With the cold damp February weather upon us, what better way to nourish and warm our body than with a comforting chicken stew.  Not only is it delicious, but chicken broth is loaded with amino acids necessary for collagen production, supporting bone, joint and intestinal membrane health and is rich in potassium and several other important minerals. Grandma was right! Chicken broth is loaded with nutritional benefits!

Ingredients:

Leftover bones and skin from a cooked or raw chicken

Celery, Onions, Carrot, Parsley or Bay leaves, Salt, Pepper

Directions:

1. Put leftover bones and skin from a cooked chicken carcass (or a whole raw chicken) into a large stock pot or crock pot and cover with cold water. Add celery, onion, carrots, parsley or bay leaves, salt and pepper. If broth will be used for chicken stew, then broth can be prepared by simply adding onions, sea salt and bay leaves, then the carrot, celery and other veggies will be added in when cooking the stew.

2. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface. If cooking in a crock pot, cook according to crock pot instructions, generally 8-10 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high (ensure that chicken is cooked thoroughly if cooking from raw).

3. Remove the bones and strain the stock. Separate all additional chicken from the bones, and reserve for the stew. If skin from the chicken has been boiled with the bones, putting the stock in the fridge overnight will allow the fat to rise to the surface of the broth and can be skimmed off the following day.

4. To a large stock pot add broth, reserved cooked chicken, 2-3 bay leaves, 2-3 chopped celery stalks, 3-4 chopped carrots, any root vegetables of choice, including potato, turnip, rutabaga or celery root, sea salt and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil, and then adjust to a low boil for 30-45 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Add garlic for an immune system boost, or dark green leafy greens shortly before serving for added nutritional benefits! Simmering this for additional time just makes it even more delicious!

Enjoy!

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