Immune Boosting Chicken Stock

Now that the cool weather seems to be making more of an appearance around here, I’m very much enjoying the process of making stock…
There’s something about a simmering pot with delicious smells that calls to me – not only do we have a great base for any soup, but I have a practically instant mineral and nutrition addition for any grains, beans or vegetables I am cooking.
This is one of the best recipes that I have come up with to boost our immunity during these winter months.

Aromatics such as garlic, onions, celery and bay give antibacterial properties
Herbs, like burdock, echinacea, and elecampane work with our bodies to build immunity naturally.
The minerals and collagen found in chicken bones help tired bodies return to normalcy,
while salt gives minerals and electrolytes needed for recovery.

1 chicken carcass, leftover from roasted chicken
2 lbs raw chicken necks
2 large onions, sliced
2 cups celery, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves (approx. 3/4 cup of garlic)
1 cup fresh burdock root, scrubbed, roughly chopped or 1/2 cup dried chopped burdock root
1/2 cup dried chopped echinacea root
1/3 cup dried chopped elecampane root
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

Cold filtered water to cover
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients into a large stockpot, and fill with water (I usually use about 2 gallons of water). Add the vinegar and allow to sit, covered, for an hour.  I usually throw this together after dinner, and then allow it to sit while we do bath time and worship with the kids, and then start it before we go to bed.

Turn your burner on low, cover (I usually have to keep my lid tipped a bit), and allow to gently simmer for 12-24 hours.  If I start the stock before I go to bed, it is ready by the next night after dinner, when I have more time to strain and jar it.  Ladle the finished stock into jars (I’ve also used our leftover BPA free plastic bottles, if I’m planning on freezing the stock).
I use a strainer set into my funnel, and that lets me strain and fill at the same time.

This delicious stock is the mainstay of my family when we are sick.
It calms tumultuous tummies, soothes sore throats, and gives our aching muscles a relaxing heat from the inside out.

Enjoy!

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12 thoughts on “Immune Boosting Chicken Stock

  1. I never thought of adding those kinds of herbs to my stock! I always add kitchen herbs, so I don’t know why this seems like such a difference, but I’m definitely going to try it next time I make stock. Do you think it would work with other kinds of stock too?

    • Joanne –
      Absolutely! I use chicken stock simply because it was traditionally the “cure-all” for sickness, but I do think tossing the immune boosting herbs into any stock you’re making, especially if you’re sick, is a great idea.

  2. Great recipe!! I can’t wait to try it! I normally make the recipe from Nourishing Traditions.. but I love the idea of adding immune boosting herbs to the stock!

    Also – why wouldn’t you freeze the stock in mason jars? They are great for freezing, provided you leave enough space at the top… (i just use the plastic lids for them, instead of the metal)…

    • Hi Trace – I like having some of each kind of stock, some plain, some with the immune-boosting herbs. :-)

      I don’t freeze in mason jars because I ALWAYS break mine. :-/ It doesn’t matter if I fill half-way, cool down beforehand, or skim the fat off the top. I have yet to have a jar make it thru. We have access to plenty of BPA free bottles from our Organic Pastures milk, and I like to reuse them rather than just tossing them in the recycle bin. :-)

  3. I don’t know which ‘BPA-free’ plastic containers you’re using, but ‘BPA-free’ these days usually means ‘made with Bisphenol S’ (BPS). No better, and possible worse, than bisphenol A.
    I say skip the plastic.BPA/S isn’t the only nasty thing in there.

    • These are actually BPS free as well – and I’m far less apprehensive about it since I’m only putting cold liquid in and then freezing it. Thanks for your concern, though.

  4. Pingback: Shiitake Mushroom Soup to boost your immune system | BayTree Wellness Center

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