Soothing Sipping Stock

By • January 13, 2015 6 Comments

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Author Notes: During winter catching a cold or flu is an almost inevitable situation. This recipe is my attempt to stave off illness, or if it's too late, soothe and nourish yourself through it. It's packed with nutrients. The wings and bones provide a rich, meaty, background flavor as well as amino acids, gelatin, and minerals. I incorporated a variety or aromatics for their flavor as well as potential nutritive benefits. A host of alliums, fennel, ginger, and cloves add layers of flavor, but also have anti-inflammatory or other immune-supportive properties. It's a soothing and satisfying broth to sip out of a coffee mug or thermos. It's perfect for the days you know you need nourishment, but can't bear to actually eat. For days where you have an appetite, it would also make a great broth for a noodle soup.hardlikearmour


Makes about 2 quarts

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons avocado or other neutral oil with a high smoke point
  • 1 pound chicken wings, halved at the joint
  • 1 pound meaty pork bones (beef are fine, too)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • stalks from 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (use the bulb elsewhere)
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separted and lightly crushed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus additional to taste
  • 4 to 5 inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • greens from 1 large leek (use the white and light green parts elsewhere)
  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds (1 heaped tablespoon is perfect)
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns (black or white)
  • 10 whole cloves
  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. When it starts to shimmer add chicken wings. Cook until well-browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to large plate. Add the bones to the pot, and cook until browned over most of their surface, another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to plate with the chicken wings.
  2. If the pot seems dry, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and fennel stems. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the vermouth, and cook, scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits that have accumulated, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to low, and add the wings and bones back to the pot. Cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the wings have released their juices.
  3. Add 8 cups water, garlic, and bay leaves. If the bones and wings are not mostly covered, add 2 cups of water. Increase heat to high until broth reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Maintain a very gentle simmer for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, re-cover, and simmer an additional 30 or more minutes. After about 30 minutes start tasting every 10 to 15 minutes until you are happy with the flavor the aromatics have added. (I stopped at about 60 minutes). Salt to taste.
  5. Strain stock into large bowl. I used a colander to get the large bits, then a straining bag to collect the small stuff. Transfer back into the (cleaned) pot or a wide shallow container, to help increase the surface area for cooling. Once cooled to room temperature, transfer to the fridge. When the fat solidifies, skim it off the surface and portion out the stock into suitable storage containers. Store any that won't be used within a few days in the freezer.
  6. Heat as much or as little as desired to fill a mug or thermos. Sip and feel better!

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