For centuries, chicken soup has been known as a healing remedy for the common cold. In my house, whenever somebody starts sniffing or coughing, I am already in the kitchen cooking chicken stock in my biggest pot.
However, the benefits of homemade meat stock do not stop there. This magical pale yellow liquid is also a great food for various digestive conditions. It has a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the digestive tract while providing the essential nutrients for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and therefore supporting cell regeneration. For this reason, meat stock is a staple food on the GAPS Nutritional Program which addresses a plethora of physiological and psychological conditions,all originating in compromised gut function. More information on this program can be found here.
Every 2-3 weeks, I cook a large batch of chicken stock from a whole chicken. I serve it with the cooked chicken meat and vegetables the day of and I still have enough leftovers remaining for the next day and to store away in the freezer. I use 1L mason jars for freezing the stock which is later used as a base for preparing various soups.
Cooking the stock is fairly simple:
1. Place the whole chicken in a large pot, fill it up with water and add salt for flavouring.
2. Once it starts boiling, simmer for approximately 2 hours.
3. While it simmers, add some vegetables in the pot. My favourites are carrots, celery, onion, garlic, kohlrabi, parsley. I even add a few mushrooms into the boiling stock.
4. When it is done, pour the stock through a sieve and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
5. The meat can be served in the warm stock, or on its own along some cooked vegetables, topped on salads or sandwiches.
In my family, we all love chicken stock as it is not only healthy but delicious as well! My favourite way of "eating" the stock is actually DRINKING a cup of the hot liquid on its own (no meat, no veggies), especially on cold winter days as we currently have in Ontario.