Old-Fashioned Chicken Stock

MAKES ABOUT 6 QUARTS • PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: 3 hours

Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a soup maker, but I take making stock very seriously. I think most cooks feel that way. There’s a confidence one gets in making one’s own stock rather than buying the boxed version. (Organic chicken stock will do in a pinch, but give me my own heady concoction any day.) I get to control the ingredients and, as with this chicken stock, get the taste exactly the way I want. A big plus is that it freezes well for storage. This stock, along with Magic Mineral Broth, is the base for nearly every soup in this book, so it has to be spot on, and it is. Bone broths are some of the world’s oldest healing foods, and with good reason; the calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in chicken bones are great for brain health, while the amino acid glycine has calming and other mental health benefits.

6 pounds organic chicken backs, necks, bones, and wings
2 unpeeled white onions, coarsely chopped
4 unpeeled large carrots, cut in thirds
2 celery stalks, cut in thirds
6 fresh thyme sprigs
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
8 quarts cold filtered water, plus more if needed

In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add the water, cover, and heat over medium-high heat until the water comes to a boil. Lower the heat so the bubbles just break the surface of the liquid. Skim off the scum and the fat that has risen to the surface. Simmer partially covered for about 3 hours. Add more water if too much has evaporated.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with unbleached cheesecloth into a clean pot or heat-resistant bowl. Bring to room temperature before covering and storing in the refrigerator. The next day, spoon off and discard any fat that has risen to the surface, and refrigerate or freeze. 

COOK'S NOTE: This recipe is designed for a 12-quart or larger stockpot. If you only have an 8-quart pot, cut the recipe in half. Stock can be frozen for up to 3 months. Store stock in various sizes of containers so that you can pull out a cup for deglazing or a quart or two to make a pot of soup. The stock will cool faster in smaller containers. Make sure it’s refrigerated within 4 hours.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.