Nothing like homemade chicken stock
Want to make your house smell like grandma’s kitchen? It’s easy. Just make some slow cooker chicken stock. Here’s how:
- Collect a lot of chicken bones. For example, keep back the bones from 10 lbs. of bone-in cuts, or, the whole carcass of a picked-clean roast chicken. The more the merrier — chicken bones can accumulate quickly. A simple rule of thumb: if you can make a good pile of bones in your slow cooker, you’ve got enough to make stock. (We keep a bag in the freezer that’s just for chicken bones — when meat comes off the bone, the bone goes in the bag.)
- Bung the bones into a slow cooker. Fill it with water, and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Turn heat to low.
- Total cooking time for chicken stock… it’s kind of up to you. Part of what I love about making this stuff in the slow cooker is that you can let it bubble away for ages, and deal with it when you’re ready. The general rule of thumb we use is to slow cook the stock on low for 24-48 hours. We usually do 24.
- Cool stock, and strain through cheesecloth and a mesh strainer to separate stock from bones and chicken bits.
- Measure out as preferred. We measure out individual pints. We’ll put 2-3 pints into jars that we put in the fridge, for use over the next week or two. The rest of the cooled stock goes into freezer bags, one pint per bag. We note amount (1 pint), date, and “chicken stock” on the bags, then chuck ’em in the freezer.
- For your refrigerated chicken stock: use as soon as you can. If it’ll be in the fridge more than a few days, you can keep the stock from spoiling by boiling it for 10 minutes, cooling, then returning to the fridge.
Why make stock?
For us, having our own stock on hand really livens up cooking. At the heart of many amazing dishes — soups, sauces, grains — is a rich stock.
Stocks are rich in minerals and nutrients, so it’s an easy way to add more nutrition to soups and grains. Making stock also stretches your food dollar — why pay extra for storebought stock in the grocery store, when for a small amount of time and hardly any electricity you can make your own for pennies?
Do you make stock?
How do you like to make yours?