Making Nourishing Traditions Style Chicken Stock



GAPS Chicken Stock


Chicken stock is said to have many health benefits, including being full of calcium (I tried explaining this to the pediatrician a few months back… didn’t go well. I sometimes forget that not everyone is as excited about real foods as I am) and other good things that are pulled out of the bones.  Above is a post-broth chicken bone. After I cook a whole chicken and pull off the meat as our homemade organic lunchmeat, I put everything else back in the pot that I cooked the chicken in.  In goes the skin, bones, gristle, doesn’t it look nice? Then I add a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar and fill the pot to within a couple inches of the top with filtered water.  I used to do all this in the crockpot, but I bought a nice big 8 quart stockpot a while ago and have been boiling the chicken/cooking the stock in there since.  I usually leave the water that I boiled the chicken in to use for the stock.

Chicken stock Recipe:

Cooked chicken
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Optional: 2 tablespoons thyme, 6 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 1 inch of ginger root, vegetable scraps such as the ends of onions and carrots, core of the cabbage, leaves from celery, etc

Using your fingers, remove all the meat from the chicken. Reserve drippings, skin, and bones. Using a large stock pot, place bones, drippings, and skin in. Break large bones to allow the nutritious marrow to get into the stock. Fill pot ¾ full with filtered water and add the apple cider vinegar and any optional herbs and vegetables. Cook on medium-high until bubbling, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, at least 8 hours. When done, allow to cool then pour stock through a strainer and transfer to mason jars to store in the fridge. To strain, I use a mesh strainer over a pitcher-style 4-cup measuring cup. This makes transferring the stock to the mason jars easier; I do one jar at a time, cleaning out the strainer as needed during the process. The fat will rise to the top of the jars in the fridge, which can be included in soups or used as a fat for cooking. Pick any more meat off the bones that you can after the chicken stock has been removed. Discard the remaining bones/skin in the pot.


See how easy it crumbles when I pinch it? Calcium was taken out of the bone and put into the broth for us to drink and use in soups.
See, this is easy.


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  1. Heather says

    Thanks for a great blog! Anything that I can find having to do with Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition is of utmost interest to me and my family! Thank you!!!!

  2. says

    Hi Cara, Just found your blog, making chicken stock and don’t have my Nourishing Traditions cookbook handy (we just moved.) Thank you for the directions. I’m am also excited about real foods and looking forward to reading your blog.

  3. Marcee says

    MMM, love homemade stock. I made some beef stock over night last night. I really don’t have any access to affordable free range chickens, but we do buy a 1/2 grass fed beef. I requested all the bones as possible. I’m going to reuse the bones too (except for one I gave to the dog, she’s in “heaven” now). I saw the chicken bags on US Wellness meats, but I don’t know if I can fork up the cash for them. Do you always use free range chickens or do you compromise and get conventional? I do buy a whole chicken that advertises “no antibiotics, no hormones, vegetarian fed”. It’s not free range by any means, but better than the common conventional chicken.

  4. Valerie Blank-Jaquith says

    don’t forget to skim the broth as the it comes to a boil.

    Prior to turning on the flame, let the pot sit with the ingredients in cold water for an hour. Then turn on the heat.

    You don’t have to use apple cider vinegar to extract the minerals. You don’t really need it for chicken to pull the minerals out and it really affects the flavor. You can use anything acidic, including wine, or nothing at all for chick bones. If you making elk or beef bone stock, or other large hard bone stock, using something acidic and letting soak for an hour or so before heating to a boil, will assist in removing the minerals to the liquid. Again, I do not like the flavor of my stocks at all with ACV and have stopped using it altogether. It can be a real turn off, I suggest if you new to this to leave it out.

    • Jessica says

      Could you explain the skimming the broth? And the stock from boiling a chicken, is that added in the same time you start the broth? Last time I did that the fat burned..

  5. says

    Great post and pics! I agree about showing children the bones, giblets, too! My kids were fascinated last night as I cut up our chicken into pieces for baking. I did try the Nourishing Traditions stock with the carcass and leftover bones, but this morning the water had completely evaporated! Do you have experience with that? This is the second time it has happened (wish I remembered the first time last night before I put all that work and all those veggies into it). I even added water before I went to bed. Hmm. So sad too as my hsband has had a cold and could really use the nourishment :(

  6. Krissy says

    Hi Cara – I recently made chicken stock (my first time, ever!) using your freezer guide. I made it and then Christmas was upon us and I haven’t used it yet. How long will it stay good in the frig? Can I freeze it? What are the rules – I am VERY new to cooking, especially REAL food and so some of my questions are pretty basic! Thanks so much! :)


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