Dana’s Pork or Chicken Stock Recipe

The secret to amazing pork stock?  The answer is trotters, aka pigs feet!  The same goes for chicken stock, it’s best with chicken feet.  Now don’t get all ewwww about it, the feet are perfectly clean.  You eat animals, they have feet, it’s really not a big deal. When we kill animals for food we should use every bit, nose to tail, because all those bits in between are full of health building essentials!  The reasons this specific part of the animal is so great for making stock are threefold:

1. Trotters especially are known for their gelatin, so when you simmer them for hours, they make a naturally thick, deeply flavorful stock that is soothing to the digestive system, full of cartilage repairing collagen and deep immune support.

2. They are cheap and plentiful.  For every hog that’s butchered, there go 4 more trotters.  Your local butcher or farmer can hook you up with feet for cheap, just ask!

3. Waste not, want not: chicken feet and trotters can certainly be deep fried into one of the best bar snacks you’ll ever eat but I’d argue that making stock from the bones and feet of an animal is the best and easiest way to use them.  And you’ll be sure you are making the most out of the food you raise or buy.

Bone Broth or Stock is relatively easy to make in large amounts, it just takes some time.  I eat a bowl of broth a day during the winter months, dressing it up with kelp, mushrooms and chickpea miso.  Or making traditional chicken soup.  You can also add frozen cubes of stock concentrate to all kinds of recipes to add deep nutrition and lots of flavor.  I recommend a bowl a day to stay warm and healthy til Spring.  Here’s the basic recipe and method my husband Dana uses-

Ingredients for 2 ½ quarts Chicken /Turkey /Pork Stock:

  • 5 pounds assorted organic, local farm raised chicken parts (2-3 pounds of feet plus backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed.  For pork stock, use the bones from your last roast plus several trotters.
  • Handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 medium leeks or one onion, chopped into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar, or 1-2 Cups wine/hard cider

Optional, but highly recommended for ultimate, health enhancing stock add:

  • 2-4 tongue-depressor sized pieces Astragalus root (available from mountainroseherbs.com)
  • Small handful dried Reishi and/or Maitake mushroom
  • 1-2 ginseng roots


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stockpot large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (about 3 quarts).
  2. Heat until bubbling, then reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). A slow cooker works well for this if you have one. Simmer for 8-48 hours.  I think the longer the better.
  3. Pass stock through a sieve into another bowl or pot, line the sieve with cheesecloth if you want clearer stock.  I never bother.  Discard the solids, I recommend composting them, or feed to your chickens.
  4. You can use the stock for soup right now, yummmm!
  5. If you are planning to store it without reducing it, stick it in the fridge or freezer.  The fat will rise to the top as it cools, and you can remove it, or leave it in. You can also boil the stock uncovered and reduce it by as much as 90%.  This makes for easier storage of large amounts of stock concentrate.
  6. Note: I use ice cube trays to freeze cooled stock.  Then I keep the cubes in a container in the freezer for use whenever I need.  It’s easy to make a cup of hot broth by adding cubes to a mug with boiling water or throw a bunch into soups.  Sometimes I sauté greens until almost done, then add a cube of stock to finish for extra flavor and health benefits.

Easy Italian Style Kale


Three different types of Kale, all of them delicious and nutritious!

Three different types of Kale, all of them delicious and nutritious!


I wrote the following recipe for my friend Jonathan.  He is thirteen and has taken an interest in eating well and trying out new foods.  He had never eaten kale before but when I told him he could season it to taste like some of his other favorite Italian foods he was willing to try it!  Kale can be grown all year-long in the Berkshires and it can be prepared so many ways.  I have a great Kale Chips recipe on my blog and there are literally hundreds of recipes on the web.  This hearty green makes an excellent addition to any diet.

Easy Italian Style Kale

Makes 2 generous portions in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients: all organic, all the time!

1 bunch kale, any kind will do! Ribs removed and ripped into pieces.

2 cloves garlic, minced or even better, use a garlic press and press directly into the pan when it’s time to add the garlic.

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more if necessary

½ medium onion, sliced into half moons

1 Tablespoon capers

5 – 7 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 Teaspoon each fennel and oregano

Sprinkling of hot pepper flakes

Splash of Balsamic

Salt, if necessary, to taste

The Procedure:

In a cast iron skillet heat the oil over medium heat and add the pepper flakes and fennel.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add the onion, capers and sun-dried tomatoes.  Cook until the onion is clear and wilted.

Add the garlic, stir to incorporate and then add the kale and the oregano.  Mix well so that the kale cooks evenly.  When the kale is wilted but still has a bit of bright green to it, add a splash or two of balsamic.

Taste, adjust for flavor.  Add more capers or herbs, more hot pepper and garlic or nothing at all!

Remove from heat and eat.

When I want to turn this side dish into a meal I will separately cook up some hot Italian pork sausage from Holiday Farm in Dalton, slice it and add it to the kale just before serving.  French lentils also work really well with this kale dish for a hearty vegan option or in addition to the sausage.


Cooked kale, ready to eat!

Cooked kale, ready to eat!