1 whole, fresh chicken, or approx. 2 kg chicken pieces, or 2 chicken carcasses plus chicken feet if possible (organic, free range chicken is best)
3–4 litres filtered water, room temperature
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (for bone broth)
1 large onion, roughly chopped (opt)
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (opt)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (opt)
To make meat stock:
Place whole chicken or chicken pieces into a slow cooker or a large, heavy-based stock pot, cover with water, add 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, and add veggies if using.
In slow cooker: Cook for 3-4 hours on high, removing any foam that rises to the top.
On stove top:Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a low simmer. Remove any foam that rises to the top, cover, and simmer for 2 hours (or 3 if chicken is older).
Remove meat from bones and place in fridge to use for other meals. Vegetables can be included in soups/stews.
To make bone broth:
If starting with a whole chicken or chicken pieces, cut meat off bones (as much as you can) and refrigerate to use in other meals. (Meat can be frozen if you bought the chicken fresh.) The fat can be added to the broth as it gives flavour and helps nutrients to be absorbed more easily. OR use chicken carcasses, and chicken feet if available.
Place the bones, feet, and any fat/scraps into a large, heavy-based stockpot or slow cooker. Add water, vinegar, and veggies if using. (You can add some salt and pepper but just be aware that the broth reduces as it cooks, so don’t add too much.)
In slow cooker:Cook for 8-24 hours on low heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.
On stove top:Bring to a gentle boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat, and simmer on low for 6 to 12 hours, depending on your preference. Keep heat on lowest temp and top up water as needed so that the bones are always covered. If there is meat on the bones, remove once it is cooked and soft (eg. 2 hours) and refrigerate to use in meals, then continue cooking bones.
Once broth is finished, remove bones, veggies, etc from broth and strain. Pour the broth into into jars/glass containers. Discard bones and vegetables.
Store stock or broth in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 6 months. If freezing in jars, make sure you use good quality glass jars, leave a space at the top of the jar for liquids to expand, and don’t put the lid on until completely frozen, to prevent burst jars!
Cooking time is very individual – if you are sensitive to amines, cook your meat stock for only 2 hours then cool and freeze immediately. As your gut heals, you can slowly increase cooking times.
Amines increase the longer you cook the broth. Older meat will also be higher in amines, so buy very fresh meat/bones from a butcher.
If you’re drinking stock as a gut-healing ‘medicine’, just warm up half a cup on the stovetop, add a little sea salt and freshly minced garlic (and turmeric and ginger if you like), and sip like a cup of hot tea at least once a day. Also add to meals, as per suggestions above.
Once cold, the stock should be a bit jelly-like, and there will be a layer of fat on top. Keep the fat to use in cooking, or just stir into the stock/broth when using it in soup/stew.