If you had asked me 6 months ago where Chicken Stock came from, I would have told you the grocery store. My experience with stock extended to cracking open a can and pouring it into my latest creation.
Of course, that was before Chopped and Appetizer Tours turned my husband and I into total food and flavor snobs. As we started to develop our palettes, I found myself very protective of the delicate sauces and flavors I worked hard to create in the kitchen, and frustrated by the uniform, heavily salted flavor of store-bought stock. I also started to mind my health more closely (marriage weight gain – the struggle is real, ladies!) and wanted to be able to control the ingredients in my dishes.
Homemade chicken stock may sound like something Laura Ingles Wilder would do out on the prairie, but it is actually super easy if you have a Crock Pot and a few quart-sized Tupperware containers.
Step 1. Roast a Chicken in your Crock-Pot
Crazy, right?? This is legitimate. The chicken comes out fall-off-the bone tender and the veggies have unreal flavor from sitting under the chicken while it cooked for 8 hours. Hot tip! Wrap the chicken a couple times in twine before cooking so that you can safely remove it from the Crock-Pot later. The chicken gets so soft that the act of getting it out of the Crock-Pot could actually cause the chicken to fall apart. Get the recipe here.
Step 2. Cook Chicken Stock in your Crock-Pot
You don’t even have to wash out the Crock-Pot! Just throw in all the Chicken leftovers (after you have removed the meat) and the flavorful ingredients you find in this great recipe. Let simmer on low for 8 hours. Get
Step 3. Store your chicken stock
This recipe will make about a gallon on stock. I like to just freeze it in plastic quart containers, available for about $0.50 from Amazon.com.
Step 4. Use and enjoy!
My favorite uses are wine reduction sauces, wintertime stews, and steamed mussels (a Joas Salas specialty). Yum! Just throw a quart in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and your stock is ready to use.
If you are a vegetarian, you can skip the roasted chicken part and just throw veggies and herbs in the Crock-Pot overnight.
If you don’t have a Crock-Pot, you can purchase the model I use from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I love it!