Homemade chicken stock is super easy to make and totally delicious. The best part is that you can control the ingredients so you can make it organic or natural and you can control the salt. I love to make my own chicken stock to use in homemade soup, to cook with in several of my dishes, and to saute vegetables, just to name a few. If you use antibiotic free, vegetarian fed, humanely raised chicken you’ll have clean, real food chicken broth which is the building blocks of so many things! Plus, it is made from parts you throw away! So, it is a frugal freebie! STOP PAYING FOR CHICKEN STOCK IN A BOX!!
There are so many ways you can go about making chicken stock, here are just a few. The first way is the easiest. I use all of these methods and variations depending on what type of chicken I have.
Chicken Stock #1
:: Using a Rotisserie Chicken or the remains of a Roast Chicken ::
After you have gotten all the good that you can out of a rotisserie chicken or homemade roast chicken (eating it as is, using leftovers to make sandwiches, casseroles, and quesadillas) place all the scraps and carcass into your slow cooker (crockpot) and cover with water. Turn your crockpot on high and let it go for several hours (the better part of a day or even overnight). What you want to happen is the is remaining small pieces of meat to fall of the bone and there to be very little waste (ie: bones).
Strain the chicken through a mesh strainer to remove any sharp bone pieces and meat. Refrigerate the chicken stock for 24 hours. In the meantime pick through the meat and bones to salvage any remaining meat (you’ll be surprised how much there will be). The meat will be good for casseroles.
After the chicken stock has been refrigerated the fat will float to the top. You’ll need to scrape the fat off the top. Once the fat has been removed you can put the chicken stock into containers that you want to store in the freezer. I like to freeze mine in containers that hold about the same amount of chicken stock as a can. This makes it easy to use in recipes.
Chicken Stock #2
:: Using a Whole Raw Chicken ::
Since antibiotic free, vegetarian fed, humanely raised chicken is so expensive I typically buy the whole chickens to save a good deal of money. (Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the most expensive cut). With the help of my mom (I am still learning so she oversees!) I cut up the chicken into pieces – legs, thighs, breasts, wings). Sadly, my family is a white meat chicken family. I have learned to use the thigh meat in casseroles, tacos, or other dishes with heavy sauces or ways to camouflage it. I save the skin, backbones, and legs to make chicken stock. Note: You can totally make chicken stock minus the legs and use the legs for something else, I just don’t use them for our main meals.
Follow the same procedure as Chicken Stock #1 -
Place all of the raw chicken in the crockpot and cover with water. You can also throw in a few celery stalks, an onion, and some carrots to flavor the stock if you want to. (I don’t always do this but if I have some carrots and/or celery a little past their prime but still usable I’ll throw them in with an onion). Cook for at least 4 hours.
Strain the stock, pick through the meat, refrigerate, and skim as noted in the first recipe above. Then you’re ready to freeze it so it is ready any time you need it! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much flavor homemade chicken stock has!
*Thanks to Skinny Taste.com for the photo