Makes 3 quarts
Sustainable farmers like Joel Salatin have explained that the most natural role for poultry is scratching around the farmyard eating insects, vegetation, and a few grains. Salatin’s method for raising poultry – outdoors on pasture – results in a more meaty and flavorful bird than even the highest-quality organically raised chicken. It’s no coincidence – the highest-quality animal products result from farming practices that are beneficial to animals, people, and farm systems.
When selecting poultry to be used for making bone broth it is important to buy the best quality you can afford or is available to you. (Pastured poultry is always prefered (Click on this link to learn more about it.).) Stock exemplifies economizing on high-quality meat products by stretching them over several meals.
Homemade chicken bone broth is a valuable remedy for helping to rebuild and revitalize the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine chicken stock is used to tonify qi and improve digestion. Scientific analysis tells us that it is rich in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which support teeth and bones, cellular energy production, and the balance of water within the body (among myriad other functions). Moreover, contains hydrophilic colloids which attract digestive juices and optimize digestion. (For more information I recommend the article Broth is Beatiful. (Click on the link to read the full text.)).
bones, neck, feet, and gizzards of 1 pastured or organic chicken
(or 2-3 pounds of boney chicken parts (wings, necks, and backs are best.) (*see cooks notes))
3 quarts clean (well, spring, or filtered) water
2 cups mixed chopped carrots, celery, and onion (optional) (*see cooks notes)
2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
In a 6-quart stock pot or 5-quart crock pot combine the chicken pieces, water, optional vegetables, and wine or vinegar. Place over medium-low heat. Slow heating is important to extract all of the flavors, nutrients, and gelatin from the chicken. After about 1- 2 hours the stock will begin to boil. Skim any accumulated bits from the top of the broth within the first half hour of boiling. Maintain a low boil for a minimum of 10 hours and maximum of 12 hours.
Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the broth. Cool in the refrigerator. If desired, skim any fat from the surface of the cold stock (*see cooks notes) Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternately, package the stock into freezer safe containers and store in the freezer up to 6 months (*see cooks notes)
The chicken parts may be raw or they may be reserved from fried or roasted chicken. (Save the bones tightly covered in the freezer.) Cooked bones make a darker colored stock, while raw produce a lighter colored stock. Bones of other poultry, like duck or turkey, may be used. Do not use the bones from grilled meats.
Avoid common, commercially-raised chicken.
The vegetables for stock can be the roots, trimmings, and skins of fresh vegetables that have been prepared for other meals. Try keeping a pint-sized Mason jar in the freezer for carrot, celery, and onion trimmings. Make stock with the frozen trimmings within one month.
Store the fat tightly covered in the refrigerator. Chicken fat can be substituted for olive oil when frying and sautéing.
For convenience, freeze chicken stock in containers of various sizes. For example, 3 quarts of stock could be packaged into one quart, one pint, and two half-pints.
 Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, (Berkley: North Atlantic, 2002), 156.
 Sally Fallon-Morell, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, (Washington: New Trends, 2001), 116.
 James F. Balch and Phyllis A. Balch, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, (Garden City Park: Avery, 1997), 23.
 Balch and Balch, Prescription, 26.
 Balch and Balch, Prescription, 27.
 Fallon-Morell, Nourishing, 116.