid reflux, ulcers, and celiac. And nothing tastes better than making your very own stock. It nourishes the body and it nourished the soul.
But if you’re anything like me, making your own stock just seems…….hard.
For some reason it took me the longest time to start making my own! I’d find different directions, different ways of doing it, different recipes. Some people have an exact way of doing it, others just toss stuff in. Some folks wait to toss in the veggies till the end, some do it right away.
Then there’s the talk about gelatin and how to achieve it.
Well, let me tell you….it’s easier than you think.
What you need:
- leftover chicken bones
- some celery, carrots, and onion
- bay leaf
- vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
Once your chicken is cooked and you’re done with dinner, place a stainless steel veggie steamer in the bottom of your slow cooker. (You can also use a stock pot on the stove, but I like mine to simmer overnight and don’t feel comfortable with an open flame while I’m sleeping) Place your leftover chicken into the pot. Use the bones, skin, and any leftover meat. Have the chicken feet? Toss them in too. Don’t have them? Don’t worry, I never do either and it kind of grosses me out thinking about it. Though I should use them for health benefits.
(You don’t have to use a steaming basket, but it makes it so much easier to get out the ‘yuck’ when it’s all done)
Now, here comes the important part. Pour in a tablespoon or two of vinegar and let sit for an hour before turning on the heat. The vinegar is supposed to help draw out the good and nourishing stuff from inside the bones. This also helps make your stock ‘gel’ when it cools. If it doesn’t gel, don’t worry about it, it’s still healthy and good for you. The gelling just means you have extra nourishment there.
The gelatin in it though is rich in proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine (non-essential amino acids that most people are not healthy enough to produce themselves). It helps with the detoxification process in your body and is important for pregnant women and children.
Then chop up some veggies and toss them in as well. If you have organic onions, go ahead and toss in the skins! (just wash them first) It’ll make it a nice golden color!
*As an added note, I have read that adding the veggies about halfway through is the ‘correct’ way to do it, but I never remember later so I do it all at once.
Go ahead and top with some sea salt and pepper as well as a bay leaf or two.
Now pour in about a half-gallon of water or so. Enough to cover everything in the pot.
Turn the slow cooker on high and cover until boiling. Skim off any nasty stuff that comes to the top and then turn down to low. Sometimes I skip this step and simply turn it low from the get go and leave it alone.
I like to let mine simmer at least overnight and normally for at least 24 hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it’ll get!
When you’ve decided it’s simmered long enough, pull out the straining basket, then pour through a mesh strainer to get all the little bits out as well.
You can then use it as is or pour into jars and let cool in the fridge to cool so you can skim the fat off the top.
But fat is good for you and helps your body absorb nutrients. So don’t go crazy trying to get every last bit. I also don’t like to feel like I’m slurping pure fat when I eat my soup, so I skim some off if it gets crazy thick on top. The above pot I did not skim at all!
You now have some fabulous homemade stock!
You can use it up right away or freeze/can it for future use.
How to Make Nourishing Stock/Bone Broth
- leftover chicken bones
- some celery carrots, and onion
- bay leaf
- vinegar I use apple cider vinegar
- Place your leftover chicken into the pot.
- Pour in a Tbsp or two of vinegar and let sit for an hour before turning on the heat.
- Then chop up some veggies and toss them in as well.
- Go ahead and top with some sea salt and pepper as well as a bay leaf or two.
- Now pour in about a half-gallon of water or so. Enough to cover everything in the pot.
- Turn crockpot on high and cover until boiling. Skim off any nasty stuff that comes to the top and then turn down to low.
- Let simmer.
- I like to let mine simmer at least overnight and normally for about 24 hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it’ll get!
- When you’ve decided it’s simmered long enough, pull out the straining basket, then pour through a mesh strainer to get all the little bits out as well.
- You can then use it as is or place the pot of stock in the fridge to cool so you can skim the fat off the top.
- You can use it up right away or freeze/can it for future use.
My process for beef broth is very similar, but I always roast those bones first!
You can also use your Instant Pot to make broth. Just place all of the ingredients into your pot, set the time manually to 90 minutes and close the vent. I’ve also found that my broth gels more when I use my Instant Pot.