Homemade chicken soup has long been touted as good medicine; food for the soul. Everyone’s grandma has their own special spin on chicken soup, but how many of them knew the real reason that the old home recipe worked? It is now known, scientifically, that a good probiotic chicken stock bone broth as the base of any soup or sauce has real reason to work. That is just one of many reasons to make your own probiotic chicken stock bone broth.
When making a good, healthy, beneficial probiotic chicken stock bone broth, there are a few important basic things to keep in mind. You can make bone broth of any kind with the animal parts alone, but in his chicken soup study, Dr. Rennard found that the combination of the meat, bones and vegetables seemed to have synergistic effects, working together to be more beneficial as an anti-inflammatory treatment than either one of them alone. Dr. Amy Meyers lists other things that a good probiotic chicken stock bone broth can do such as heal the mucous lining of your digestive tract, reduce joint pain and inflammation, strength bones and reduce white blood cell count that can cause flu and cold symptoms.
To make a chicken soup stock, or better yet, a probiotic chicken stock bone broth, you can glean even more nutrition from the broth itself by adding other chicken parts like the feet, neck, and gizzards to the basic bone or bone and vegetable combinations. Adding chicken feet to a bone broth will increase the amount of collagen available from the bones which adds additional goodies to help your hair, skin and joints.
The most important part about making a probiotic chicken stock bone broth is to make sure that you are using organically raised, pastured or grass fed animals. They not only are free of all antibiotics, pesticides and hormones, but they produce a stock that gels much better than chickens that are raised in confined animal feeding operations. The gelatin produced is known to have untold therapeutic properties that you don’t want to miss out on.
With a chicken stock bone broth, you don’t need to brown the meat first. You can actually put the whole chicken and chicken parts in the water for additional nutritional benefits while doubling your meal production! Have the chicken meat for other recipes such as soup, stew, or a mexican dish, and reap the benefits of the stock for your other uses.
You always want to be sure to put some apple cider vinegar into the stock water to allow the acid in the vinegar to pull as much of the minerals out of the bones as possible for your body’s best reception of those minerals. (I recommend Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with ‘the mother’ because it is unfiltered, unpasteurized vinegar with all of the beneficial ingredients left in tact). For the most satisfactory results using chicken feet, 2-4 chicken feet adds enough extra added nutrients.
The more pieces of bone that you have, and the bigger variety of the bones, knuckles, and marrow, (especially if you are using a whole chicken), the more minerals you will be able to pull out of the chicken bones. Even more exposure to marrow will occur if you can cut the wings off and remove the neck. You still want them in the stock, but having them separate allows more of the exposed bone pieces to release their beneficial collagen and minerals. The gizzards and neck add extra benefit with the iodine for your thyroid and iron from the liver, etc.
Place all chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables (except parsley – save that for the end of the cook time). Bring the pot to a boil, and remove the initial scum that rises to the top to avoid any unpleasant flavors later. After removing the ‘scum’ off of the top, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 6 to 8 hours (minimum). The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. Because chicken bones can cook for anywhere from 6 – 48 hours, I recommend a crock pot for a longer slow cook. With any bone broth that you make, the longer that you can cook it, the better the flavor and health benefits you will receive.
Just prior finishing the stock, you can add parsley or other spices. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Chicken Stock Bone Broth
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)
Filtered water to cover the chicken
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (can use less to start and adjust more as you get used to the flavor)
Various Vegetables for flavor and nutritional benefit (optional): onion, celery, carrot, or others as desired
1. Place bones or meat and bones into a large stock pot or crock pot and cover with filtered water.
2. Add two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking (wine can be used if you don’t have vinegar).
3. If on the stove, heat slowly until brought to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for at least 6 hours. Remove scum as it arises.
4. You want to cook it long and slow, so a crock pot will yield the most benefit if you have the time to wait! A long and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients in and around bone. The longer, the better as far as nutrition goes.
When you broth is complete, you can strain it. After cooking, the broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath. Many discard this layer prior to eating, but in actuality, it can be stirred back into the broth for the benefit of the healthy fats and nutrients like sulfer that have risen to the top. Boiled down it concentrates and becomes a jellylike fumée or demi-glaze that can be reconstituted into a sauce by adding water. (I use the jellylike concentrate and freeze them in ice cube trays to be pulled out the next time I need to make a broth for another recipe.
After the completed cooking time, remove the cooked whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. Be sure to check for small pieces of chicken bones! If you are using a whole chicken, after removing it from the pot, let it sit to cool and then remove the chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve that meat for other uses such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. 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 remaining stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer. I like saving this gelled stock in ice cube trays to use as my ‘bouillon’ in my next recipe.
Be creative and change up the veggies and herbs or spices to get a variety of flavors for all of your probiotic chicken stock bone broth needs!