I’d like to do a few soup recipes in the upcoming weeks, but wanted to begin by going back to the foundation of soup – the stock. There was a time in my life when I thought chicken stock meant being armed with a sturdy can opener and a large quantity of cans labeled “chicken broth” neatly stacked in my pantry. I had no idea people actually made their own “broth” or “stock” for chicken soup. Well, I have seen the light!
If you’ve never made your own chicken stock, and the thought of it makes you roll your eyes, please, PLEASE – try it. Once you do, you will not be able to go back to the dark side. Yes, I said it.
Now listen, I’m not trying to be self righteous here. I realize we’re busy as moms. But truly (would I lie to you?) chicken stock is so easy, requires little to no oversight as it cooks, and tastes delicious. It’s at least worth a try. I usually make a batch or two of chicken stock and then freeze it so it’s on hand any time I want to throw a quick soup together.
There IS a difference in the taste of things made from scratch and things poured out of a can. It’s true. The last time I made Chicken No-Noodle Soup, my son kept slurping up the broth and saying, “This broth tastes soooo good. I just want to drink it.” Who needs more proof than that?
- 1 whole organic chicken, skin removed
- 1-2 leeks, green and white parts, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- 4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 5 dried bay leaves
- small handful of fresh thyme, rinsed and left whole
- 5 whole peppercorns (optional - omit for strict AIP)
- In a large stock pot, place the chicken, leeks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns.
- Fill the pot with water to about 2 inches above chicken and veggies.
- Turn the heat on medium high. You want to see about one or two bubbles break the surface, and then turn the heat down to low. You don't want to over boil this stock - slow and steady is the way to go. Cover the pot and turn the timer on for one hour.
- Once the timer is up, carefully lift out the chicken and place in a bowl. Keep pot on stove.
- When cool enough to handle, cut or pull the meat off the chicken and set aside to use in another recipe or freeze for later use.
- Place the chicken bones back into the stock pot and continue cooking on low to medium-low heat for another 2-3 hours.
- Between the 2nd and 3rd hour of cooking, the bones should break apart. This is what you want because there's flavor in the bones.
- Once the stock is finished, strain over a large strainer placed into another large pot or bowl.
- Press down on the veggies to get as much of the goodness and flavor out as possible. Discard veggies and bones.
- Allow stock to cool completely. Then refrigerate, freeze, or use immediately in soup.
- NOTE: I use this same recipe with a turkey carcass after Thanksgiving.