We are really proud of our first farm endeavor (chickens), and it doesn’t hurt that they have proved to be delicious. Totally worth the time and effort. Last summer when we raised chickens, we were sure to use as much of the animal as possible. Making the most of what you have is a must for homesteaders. We can usually make a whole chicken last a week or at least for three big meals for our growing family. Typically, this means roasting a whole chicken one night (maybe a Saturday or Sunday on the meal plan), and then eating the leftovers in a salad or wrap for lunch, and then the carcass becomes meal number three in the form of amazing healthy chicken stock. Here’s how to make your own stock at home if you too don’t want your precious, pasture-raised, organically fed broilers to partially go to waste.
Any time I chop vegetables I save the ends and scraps for the stock bag. I usually have at least two big gallon bags in the freezer for collecting, vegetable scraps like carrot tops, broccoli stalks, onion ends, and celery trimmings.
When I was growing up this was a common thing to avoid when reaching in the freezer for the delicious pint of ice cream, and of course, I thought my mom was crazy for saving onion skins and ends and broccoli stalks, what, for later? (Imagine my teenage eyes rolling here, please.) But of course, now I understand.
Again with all my cooking, I like to double or triple batch when I can, and if you do too, please just go with your gut and follow the general ratios. I use my big canning pot in the images below and at least 2 chickens worth of bones and a little over 2 bags of scraps so I can freeze stock for later.
The end product is a beautiful stock you can use to make wonderful soups, cook your quinoa or rice for added flavor, or just drink to soothe what ails you.
Amy’s Amazing Healing Chicken Stock
- Whole chicken carcass
- Your veggie scrap bag (1-2 gallon freezer bags full)
- Clean filtered water
1. Choose your favorite stock pot and toss in your Chicken carcass
…and your frozen vegetable scraps.
2. fill completely with water. I like an extra inch of water over my veggies and chicken bones.
3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. When the pot reaches a boil, bring the heat down to a nice simmer for 2 hours with the pot covered. The house will start to smell like chicken soup and all will be right with the world.
5. When the stock has reached room temperature, strain through a fine sieve and use immediately or pour into containers for future meals. If freezing, be sure to use freezer-safe containers.