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Homemade Chicken Stock

by Deliciously Organic on November 13, 2011

Homemade Chicken Stock via DeliciouslyOrganic.net

There’s no comparison between homemade chicken stock and stock poured out of a can. The flavors are much deeper, and the quality of nutrients far surpasses anything you’ll find wrapped in aluminum. Chicken stock serves as the foundation for many holiday recipes and while you may find it at the store, nothing beats the real thing.

While a whole chicken is preferable, a carcass works well too. Many times I roast a chicken, serve it for dinner, then use the carcass to make broth. It’s a small way to stretch your budget without sacrificing nutrition.

Now is a good time to cook up some stock so you’ll be ready for the festivities. Don’t be intimidated by a making your own stock. It’s quite simple. Put all the ingredients in a pot and simmer. That’s it!

Homemade Chicken Stock

Serving Size: Makes approximately 2 quarts

Homemade Chicken Stock

If you like other herbs like sage or thyme in your chicken stock, feel free to add a few sprigs to the pot. I prefer simmering it for 24 hours to draw as many of the nutrients out of the chicken as possible. I usually make my pot of stock on the weekend when I’m home so I can let it simmer for a full day.


Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 pound) chicken, preferably pastured

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 1 large bunch parsley

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half

  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters (don't worry about peeling it)

  • 2 tablespoons Celtic sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Instructions

Place all ingredients in large stockpot. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, about 30 minutes. Skim foam off the top, lower heat to low, then let simmer for 8 - 24 hours, with lid ajar.

Strain broth. Use the cooked chicken in soup, a casserole, salad, etc. After the broth is cool it should gelatinize, but don't be alarmed. This is a sign the nutrients were pulled out of the chicken. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for 3 months.

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Leanne November 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

If you use a whole chicken (not a carcass) is the chicken useless as far as eating now?

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Deliciously Organic November 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Great question. You can use the chicken for soup, or for a casserole, in a salad, etc. (I’ll make an edit to the recipe to include those instructions) Thanks for bringing that up!

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Leanne November 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Awesome! Thanks so much!

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Karen November 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Here is a tip I received from my nutritionist. If you are using a whole chicken with the meat on the bones, once the stock has cooked for at least a couple hours, remove the meat from the bones and store for later use. I simply remove the entire chicken, remove the meat and put the bones and skin back in the pot and continue cooking. By removing the meat early, the meat retains its moist and tender goodness. It also shreds nicely at this point and doesn’t become chalky. Plus you don’t have to wait till the broth is done to use the meat for another meal. :o)

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Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes November 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I’ve been so interested in making my own chicken stock! This sounds easy enough. Thanks for the recipe!

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Tonia November 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I make a similar stock pretty regularly, but I don’t usually care for the texture of the boiled chicken meat. Two things that I have found it is very tasty for: barbeque chicken sandwiches (just heat the meat up with your favorite home made barbeque sauce & serve on a keiser roll or similar) and chicken encheladas (heat 1 block cream cheese or nufatchel cheese in a sauce pan with 1 cup salasa, then add chicken & black beans. Heat through, wrap mixture in tortillas & lay seam-side down in a pan. Cover with enchelada sauce and bake at 350 for 20 mins. Top with shredded cheddar & bake 5 mins more or until cheese is melted & bubbly). They arre both simple & delicious! :-)

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Deliciously Organic November 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Great ideas. Thanks!

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Lisa Asiamah November 14, 2011 at 4:26 am

How long would you recommend cooking in a crockpot for the same nutritional quality? Thanks.

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Deliciously Organic November 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

From my reading, I’ve read that if you keep it in the crockpot for 24 hours that is a sufficient amount of time to pull all the nutrients out.

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Karen November 15, 2011 at 7:20 am

Be careful in the crockpot, in my case the liquid increased as it cooked, I ended up having to remove some of the liquid before it was done cooking. I prefer the stove top method, the broth was much thicker – gelatinized (healthier). ;o)

I took some broth I had frozen to a sick elderly neighbor a month ago, she is still raving about it. Said it was the best tasting broth she has had in a long , long time. She ate it for lunch and dinner two days in a row and was feeling peppy and healthy.

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Linnea November 14, 2011 at 4:39 am

I recently did this for the first time and couldn’t believe how easy it is. I had no idea all I was missing out on by only buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts!

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Valerie November 14, 2011 at 5:24 am

I do this with my crockpot. I usually wait until I have a carcass plus some extra other bones, or two carcasses. Just put it together before I leave for work and when I get home, there’s a nice pot of stock that just needs to be strained and refrigerated. Super easy and that’s one less thing I have to buy at the store! I portion mine into a silicone muffin pan and freeze, then pop them out and store in the freezer. The 1/3 cup portions makes it easy to throw into recipes as it is called for. And no added sodium!

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Deliciously Organic November 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Great ideas!

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Bev Weidner November 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

Homemade stock is my faaaavooorrriiittaaaaaaa. YUM.

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C November 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

My husband says I get more excited about making stock than I do the original meal (like Lisa Leake’s crock pot chicken). Never again will I buy canned/boxed stock after starting to make my own chicken, beef, and turkey stock a few months back. I’m currently patiently waiting on a ham hock to make ham stock.

What are the other herbs in your photograph? Thank you.

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Deliciously Organic November 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I agree, the homemade is so much better. My favorite is making my turkey stock after Thanksgiving and using it in my loaded baked potato soup. Yum! The other herbs in the photo are sage and thyme.

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Kelley November 15, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I hope you are going to share the loaded baked potato soup recipe!! please…

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Deliciously Organic November 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm

It’s in my cookbook. :)

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kelley November 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Yea, I have your cookbook! So can I substitute something for the whole wheat flour? Arrowroot maybe?

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Deliciously Organic November 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I’d replace the whole wheat flour with almond flour and add 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to help it bind together.

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Deliciously Organic November 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

I haven’t tested it, but arrowroot should work. I’d use 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 a cup just so it doesn’t get too thick. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

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aida mollenkamp November 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Carrie, I wholeheartedly agree that homemade chicken stock is well worth it. By the way, that is the most attractive photo of a raw chicken I think I’ve ever seen!

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HeatherChristo November 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

homemade chicken stock is the best!! great recipe!

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Lucy Lean November 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I love making chicken stock – feels so warm and cozy as the house fills with the aromas – I sometimes reduce it right down and freeze in an ice cube tray – then can add water to these concentrated blocks of chicken goodness when needed.

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marla {family fresh cooking} November 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I have gotta do this soon. No excuses right?!

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Diane@LongabergerLifestyle November 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

A roasted chicken was already on my menu for tonight….as was cooking my carcass tomorrow for a yummy chicken with rice soup! It really does stretch the dollar. But, even more….ever so tasty!!!

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Sarah November 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I have some simmering on the stove now. I saw this post this morning and went straight to buy a chicken! My husband isn’t feeling well and this is just what he needs. So, if I simmer it overnight to draw out the nutrients, should I keep adding water to keep the chicken covered?

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Nancy@acommunaltable November 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This is a wonderful reminder that I need to make more stock – my stash in the freezer is almost gone! The pre made versions do in a pinch but they just don’t have the flavor, body and “mouth feel” that a homemade stock does!

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Kristina Vanni November 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I agree, it is all about the homemade chicken stock! That is the way I grew up. If we had a roast chicken for dinner, we would stretch it into leftovers and then make stock out of the carcass when there was nothing else left.

By the way, I really like how you took that photo. It is tough to photograph raw chicken!

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Simply Complex November 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I’ve made it twice, once from a whole chicken, and once from a carcass- I think I must be doing something wrong- I think that it tastes pretty bland. I use it anyway for the nutrition, but everywhere I look everyone says that it is supposed to taste SO MUCH BETTER. So, I’m frustrated- and the only thing I can think of is that I add too much water so maybe it is not flavored strong when I think it is finished??? I really wish I could taste someone else’s homemade stock to see what it is supposed to be like. Grrr.

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Frieda November 15, 2011 at 5:50 am

I agree, homemade stock is waaaaay better! Make it from a left over rotisserie chicken and it’s to die for. Have a pressure cooker?? Dust it off and make your stock in 30 minutes or less. Great post!

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Magic of Spice November 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

Homemade stocks are superior to any that can be purchased…lovely recipe!

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Lori S. November 15, 2011 at 11:49 am

The print link isn’t working for me…

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Deliciously Organic November 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

It’s fixed!

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Karin November 16, 2011 at 5:55 am

Carrie, have you ever added rosemary? I’ve been doing that for about the last year and it adds a nice flavor. Looking forward to seeing you over Christmas!
Karin

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Deliciously Organic November 16, 2011 at 8:14 am

I’ve never tried rosemary. Great idea!

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Nicole B November 16, 2011 at 6:05 am

I’m going to try it!! Do I have to keep adding water throughout the simmer time?

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Deliciously Organic November 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

As long as it’s on a very low simmer you shouldn’t need to add water.

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Deliciously Organic November 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm

As long as it’s at a very low simmer you shouldn’t need to add water.

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Christen November 16, 2011 at 7:03 am

If you wanted to make vegetable broth would you just take out the chicken and add extra veggies?

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Deliciously Organic November 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

Yep! That’s all you have to do! Here’s a good recipe for vegetable stock: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/how-to/basic-techniques-how-to-make-homemade-vegetable-stock-136725

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Lisa Leake November 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

I love homemade stock! Random question for you…if you freeze your stock, what do you think about defrosting it (to use in a soup) then freezing that soup? The stock would essentially be frozen twice, and I am on the fence if I should be doing this or not. Thanks! :)

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Deliciously Organic November 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm

While I don’t freeze meat twice, I do make broth, freeze it, defrost it, make soup, and freeze the soup. I’m not a scientist, but in my opinion I think it’s fine.

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Georgia Pellegrini November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

I’m a big fan of making my own stock. It’s about as simple a process as can be, and the final result years beyond the store-bought stuff. This is the perfect time to do it too. Thanks for the reminder!

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Kristin Conroy November 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

Never used a whole chicken for homemade stock before…unbelievably yummy smelling in the kitchen right now:) I thought I might mention that a friend of mine who is a holistic health counselor says to wait to add sea salt until the very end. Salt restricts the release of collagen from the bones. However, because you’re using the whole chicken, I don’t know if that is a moot point. Just wondering! Thanks for the beautiful post Carrie! xo

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Deliciously Organic November 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Interesting! I’ll ask my nutritionist too!

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Sabrina November 25, 2011 at 7:39 am

I took a 4 week cooking class at a culinary school. I was told the difference between stock and broth is simply adding salt. Stock shouldn’t have salt, broth does. Stock is used to flavor dishes, soups, etc.
Broth you can technically eat on it’s own (because of the added salt).

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Deliciously Organic November 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

The difference between broth and stock is one is made mostly with meat (broth) and the other is made with bones and also sometimes meat (stock). (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/chicken-stock-vs-chicken-broth/index.html) Salt is really just a personal preference. I’m an avid reader of America’s Test Kitchen and they use salt in every one of their stock recipes so I’m going to stick with using a little bit of salt. The amount I choose to use in my stock does not make the stock salty, but I feel it helps deepen the flavor. There are many ways to make stock – this recipe is my favorite way to make it.

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Delishhh November 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

I think everyone should do homemade chicken stock it is simple and easy as you described, you can basically just put anything in a pot of water and you get a stock. However, you should try a few tweeks and i think it would give you a much better stock – always saute the vegetables for 5-10 minutes before you add any water or wine. Then instead of using 100% use 25% white wine and my secret ingredient is parsnip or even parsley root – gives awesome flavor to the stock.

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Al Robbins November 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

This is a wonderful version of what a chicken stock should be, and I add 10-12 whole peppercorns and a sprig of fresh rosemary when I make mine. I also use a couple or three more stalks of celery, but that is a personal taste thing I reckon. You can bottle it up hot in pint or quart jars and use it within a week or so. Has worked for me for several years now!

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Al November 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

I should have added that you must refrigerate the stock once you bottle and cool it down some. It’s good for a week to 10 days.

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Stefanie May 8, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi there Carrie! Quick question, if you make stock with a carcass, have you found that it’s much less flavorful than using the whole chicken? Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic May 8, 2012 at 9:48 am

It might sound funny, but we actually prefer the stock without the meat best. It has a cleaner flavor.

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Jen September 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Just wondering, when you freeze the stock, what containers do you use? I’m trying to use less plastic. Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I use mason jars. I make sure and leave a inch of space on the top and let the jars completely cool before storing them in the freezer. Also, glass pyrex dishes work really well.

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Brittany September 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Hi there! If I use a whole raw chicken, how long should I let it simmer before the meat is fully cooked and can be separated from the stock that will still simmer?

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Deliciously Organic September 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’d give it about 2-3 hours to let it fully cook before removing it.

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Brittany September 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Thank-you!

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Brittany October 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

One more quick question for you! Would my chicken lose any of the nutritional value if I roast it before using all the leftovers for stock?

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Deliciously Organic October 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

Not that I know of. I sometimes roast the chicken, and then use the bones for stock too.

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Shelly Stroud October 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

This is making me “eye” the chickens running around outside near the hen house.. LOL … hmmmmm, might have to have the hubs bring me a fresh catch.. THe homemade stock sounds divine!!!

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Jennifer October 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I skimmed the comments and didn’t see this, apologies if I missed. Is it ok to freeze bones and collect them overtime to use in stock? We eat a fair amount of bone in chicken but never enough to come up with 2-3 lb. I just wondered if there was a health reason not to freeze bones and use later?

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Deliciously Organic October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I also freeze them and don’t know of any health reason not to.

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Brook October 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Hi! Newly converted organic mom here with 2 teenage boys and a tween who thinks she is 25. Do you have stock recipes with other meats as well? I am looking for a good organic one for ham. I assume it would be similar but not so sure about the flavorings/herbs and spices. I am making red beans and rice (we are cajun!) and am trying to add that ham flavoring to the mix organically. Thanks!

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Brook October 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I forgot to add that my ham is grass fed and organic. Luckily i have a great local butcher!

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Deliciously Organic October 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

I don’t have one published, but I’d look at the Weston Price website for additional stock recipes. Fyi, I have an organic spice blend in my cookbook that tastes so much like Tony’s! My Mom’s side of the family is Cajun so I grew up eating etoufee, red beans and rice, and gumbo. Yum!

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Danielle November 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

Hey, Carrie! I recently found you and am obsessed (my husband is also a pilot in the Air Force, so I feel like we have kindred spirits:) with your great recipes (your cookbook is on my Christmas list) I just made this stock yesterday-my first time making any sort of stock and followed the directions perfectly, only the amount of liquid I got was disappointing, only two or so cups! it was a 4 lb chicken, and I covered it with water before letting it simmer for 12 hours. is that normal? help!

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Deliciously Organic November 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

Nice to meet another pilot wife! :) I think your stove is heating too hot when it’s on “simmer”. The stove in our current home is like that so I bought a flame tamer (they only cost a few dollars) and it lowered the temperature so the stock could just barely simmer for 12 hours. If you haven’t removed everything from the post, you can add more water and let it simmer a bit longer.

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Lena McDonald November 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

Question Carrie, if I bake a whole chicken, and use the carcass to make some stock….. Should I break some of the bones to get more of the nutrients?

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Deliciously Organic November 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I’ve never torn the carcass apart and it’s always worked out ok for me. Westonaprice.org might have some additional info on this topic.

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Annie November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

I know this is an old post, but do you know what would be the reason my stock/broth does not gelatinize? I use the bones from a whole organic chicken and use a standard slow cooker for 24hours or so. More bones? Less water? Cook longer? Appreciate your thoughts. Oh, and it’s not a pastured chicken, but is organic, and the best affordable one I can find.

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Deliciously Organic November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Usually if you use more bones, it will gelatinize. Also, sometimes if it’s organic and not pastured it won’t gelatinize. I can’t always find pastured birds either, so sometimes mine is gelatinous and sometimes not, depending on the bird.

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Annie November 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I figured – I will try it with more bones. Thanks for your reply!

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Rachel March 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm

This was my first time making chicken stock to store, I have boiled carcass and made soup right away, but never to store. So I used 6 chicken backs, from our freezer that I had from our last butcher day. They are simmering now, there is a separated layer that looks like oil from the water. Is this normal, because it seems a bit extreme to me. We are all sick, so I was doing this for wellness!! Now once finished, should we just drink it as it? I tried it and having the separate layer made it a bit strange for me, any thoughts, or am I on the right track? Thanks!

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Deliciously Organic March 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

This is completely normal. You can skim some of the fat off and use it in your cooking, or stir it in. It’s personal preference. When I drink it straight, I add a bit of Celtic sea salt for extra flavor. My daughter likes to add a little plain yogurt. I hope you all feel well soon!

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Rachel March 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

Awesome. Thanks for following up on this even though it was an old posted. It’s all I’ve been eating and today is the best yet.

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Jana Falcon August 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

How long would you cook the stock in a pressure cooker?

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Deliciously Organic August 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

I’ve never made it in a pressure cooker, so I’m not sure. I’m sorry I can’t help you more.

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Elaina September 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

Does anyone know how many calories, fat grams, or how this would be considered on the Glycemic Index?

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Christine November 5, 2013 at 6:49 am

Do you do anything to the whole raw chicken
Before cooking? Rinse? Take off skin?
Also, I read in one if your comments
that your mom is Cajun..so is mine! Small
world.

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Deliciously Organic November 5, 2013 at 11:53 am

Nothing! You just put it in the pot. :) And yes, a small world!

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Rose January 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Hello,
Question – My nutritionist also recommended me to make this and I only made it once and loved it!! I was so nervous about keeping my stove on for that long. I only lasted keeping it on the stove for 8 hours (while I was at home and turned it off when I had to run an errand). How do people keep the stove on for up to 24 hours?? I would be so nervous while I was sleeping or if I had to leave?? Is it safe to keep the stove on for so many hours? Thanks in advance for your reply!!!!

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Deliciously Organic January 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

You can also make it in a crock pot. I do this quite a bit so that I can leave the house and such. I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot, cover with water and put on low for 24 hours. I’ve also left the stove on low overnight and haven’t had any issues. But of course, only do what you’re comfortable with. I hope that helps!

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Melissa January 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for the super simple recipe! I got a whole stock chicken from my co-op and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I’m at home being sick and trying this out. I hope I didn’t mess anything up, when you say heat it on medium-low I didn’t set it to boil first, but figured that out later when it didn’t make any foam to skim. I think adding that it should boil first before lowering the heat will help for newbies like me!

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Deliciously Organic January 6, 2014 at 6:55 am

I’ve learned that you only want to bring it to a low simmer because if not, many of the nutrients in the carcass will not be able to release into the broth. So, this is why the directions say to bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. I hope you feel better soon!

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Sharon Nagel March 7, 2014 at 7:32 am

Thanks Carrie! I have two questions. First, what does the vinegar do and what kind of vinegar do you recommend using? Second, some sites recommend skimming the top after the broth is chilled. But it seems you are a proponent of not skimming it because this is actually healthful? :-)

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Deliciously Organic March 28, 2014 at 7:20 am

The vinegar helps the bones release the nutrients into the stock. I’m all for using the fat in the stock, so I don’t ever skim it after it’s been chilled. The fats contain all sorts of great nutrients!

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Sharon Nagel April 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

I have been making this broth every week for five weeks. Every time I have a mug, my three-year-old asks for a mini mug of broth and drinks it with me. She has the flu today and I made her (why?!) some Lipton noodle soup out of habit. She took two sips and said, “No, Mommy. May I please have some better soup?” :-) I gave her the homemade stock and she was content.

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Deliciously Organic April 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

What a sweet story!! Thank you for sharing! :)

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