Homemade Chicken Stock
The introduction of meat into my own daughter’s eating felt extremely daunting. However, the progression from pureed fruits and vegetables to protein is an important one; especially for babies between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. To start, I simply added a measure of this homemade chicken stock to her vegetable purees, to enrich them. For me making stock for my daughter is now a relaxing process and is a weekly ritual in itself - the prep time is no more than 10 minutes.
x1 whole organic chicken, jointed into 8 pieces with skin removed
3-4 litres of filtered water
x4 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
x1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
You can also add - a parsnip for sweetness, or a stick of celery for depth of flavour
prep time 10 mins ~ cooking time 2.5 to 3 hours
Prep all the vegetables: wash, peel and cut into large chunks (use organic where possible). Place chicken pieces (all skin removed) in a large cooking pot, add the vegetables and parsley; cover with filtered water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that rises to the surface and discard, trying not to remove too much of the cooking water.
Loosely cover and simmer on a low heat, or cover and place in a low oven, for 2.5 - 3 hours.
The stock should be golden in colour and the chicken and vegetables should by now be completely cooked. Take the stock off the heat and immediately strain the liquid stock; from the meat and vegetables, into a large bowl. Do not leave the stock unstrained and sitting on the side; immediately discard all bones and vegetables. You should be left with a clear golden stock.
Once cool refrigerate, this can be done overnight. When completely cooled a thin layer of fat will have developed on the surface of the stock, skim off this fat with a large spoon and discard. You will be left with a delicious light golden stock, which is ready to use. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays, which are really useful.