- 1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbones, wings, or other chix scraps
- gizzards from one chicken (optional)
- feet from one chicken (optional)
- 1 gallon cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
If you are using the whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use the chicken feet if you can find them. They are full of gelatin. If you can find it, use a whole chicken, with the head intact. You can sometimes find these in Oriental markets, but make sure you look for farm-raised, free-range birds for the best nutrition.
Cut the chicken parts into pieces – if you’re using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and the neck and cut those down. Put the chicken and/or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel stock pot and cover with the water, vinegar and veggies (minus the parsley). Let the mixture stand for 30-60 minutes. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Once you have that all skimmed, reduce the heat and cook (covered) for 6 hours to 24 hours. The longer the better – it will yield a much richer stock. About 10 minutes before the stock is done, add the parsley. The parsley is important because it adds mineral ions to the broth.
Let the broth cool slightly and then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon or tongs. If you used a whole chicken, make sure you save the meat for casseroles or soup. The skin and small bones will be soft enough that you can feed them to your cat or dog without any harm. Strain the stock into another bowl and stick it in the fridge until the broth congeals and the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and reserve it for future projects.