Little Tree Farm Style Chicken Stock – Durham Farmer’s Market

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There is no better way to start a weekend than with a trip down to the Durham Farmer’s Market. I really dig our small market and the opportunity to meet with local farmers. Early arrival is key if you wish to grab goods before pickings become slim. Making the trip early becomes difficult when I decide to bring along my slow as molasses wife and 8 month old son.  This would be our first trip to the market as a family and believe me, landing on the moon was a much smaller feat. We set out about 11am and quickly began browsing the stalls before the noon closing time. After stopping by and having the opportunity to speak with John and Dale of Little Tree Farm, it was a given that we would bring home a chicken for stewing.  Dale spoke about her background as a retired poultry veterinarian so its safe to say the couple is extremely knowledgeable about the best ways to raise healthy chickens sustainably. They offered a recipe on how to make chicken stock and my wheels immediately started to turn.  A few stalls away Spain Farm was selling gorgeous shitake mushrooms, they also offered a recipe and as luck would have it, this recipe called for chicken stock!


Below is John and Dale’s recipe for chicken stock. Its a great recipe and you can spice it up to you own personal taste.I made more than the recipe called for then poured 32 ounce portions into ziplock bags and placed in the freezer for future use. A couple days later I used the broth to make a Pumpkin Shitake Risotto with pancetta but we will get to that tasty nugget next week.

Little Tree Farm Chicken Stock

1 Little Tree Farm Stewing Chicken, rinsed, reserve liver for another use

2 quarts water

2 carrots, 2 onions and 2 celery stalks, rough chopped

½ bunch of parsley

2 leeks, well washed, green tops only, rough chopped, optional

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Put the chicken (including feet and heart, if available) in a large heavy pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a simmer and skim off the scum. When no more scum rises add the remaining ingredients and simmer slowly on low 3-5 hours or more. Do not boil hard as this can toughen the meat. Add more water, as needed, to keep the meat covered. Start checking the meat after 1 ½ to 2 hours at a slow simmer. Keep testing every ½ hour until the meat is very tender. Be patient. It will go from very firm to very tender after long slow cooking. When the meat is very tender (starting to fall off the bone) remove the pot from the heat. Remove the meat from the bones and place in a bowl. Cover the meat with some the broth and refrigerate. Return the bones to the pot and continue simmering until all the flavor and goodness has been rendered. Discard the bones. Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the broth squeezing the cooled veggies. If you are not planning on concentrating the stock further than season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Use immediately in another recipe, refrigerate or freeze for later use. Enjoy!

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Categories: Recipes, Soup


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  1. Pumpkin-Shitake Risotto with Pancetta and Pine Nuts – Spain Farms | La Buena Vida - April 12, 2013

    […] upon John and Dale Fluke of Little Tree Farm. They had an some chickens at their stall along with a chicken stock recipe. The wheels started turning in my head when I realized a few stalls down Spain Farms was selling […]

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