Easy to digest and rich in colloidal vitamins, minerals and glutamate, good stock is said to raise the dead. Stock, coined as a health elixir can be traced back as far as ancient Egypt. Chicken stock, sometimes referred to as tea is believed to repair the mucus membranes of the small intestines, nerves, and digestion. The quality of stock is noted by its gelatinous consistency when cooled. The gelatin indicates that there is a significant proportion of protein, vitamins, and minerals to water. Cartilage from bones breaks down to gelatin.
More bones= more gelatin
boney parts = necks, backs, breastbone, wings
flavoring for veggies
base for pilaf
base for soup
Choose the bird
Organic grass feed birds produce a stock with more gelatin. For simplicity, I'm using split broiler birds with back bone in.
2. Process the bird
Thoroughly wash the bird with cold water all over. Some use a brush with stiff brisles to clean the cavity. (Rinse with hot water after use and run through dishwasher)
Separate the bird at the joints. Crack some of the bones for maximun nutrient transfer.
3. Add to pot
Fill the pot 3/4 with (filtered) water. The bird should contribute to half the fullness of the pot. Bring the water to a boil to allow the "scum" to rise. Use a slotted spoon or whisk covered in cheese cloth to remove the scum that rises.
Notes: Some sources refer to scum as albumin. Some leave it in and believe it is of nutritional value others remove it due to cloudiness that it gives to the stock. It causes foam.
4. Add Mirepoix (Veggies)
Reduce heat to a simmer. Add additional veggies to increase nutrient content and flavor
Usual are carrots, celery, onion, leeks
*Will try to add kale, dandelion greens
5. Add Hard Herbs
Garlic, Pepper corns can be added now.
6. Add soft herbs
Soft herbs should be added at the end
7. Cool & Strain (Alton's method I'm Just here for the food p.203)
(I usually just use an ice bath)
Cook until the bones can be easily cracked. Cook the stock right away by placing it on a trivet in the sink and allowing cool water to run around the base and sides.
Strain into a glass (or other non reactive material) container. Alton Brown uses a cool method in his book I'm Just Here for the Food.
Caution: The growth of bacteria is held back at around 4 degrees C (40 degrees F)
8. De fat
Remove fat when the stock cools with a spoon. (I save mine for high temperature cooking.)
Store for 7-10 days at 40 degrees in the fridge or Freeze into cubes or plastic containers.
Safe plastic containers(not known to leach harmful materials):
Polypropylene, designated "#5 PP"
High-density polyethylene, designated "#2HDPE"
Low-density polyethylene, designated "#4 LDPE"
Sally Fallon's Broth is Beautiful article