Homemade chicken stock rocks. It is very easy to make and is mostly hands-off, but it does need to cook for hours. I always have frozen chicken bone stock, as I use it for my own cooking and for my Pugs in their food. You can freeze portions in plastic or glass containers or Ziplocs or make small portions in ice cube trays and pop those into a Ziploc.
Some cooks make stock by cooking the chicken forever, then throwing away the tasteless chicken. There is no reason to do this! Instead, cook chicken until it’s done–about an hour if cut into pieces–then return the bones to the pot so they can continue to add flavor to the stock. It’s the bone and connective tissue that give the stock the best flavor and nutrients. To leech even more nutrients from the bones, add a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar.
Yesterday, I was in the mood for chicken soup and my boys needed their stock and chicken, so I made a huge batch of chicken. Cobi and Ferdi eat dark meat and those bones have all the connective tissue that makes bone stock so healthy, so I cooked a few breasts for my husband and I and added a bunch of legs to make the stock rich.
Please note that if you are making stock for your dogs, omit the onion. Also, when the stock is done, strip off the remaining meat and connective tissue on the bones and add it to your pet’s meal—a gourmet treat!
For more information on the health benefits of bone broth, read: http://normalehmeierhartie.com/umami-beef-bone-stock/.
If you want “regular” chicken soup, simply add rice or noodles or any grain or potatoes, or serve the carb on the side for those who want it. If you want the mouth-feel of rice, but not the carbs, add riced cauliflower.
I tend to mix up what vegetables I use. This time, I used carrots, parsnips, peas, celery, zucchini and leeks.
Of course, if you are feeling like chicken soup but don’t have the time or desire to make your own, a quart of organic stock will do.
Low Carb Chicken Soup and Bone Stock
Chicken Bone Stock
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (do not use organs; neck is fine), or any amount of chicken, but use at least some dark meat for the bones
1 onion, quartered, skin on (note: if making for your dogs, omit!)
2 stacks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 parsnip, roughly chopped
1 turnip, roughly chopped
Handful parsley (can put in a piece of cheese cloth)
Put chicken into a large pot, add vegetables and cover 2 inches above ingredients with water. When water comes to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and skim off any scum that forms on the top. Simmer gently for an hour. Remove meat and vegetables (a large skimmer spoon is perfect for this). When meat is cool, discard skin and remove meat from bones. Put bones and the vegetables back into the pot and simmer for at least another two hours. Occasionally check water level. You can simmer for hours, if desired. Remove bones and vegetables. Strip what meat/connective tissue remains on the bones and give to your pet. Discard remains. Whatever stock you don’t need can be frozen and stored in plastic or glass containers. Fat will rise to the top when chilled and can be removed.
Low Carb Chicken Soup
6-8 cups stock
1-pound chicken cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
Root vegetables: carrot, parsnips, turnips, celery root, jicama, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
Broccoli, Kale, cut into small bite sized pieces, kale stems removed and discarded or chop and put into pot with root vegetables
Cauliflower, cut into small bite sized pieces or riced
Zucchini, spiralized or cut small
Leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced.
Lemon zest and juice (optional)
Heat stock to a boil and add root veggies and cook 20 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower, if using, and cook 10 minutes. Add other vegetables and chicken for last 5 minutes, including riced cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon zest and juice to taste in serving bowl.