I’ve called this chicken stock, but that’s purely because that’s how I tend to use it. But broth, soup, stock; it’s all the same really.

I’ve written about the benefits to healing diastasis recti here, but this stuff really is packed with of all kinds of goodness. It’s full of gelatin, which is a digestive aid, and the collagen in it is the building block of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, and it promotes healthy skin and hair. Although be aware- some of the benefits of collagen are a bit over-sold: you can’t absorb it whole, but the protein from the amino acids it breaks down into is crucial for any form of healing.

They don’t call it Jewish penicillin for nothing! Chinese Medicine practitioners use it to treat illness, the Victorians’ drank ‘beef tea’, and don’t forget Russian borscht! And it’s not just tradition: this study by Dr Stephen Rennard at the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section of the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, found it has anti-inflammatory properties which help to ease symptoms of upper respitory tract infections and colds.

I’ve been making my own chicken stock for a while though, purely as a way to use leftover bones after having a roast chicken, and because it’s an easy way to make stock for other recipes, instead of using store-bought stock cubes.

Here’s how I make it.

  • I put the leftover chicken bones in the slow cooker (you can use a saucepan if it’s easier. I just like the slow cooker and often cook my whole chicken in there anyway.)
  • I add a selection of veg. Usually a celery stalk or 2, a few onions, carrots, garlic, make leek, then salt, and I quite like thyme.
  • Cover with water.


  • Put the slow cooker on low overnight, so it looks like this:


  • In the morning strain the liquid. The longer the better when it comes to cooking time, as it gives the bone more time to break down.


  • When it has chilled I scrape the fat off the top, then store in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for a month or 2. I usually have 1-1.5 litres worth which I divide in to containers.

I have also shared a recipe for beef broth here.

I love love love my slow cooker, and this is one of my go-to recipes for it. My day always feels a bit happier when I know I have a yummy dinner already cooking, partly because I’m looking forward to it, and partly because I feel a bit smug for being organised.

It also means I don’t have the ‘witching hour’ hanging over me, when I announce I need to go and cook and they need me to play with them right now and hang off my leg pleading ‘stop cooking mummy’ (I try not to take that too personally). And if I do play and postpone dinner it only gets worse as their hunger builds.

So, the burning question: DID MY CHILDREN EAT IT? One ate the chicken. The other refused, and then his gran gave him some bounty bar, so any hope of later success was dashed.

In the past they have enjoyed this dish though (with the offensive olives removed), but it seems to be more popular with mash, despite the fact that these potatoes were all buttery and crispy and yummy.

As with most slow cooker recipes, I do either 8 hours on low or 4 on high, and this all went in after breakfast.

Ingredients (enough for 3 adults and 2 small children):

  • 6 Chicken thighs.
  • 1 onion, sliced.
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed.
  • Small bottle white wine.
  • 80ml chicken stock.
  • 80ml passata.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar.
  • Dried parsley.
  • Couple handfuls of sliced black olives.
  • Green beans as desired. Or peas.

(I only had dried parsley, I would have used fresh or dried basil or fresh parsley otherwise.)

Heat some oil in a frying pan (I use coconut oil) and brown the chicken. Put in the slow cooker.

Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes, then pour in the wine and reduce by half. Add the herbs, sugar and paste.

Transfer to the slow cooker and stir in the stock (I used homemade this time, from the freezer, so I’ve no idea if I actually used 80ml, but it looked about right) and passata (again homemade).

Add the olives and green beans (or peas. I think the kids prefer peas) about 10 minutes before you serve. Season to taste.

I usually serve with mash, but I fancied crispy potatoes, so I sliced and boiled them before tossing in flour and frying them in butter.