When it comes to making it yourself, chicken stock is one of those things that you may be tempted to say "why bother?" It's pretty cheap to buy, and the store-bought version is fine to use in most capacities. However, once you make your own, you'll definitely see the difference. Homemade stock is rich and flavorful. And what's even better - it's practically free to make. Here's my M.O. Whenever I roast a chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken, I pick all the meat and skin off, put the carcass in a big ziploc bag, and throw it in the freezer. I also save any scraps of veggies and throw them in the freezer as well - bits of carrot, that half of an onion that I didn't need, celery that's on it's last leg... you get the picture. I usually wait to make the stock until I have two chicken carcasses. Just to get more bang for my buck.
This is literally SO easy - I just start the crockpot at night, then the next morning, it's done. I transfer the dish to the refrigerator, then that evening I skim the fat off, divide it into 2-cup portions, and freeze. I have enough chicken stock to last several weeks-months. And by the time I deplete my stash, I usually have two more chicken carcasses in the freezer to use.
So not only are you saving money by not buying box after box of chicken broth, you end up with a far superior product, and you're being environmentally conscious - reusing the chicken carcass, saving yourself from throwing out past-its-prime produce, and saving on trash - no paper boxes or cans to throw away. Win, win, win.
Crockpot Chicken Stock
Pink Parsley Original
- 2 chicken carcasses, skin discarded
- 3-4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2-3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Tbs whole peppercorns
- generous pinch kosher salt
- small handful of fresh herbs - parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover with just enough water to submerge the chicken by 1-2 inches. Cook on low 12-13 hours. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavor.
Transfer the bowl of the slow cooker to the refrigerator for several hours. Skim the fat off the top, then strain the liquid through a colander that's lined with a cheesecloth. Divide the stock into whatever sized portions you prefer and freeze in ziploc bags or quart containers. I like to divide mine into 2-cup portions, for what it's worth.