Healthy & Gluten Free

Author:           Updated August 5, 2018
Categories: Soups - Stock    

This is a delicious and easy basic chicken stock, that you can use for many recipes that call for stock or broth. It takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare, and you can cook it anywhere from 1 hour to 12 hours.

Chicken stock in a clear glass bowl with carrots and onions
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 10 minutes      Cook time: 1:10 to 12 hours      Makes: 6 cups      Difficulty: Easy

Gluten free Dairy free

The longer the stock cooks, the more nutrients are cooked out of the bones. If that's what you would like, then let it cook up to 12 hours. When cooled, it may be more gelly like; that's an indication that more nutrients have been extracted from the bones. It may also have a layer of fat, and this should be used, as it contains a number of healthy nutrients, and contributes greatly to the flavor.

When refrigerated, use within 2 days.

This can be frozen and will keep up to 3 months in the freezer. A good trick is to premeasure it into the amounts you may be likely to use. You can also premeasure it into an ice cube tray, with 2 tablespoons of stock. When frozen, transfer the cubes to a bag. You now have convenient and easy to use stock that can be used in recipes that call for stock or broth.

It is important to use salt. This is vital to extract the most flavor from the chicken and vegetables. Only skip it if you have some very special reason to exclude it.

You can increase the amounts used to make more stock, if you have a big enough pot.

Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

You want to find organic chicken, preferably direct from a farmer.

The best would be to buy from an organic farmer, who truly allows the chickens to roam free. The highest quality is produced from chickens that eat a truly natural diet by picking at the ground. They should not be fed a grain based chicken feed. This is far too different than what they would eat in a truly natural environment.

There is just so much wrong with the way chickens are kept for the vast majority of farms in the US. This produces inferior food for us. Making the effort to find this kind of chicken will pay off big time in your health.

You may be able to find this kind of chicken at farmers markets, or small health food stores.

Watch out for a lot of gimmicky marketing in relation to chicken, such as Omega 3 chicken. These are from chickens fed grain based chicken feed, so will actually be harmful to you. There's even vegan fed chickens. This is just a really stupid gimmick. They are fed a grain based chicken feed, and fully prevented from being able to pick at natural ground (since they'd eat things not vegan). And if you're eating chicken, it's not vegan. If it sounds gimmicky, walk away.

The health benefits of this kind of meat is well documented, and well worth the extra cost.

This is a nice article about real, free range chickens:

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Onions are on the EWG Clean 15 list of the least contaminated produce. They rank 5th on their list. However, they have not been tested since 2012. At the time less than 10 percent of conventional onion samples contained any pesticide residues. No conventional onion samples contained more than three pesticides. They should be purchased as organic.

Carrots are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 26th out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Celery is listed as #10 on the EWG "Dirty Dozen" list (2018). More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticides. A maximum of 13 pesticides were detected on a sample of conventional celery. They should be purchased as organic.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

You want to find unrefined salt, with no additives. It should say unrefined on the label. If it is refined, it will simply say salt. Refined salt does not need to list the chemicals used in the refining process, but the word "refined" will tell you that something was used (and most are toxic).

Look for unrefined sea salt, Himalayan salt, or various gourmet hand crafted salt.

Good sea salt should be unrefined, and will not be pure white.

There is also Himalayan salt that many consider a healthy source of salt. It is generally unrefined. There is some debate as to the quality, and the exact makeup of the other minerals found in it. If you find a source of it you like, then go ahead and use it. It's largest benefit is that it does not have added chemicals, and has a wide range of other minerals. If you want the other minerals, then this is a good option.

There are a number of different gourmet salts that are hand crafted via evaporation that are nice quality. With some investigating, you can find very clean, uncontaminated sources.

For additional reading on salt, check out this article on our site:

Ingredients:
1/4 Chicken, with bones and skin
1 Onion, quartered
1 large Carrot, quartered
4 stalks Celery with leaves, quartered
1 tablespoon Sea salt
Directions:
  • Fill a pot with about 2 quarts of cold water. Turn on high heat.
  • Place all ingredients into pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a light bubbling simmer. Cover. Cook for 1 to 12 hours. During the first hour or two, skim off any bubbly foam that forms.
  • Check the water levels every couple hours, and add water if needed. Once you are more used to making stock, you will have a better idea of how often to check it, or how much water to add if you don't want to check it too often. You can add more water and make more stock if you want to.
  • When done, carefully scoop out the solid ingredients. Discard the vegetables. You can use the chicken, though it is often quite bland after being used to make stock. It can be used in casseroles or other mixed dishes that have other strong flavors.
  • Let cool so that it's safe to handle, and won't burn you, but still warm or hot. Strain the stock to remove all the floatie bits.

You now have a lovely and delicious homemade stock that you can use in any recipe that calls for stock or broth.

Enjoy!

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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.