It's not only tasty, but it’s really good FOR you. Because you're making it in a certain way, you are getting water-soluable calcium and other vitamins and minerals. I started doing this after reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She explains more of the science behind it, but I'll let you find that yourself.
This is great any time you’re sick. When people recommend eating chicken soup, they are referring to times when people made chicken soup from scratch, not canned crap. Next time you’re sick, try this and you will feel instantly a bit better. You won’t be able to stop drinking it. Drink up!
You can make a stock by buying certain ingredients and making it exactly like a cookbook states, which you would need to do if you were a professional chef preparing a specific dish. But if you're just cooking at home for you and your loved ones, you can save up your kitchen scraps in the freezer. I think scrap stock tastes better and has better nutrient value since you'll have more and different vegetables.
NOTE: you can make a vegetarian stock by simply filling a crock pot with veggie scraps and water. Crock over night, strain, add salt and pepper to taste.
the Recipe Stock ingredients (adapted from Nourishing Traditions):
1 whole chicken (frozen, or rotisserie)
1 onion, chopped (with skins)
2 carrots, chopped (no carrot tops)
2 ribs of celery, with leaves
1 cup white wine
the Scrap Stock ingredients:
the bones of 1 to 2 chickens
4 cups of frozen kitchen scraps (in my freezer, it’s about a gallon-ziplock bag when it’s half full) make sure there is about a whole onion...add a fresh chopped onion if you need to.
1 cup white wine
YOU WILL NEED BONE-CUTTING KITCHEN SHEARS for either recipe. The bones will be soft by the time you cut them, but kitchen shears are a must. If you don’t have any, you could use some long scissors if you sterilized them, or ask around and see if you can borrow some. Kitchen shears are also available at almost any department store, cooking store, and even regular grocery stores.
- a large colander and/or a large sieve
- a large bowl or pot to collect the broth
- a medium to large crockpot
Start by collecting bones and veggie scraps. I save the bones and whole carcass of rotisserie chickens (and whole-roasted chickens or turkeys I do myself for larger occasions). For beef stocks, you usually have to buy the bones, but sometimes if I get ribs I'll save those (also, use red wine with bones from red meat). Immediately after you're done eating the meat, or as soon as you pull it off the bones, put them in a zip-lock gallon bag and stick it in the freezer.
Do the same any time you prep veggies. Save the orange tops of carrots (toss the greens), celery trimmings and leaves, tops and skins of onions (especially!). Is there dried-up spinach or chard in your veggie drawer? A carrot getting rubber-y? Chop it up and throw it in the freezer bag. Did you skin a parsnip or potato? Odds and ends of squash or zukes? Keep the skins of anything you peel (the broth won’t taste bitter). Use anything and everything except beets, broccoli, and lettuce. Beets turn the stock red, and broccoli (whether peels, stalk, or florets in the tiniest amounts) makes the entire stock taste like broccoli, and that only tastes good in Broccoli-cheese soup. Lettuce just disintegrates. Not bad, just a bit more messy and cloudy.
I'll have to post another section on the importance of organic fruits and veggies, and meats if you can afford it. But basically, all the chemicals and heavy metals from non-organic farming are stored in the seeds and skins of fruits and veggies, and these same parts are the areas where the human-nutrients are located. The bottom line is that it would be better to not make stock from non-organic produce at all because you will be getting higher levels of toxic chemicals than nutrients
Once you have a good half-bag of veggies and bones, you are ready to make a stock. In a crock pot, this is about a 24 hour process (which is great if you need to go to work and not sit in front of your stove for 24 hours...Or if you start the whole thing in the morning, you could have it done by the late evening. Just experiment after you try it the first time).
1. In the evening, place the bones in the crock pot with the cup of wine. Add water to cover the bones, and turn the crockpot on to its lowest heat setting and let it sit for an hour. The goal is to warm the bones, but not cook the alcohol out of the wine. The acidity of the wine pulls the nutrients out of the bones and into the liquid.
2. After an hour, turn the heat up to high and add all the veggies. Add water to cover and then let it sit over-night. (Before bed, check the broth level and add more water, and turn the heat down to the medium heat level to make sure the broth doesn’t completely evaporate over night).
3. (The morning step should take about 30 to 40 minutes in case you’re doing this before work). In the morning, strain out the bones and vegetable matter and then put this back into the crockpot.
With your shears, cut all the bones in half. If you want, you could even cut them into 1/3s or 1/4s.
Add the broth back to the bone and veggie mash, add some extra water, and then let it cook while you’re at work...or at least 4 hours more. This pulls the extremely healthy marrow out.
4. Strain the broth from the mash, and taste it for strength. Add a bit of salt to taste. If it's too weak, put it back in the crock pot on high, or on the stovetop in a large pot, to let it boil down a bit. If it's too strong, you can add water.
5. Depending on the water, you should have 2-3 quarts, so use a few mason jars or cleaned mayonnaise jars. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour or so, then move to the fridge. Or use it immediately in a recipe, or sip it as a broth tea. Whatever! If you freeze it, leave at least an inch of space from the top of the jar so that it doesn’t crack. If you put the broth in jars in the fridge, they are good up to 1 month, if you haven't opened the jar.
Originally posted 2nd November 2011 by Beth