Chicken Broth

When I buy chicken parts I always buy bone in. It's cheaper and if you bone them yourself you can save the bits and pieces for stock. When I'm feeling up to it, I buy them whole, as that saves even more loot, and then cut some of them up to freeze as parts. Most of the chicken I buy comes direct from a farmer as we do our best to support local businesses and we want pastured birds. I end up buying several months worth of meat at a time. I used to worry about freezing the meat, thawing it to use it, and then refreezing the bones and trim for stock, but it doesn't seem to hurt them at all. Over the month I let them accumulate and then do one big batch in my giant stock pot. 

Keep in mind, you are eventually going to strain all this liquid. Do you have another heat proof container to hold it as big as the one you are cooking it in? With the brain fog I get I didn't really think of this the first time I made it. Messy.

a bunch of bones, carcasses with the meat removed, and trim (I do a mix of roasted and raw)
a few yellow onions, unpeeled and cut into quarters
a few carrots, unpeeled and cut into 2" chunks
a few sticks of celery with the leaves, cut into 2" chunks
1 tbsp whole black pepper
a few glugs of apple cider vinegar
filtered water

Put it into an appropriately sized stockpot and fill with water to either a couple of inches from the rim of the pot or 3" over the surface of the bones. Let it sit for an hour to let the ACV work its magic, as per Nourishing Traditions. 
Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. I do this with a tablespoon or a small fine mesh strainer.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-24 hours. I usually start chicken stock around 6pm and let it go overnight. Make sure it is safe to do so in your home. I have an electric stove and wouldn't want to leave a gas stove unattended. This could easily be done in a crockpot. I don't because my giant stock pot fits three times more in it.

The next morning I take it off the heat and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then I strain it. First through a colander to remove the large chunks and then through a fine mesh strainer double lined with cheesecloth. This makes it nice and clear. The onion skins contribute to the gorgeous yellow colour.

I then let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next morning there will be a layer of solidified fat on top. I break this off, melt it down, and use it for cooking veggies or chicken or in any other recipe a chicken flavour wouldn't be gross. If you want the fat to last longer, after you melt it down you can put it in a glass jar and stick it in the fridge. Any stock stuck to the fat will settle to the bottom. Scrape the fat off the top, remelt it, and strain it through a colander lined with cheesecloth to remove any small particles. This strained fat will last for ages. The beauty of whole and natural foods is that once they go bad you'll know it. They stink.

I freeze the stock in #5 plastic containers or glass jars in 1 & 2 cup amounts.

I don't add salt to the stock. I prefer to add salt to the food I'm preparing as I'm preparing it. Unsalted stock is gross. If you want to drink it straight up add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp celtic salt per mug. A tsp of fresh lemon juice added as well is yummy.

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