1 whole free range chicken or 2/3 lbs of boney chicken parts such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
Gizzards from one chicken (optional) Feet from the chicken (optional) 4 quarts cold filtered water 2 tablespoons vinegar 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped 1 bunch parsley
If you are using the whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and gizzards from the neck. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them- they are full of gelatin. Farm raised free range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
Cut the chicken parts into several pieces. Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover (or crock pot) and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and flavor full it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let it cool and remove chicken meat from carcass and reserve for other uses.
Also worth noting, properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth. Dr. Francis Pottenger, author of the famous cat studies as well as articles on the benefits of gelatin in broth, taught that the stockpot was the most important piece of equipment to have in one’s kitchen.