I keep chicken stock in the fridge or freezer all year but in winter it is a staple in almost everything. I use it to cook vegetables, grains that are cooked by the absorption method, soups, gravy, casseroles, you name it, all dishes are improved with stock.
And did I mention, dogs love it!
Stock is easy-peasy deliciousness, using mostly leftovers and just a little time, too.
So, what do you need?
Next time you have a whole chicken, remember to save the bones and cartilage, plus any juice or tasty bits, in a pot (a slow cooker is ideal) and add any or all of these:
- Chicken bones, cartilage and any juice or tasty bits
- A small amount of onion is ok (I sometimes use the top/green part of leeks for instance)
- Mushrooms – I use shitake dried mushrooms from the Asian section
- Bay leaves
- A spoonful of Apple Cider vinegar
1. Add all the ingredients to a pot or, ideally, a slow cooker.
2. Cover completely with water, bring to a simmer and turn it down to a low simmer.
3. Let the essence of the stock cook low and slow. The longer it cooks, the more goodness is extracted, and if cooked for 24 hours becomes a ‘bone broth’.
You may need to top up with water as it will reduce while cooking, or you can simply dilute it to taste when you are using the final stock.
4. Once cooked, strain through a steel mesh strainer. I usually discard the ingredients, not the stock of course!
However, you can save the vegetables for your dog – the carrot, in particular, can be very sweet.
I never give cooked bones, no matter how soft they have become, so these are discarded. Essentials Complete 22 has all the calcium (from bones) they need.
5. You may need to remove any fat that settles on top once cooled.
Chicken soup is not only good for the soul, but it is also good for the body too and its goodness is built on the depth and quality of the stock. Whether for sick dogs or sick humans, chicken soup does wonders. Giving Chicken Stock to an old dog might just give him or her a new lease on life – and it will help with those aching joints.
If you would like to know more about the nutritional profile and benefits of bone broth for humans (and this applies as to dogs, too) can be found in this newsletter
While there are a multitude of recipes on the web, I often make Asian-style with Rice Noodles and Chinese Greens, or traditional with lots of root vegetables. If you're looking for a more traditional healing version, visit click here. Remember to leave out the onion and lentils if sharing with your dog.