"Indeed, stock is everything in cooking...without it nothing can be done."
Have you ever had real stock? And when I say real, I mean the real, homemade stuff, which is as different from the store-bought version as night is from day. Even the organic store bought version pales in comparison to the nutrient-rich, soothing and powerful stock simmering on your home stove.
In fact, I have some organic chicken stock simmering on my stove right now. This time tomorrow it will be ready, and the lovely aroma will fill the house in the meantime!
I would have never thought twice about making chicken stock before I started the Maker's Diet, but it turns out it's one of the Maker's superfoods! Here's what Jordan Rubin has to say about stocks/soups on page 150 of The Maker's Diet:
Superfood/Healing Food #5: Soups/Stocks
"Soups and stocks appear in biblical diets, as we see in Judges 6:19, and meat and fish stocks are virtually universal fixtures in traditional cuisine in France, Italy, China, Japan, Africa, South America, Russia, and the Middle East. Chicken soup, widely considered a cure all, is sometimes called Jewish penicillin. Fish soup enjoys the same reputation in the Orient and South America.
Properly prepared meat stocks are extremely nutritious and contain minerals, cartilage, collagen, and electrolytes all in an easily absorbable form. Also, meat, fish and chicken stocks contain generous amounts of natural gelatin, which aids digestion and helps heal many intestinal disorders, including heartburn, IBS, Crohn's disease, and anemia. Science has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases."
I can attest to the amazing benefits of stock. I remember one time, when I was pregnant with Nathaniel, I felt worn down and like I was getting the flu. I made some chicken stock, had a large bowlful and went to bed early. I woke up feeling completely fine! Another time I took some chicken soup to a friend who was extremely sick with the flu. She said that she felt better immediately after eating the soup! And there was nothing more soothing or easily digested than chicken broth/soup whenever I had problems with my stomach.
Stock is so easy to make and to use. I make chicken stock, although beef stock is excellent as well. I usually roast a chicken for dinner one night, then I'll use the bones after we've finished the meat. Once you've got your stock made, you can use it for drinking, for chicken soup, for other soups like tortilla soup, for sauces, and for any recipe at all that calls for stock. You can also freeze it easily. I always simmer mine for at least 24 hours. The darker the stock, the better it tastes, and the more nutrients!
Here's a great recipe from Sally Fallon, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and author of Nourishing Traditions:
Cure- All Chicken Stock
1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
Check out this link for the original article containing this recipe, as well as more info about stock:
Side note: I have absolutely used the chicken feet, and there is no comparison with the taste. It seems gross but I'd encourage you to give it a try! I also add about 2-3 tablespoons of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt to my stock, as well as 4-5 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil.