Making your own chicken stock is easier than you think. All you need is a crock pot, a few vegetables, and some water, and you are on your way to the most delicious chicken broth ever!
When I was young, married, had kiddos, and started trying to learn how to make everything myself, one of the things I wanted to learn how to make was chicken stock. I did try a couple times, but it never really worked out like I thought it would. I had some cookbooks, and I tried to follow the instructions but…well, okay, I’ll just say it. They were intimidating. All this talk of straining and cheesecloth and capers and celery — UGH! Too much work.
So I did what all of you have probably done about 500 times over the course of your cooking careers – I bought stock, and should have bought STOCK in stock! I bought bouillon cubes. I bought bouillon powder. I bought regular stock when it was on sale and stored it. And I just never thought I would be able to make my own.
Fast forward to too many years later to admit and I’m tooling around on the internet, looking for something interesting I can do with chicken. Then I ran across an article on The Kitchn sharing a recipe for making chicken stock in the crock pot. What?! I could actually throw it all in and make it overnight?! No way!
YES WAY! I’m here to tell you, we had roast chicken that night (original, right?) and I had the carcass left. I’ve always hated throwing away the leftover bits and pieces, but never thought I could do anything with them. So that night I figured, “What do I have to lose? I am going to throw this away anyway.” I figured if I tried and it messed up, all I had lost was some water, a few carrots, and a couple stalks of celery.
I threw it in, turned it on, and went to bed. Next morning, I woke up to the delicious smell of simmering chicken. When I walked into my kitchen, the smell was amazing. I had made chicken stock! I was so excited!
So I decided I wanted to share that excitement with you just in case you’ve always felt as I did, that chicken stock was out of reach for you!
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
You will need:
- A crock pot
- Chicken – this can been the leftovers from a roasted chicken, chicken breasts, etc.
- Celery – probably 2 to 4 stalks, just rinse off
- Carrots – 3 to 4, no need to peel, just rinse off
- Onion – peeled and quartered
When you check out this recipe at The Kitchn, you will see they add herbs and other things. I didn’t have those items, so went with what I had and simplified, and it was still delicious.
Spray the crock pot with cooking spray (just makes clean up easier). Put the chicken in the crock pot. My chicken this time was a marked-down cut-up chicken. That’s the cool part — it doesn’t have to be newly bought, expensive chicken cuts. If you regularly buy marked-down chicken at the grocery store or butcher, you’re in luck!
Put in the veggies – celery, carrots, and onion. You can put the veggies under, around, and on top of the chicken.
Add water to the crock pot. I fill mine all the way to the top, so I can get the most broth for the buck!
Put the lid on, turn the crock pot to low, and walk away. That’s all you have to do ’til morning.
I usually let mine cook 12 hours or so. I have done less (when I have needed to get it strained and put in jars quickly). I’ve also done more (when I’ve been busy and um…forgotten about it!) But 12 hours is sort of my cut off point.
I put a mesh strainer over a large pot. I made the mistake once of using my Pyrex bowl and stock went EVERYWHERE. So now I make sure to have a big enough pot. Start dipping the vegetables and chicken out of the crock pot and put into the strainer.
Finish dipping all the veggies out and then you can either dip with a ladle, or pour carefully the stock from the crock pot through the strainer.
Once all is out of the crock pot, I let it stand for a bit and cool, and let all the wonderful stock finish dripping down into the pot. With this particular chicken, since it was a whole chicken, I pulled the meat off and kept it for a recipe later in the week. The veggies can go into the compost and the bones into the trash. If it had been a carcass, you could divide veggies from bones and dispose of properly.
Clean several quart jars. Carefully ladle or pour the stock into the jars through a canning funnel. It depends on how heavy the pot is for me on how I put it into the jars!
Once the stock is in the jars, wipe the tops and put on lids and rings. These jars are now ready to use. You can label the lids and then store in the fridge! I have 3 quarts of stock now – and it wasn’t that hard to do!
I think this is one of the easiest “make your own grocery” items ever. I love the fact that I can set it and forget it, and all I have to do is strain. And you have stock for soup, for cooking veggies, for doing WHATEVER you want – and you know what is in it. Plus, you made it yourself! For me, another plus, is if you do a whole chicken as I did, you end up with delicious meat for another meal! That’s a win-win for me!
So tell me, have you ever made your own stock? Was it easy? Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear about what you’ve done.
Let me know, as well, any recipes that you would like to read about on the blog!
Until next time