There is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup, even more so when that soup is made with a fragrant rich broth. The ubiquitous chicken noodle soup, in all its manifestations, is at the core of any mother or grandmother’s winter arsenal as a healing and soothing tonic for the sick child. Today, I am sharing a traditional way to make your own foundational chicken broth. This recipe comes straight from the Weston A. Price Foundation, a community of individuals who honor traditional nutrient dense foods and their various modalities of preparation. Once you have your stock, you can add any kind of herb, vegetable or meat to transform your broth into a nutrient dense soup. A simple example I like to make now in the winter, is to take the broth and blend it with some full fat coconut milk, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and salt and top it off with some fresh chopped cilantro & a squeeze of lime.
1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
- If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity.
- Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.)
- Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley.
- Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
- About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
- Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass.
- Reserve for other uses.
- Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.