What could be better on a cold and rainy day than some hot chicken soup? Considering all the abundant health benefits of consuming chicken broth, this yummy soup should grace our tables every day, especially during cold and flu season!
Chicken stock is chock full of essential nutrients and mineral, including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Adding veggies, such as onion, celery, carrot and fresh garlic increases the vitamin content substantially, as well as adding flavor. Using chicken stock is an excellent alternative to using lots of costly meat in one's diet--add it to bread stuffings, mashed potatoes and steamed veggies for extra flavor and nutrients!
So, how to make the perfect pot of chicken stock? Here is my method:
1 whole chicken, about 4 lbs. and preferably free-range (better flavor!)
enough distilled water to cover the chicken, about 8-10 cups
2 stalks celery
1 large yellow onion, halved, with skin on(makes for a lovely yellow color of stock)
2 carrots, peeled and halved, if large
5-6 cloves chopped fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingreedients to a large stock pot; if your chicken comes with the liver, heart, neck and gizzard, throw those in the pot too! They will lend extra flavor and nutrients. Bring stock to a rapid boil; lower heat to about medium-low and allow to simmer for 2-3 hours, covered. When cool,strain veggies and remove the chicken. Save for a later use, or shred some up and add it back to the stockpot with some noodles for soup. I always add a little more garlic at the end of the cooking process, for it's extra antibacterial properties and because we just love garlic.
We use chicken stock all winter long, and I must say that we hardley ever get sick in the winter!
For more information on the benefits of broth, check out http://www.westonaprice.org/