A note on chicken stock (or ‘bone broth’):
In our family we value chicken stock quite highly. It takes up the majority of space in our freezer because we won’t ever have a roast chicken and not make a good stock up afterwards. My auntie sees is as being respectful to the animal, which is fair … but it also makes total sense. Once you’ve had homemade stock, throwing a chicken carcass away becomes sacrilege; there’s a lot of goodness in them bones.
If you haven’t ever made your own stock and cooked with it, you may not feel you’re missing out. It’s fair enough because there are plenty of off-the-shelf options that might deter you from wrestling with chicken bones. You might have tried the real deal and felt that it didn’t bring as much flavour as the shop-bought stock cube like I did when I first switched to homemade stock. I later realised the ‘flavour’ I was missing was salt. Everything else was much more delicious, natural and better for me and with a few twists of salt, my auntie’s recipe for stock has seen my trusty old sodium filled stock cubes banished from our larder. What’s more, those little cubes, shop-bought gravy, bouillon… they all make good use of onions quite often. If you’re going to live low FODMAP, you need a good stock in your arsenal.
How to make chicken stock low fodmap
Rule no 1: no onions. We’ve experimented with putting the green parts of spring onions in, which definitely works, but we’ve found that you can make a really tasty stock from one chicken, some bay leaves, thyme, carrots, celery (the amount absorbed into the stock wouldn’t amount to 1 stick, which is the low FODMAP limit) seasoning and of course, water. Takes less than ten minutes to prepare and it can be stretched so far in cooking, we should all have a tub to turn to in my opinion!
You will need:
carcass of 1 chicken
3 carrots, unpeeled, roughly halved
2 sticks of celery, roughly halved
3 or 4 bay leaves
3 or 4 sprigs of thyme
In a large, deep pot, fry your carrots and celery in some garlic oil. Add the herbs, bending the bay leaves slightly first so that they crack but don’t tear up. This will just help release their flavour and oils a bit.
Let the carrots caramelise slightly, at which point you can add the carcass. Season well and top up the pot with boiling water. This can bubble away on a medium heat for five minutes before putting the lid on the pot and popping into the oven on a low heat. It can stay in the oven on a low temperature for a really long time, we often leave ours in for at least 5 or 6 hours.
When ready to remove, take the pot out of the oven and drain the stock through a colander into another pot / large jug and you have a healthy, natural, good old fashioned chicken stock! I’m not sure how long this would keep in the fridge, but we always freeze in portion sizes or big batches, ready to defrost when we need it.
7 ways to use superstar stock
2. A base for almost any soup
3. Add to vegetable ratatouille
4. Add a bit to your mashed potatoes (really)
5. Cook your rice and polenta in stock for a more flavourful base
6. Gravy base
7. Add to pie fillings