This morning all 4 of my children woke up with runny noses. I am still not declaring full on “sickness” because that seems to be the only symptom at the moment, but I knew that my plans for a 3-cheese baked ziti would need to be put on hold until this little matter is cleared up.
Right after breakfast I broke out the stock pot and got some chicken stock going on the stove. I needed to have it ready by the evening for a soup that would be both dairy-free and full of garlic! Homemade stock is an absolute must for homemade soup. It makes any soup more deep and complex in flavor and most importantly, far more nutritious and healing than any stock or broth out of a box.
For all of your fears about how involved this process will be, be at peace. It only takes about 10min of prep time first thing in the morning and by evening you have a delicious stock as the base of your soup. If you are thinking ahead (or not caught off guard by a house full of sniffles), start simmering the night before for even more nutrient dense stock.
A side tip…any time I roast a chicken, after I remove the meat, I place all the skin and bones in a freezer bag. When I need stock I use the bones from the freezer. Super convenient!
Okay, so here is the process for homemade stock.
Place bones of a whole chicken into a stock pot along with one whole yellow onion quartered, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and a handful of herbs (I used parsley today, but thyme or rosemary are great options also), 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to draw more minerals out of the bones and as many garlic cloves as you feel like peeling. Don’t worry about chopping anything in a pretty way. Rough chop the veggies, toss it all in, cover with water (not fluoridated water from the tap. Use spring or filtered water) and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling bring down to a simmer and cover. Leave for up to 24hrs.
Another side tip…whenever I crack eggs I save the shells. I started doing this simply because when I am cracking 8 eggs for breakfast I don’t like the process of throwing the shells away. Egg inevitably drips on the floor and it’s just messy, so I put the shell back in the carton. It is just one of my quirks. Turns out, those shells are very useful and can be thrown right into your stock for a little boost of calcium! Score!
When your stock is done simmering, set another pot in the sink and place a colander over the top. Pour the stock through the colander into the clean pot. Toss the bones and veggies and enjoy your incredible homemade stock. If you have extra freeze it for the day your kids wake up with unexpected sniffles.