The slow cooker is my favorite method for making chicken stock because I can leave it alone for long periods of time and it won't heat up the house. Doing it this way also keeps my stove top open for all the other things I'm always making.
There are a thousand ways to make chicken stock, but this is the way I always make it!
Step 1: Ingredients:
- one chicken carcass (preferably one that has been roasted - one that's been used for chicken soup won't be very good!)
- one yellow onion, cut in quarters, skins intact but ends removed (the skins add great color!)
- few cloves of garlic, crushed, skins removed
- two carrots, peeled, broke into several pieces
- two stalks of celery, broken into pieces (plus the leaves!)
- seasonings of choice
- water to cover
I like to use some whole peppercorns, a little salt, a pinch of thyme and some poultry seasoning in mine. But you can also forgo all those things for a super basic chicken stock you can season according to what you're cooking. :D
And when it comes to slow cookers, I've got this one and I love it! Big enough for a TON of chicken stock.
Step 2: Cooking!
Just chuck all the veggies and the chicken in the slow cooker and cover with water. It's really that easy! Don't even have to stir it.
BOOYAH KITCHEN MASTER
Step 3: Finishing the Stock
If it's late at night or I just don't feel like fussing with it, I'll just pop the whole thing in the fridge to let the fat firm up on top. If I'm still feeling ambitious, I'll strain it and then put it in the fridge to let the fat firm up.
There are three important steps here:
- cool the stock in the fridge to allow you to spoon off the layer of fat
- use a slotted spoon to remove the large bits of vegetables and chicken
- pour the stock through a strainer to remove the rest of the pieces of veg and chicken - this is especially important to get rid of any small bones!
Step 4: Storing the Stock
I like to freeze mine in quart size mason jars because that's nearly the perfect amount for most soups and I can easily defrost it in the microwave. :D The pint size jars are good, too!
I've also frozen the stock in ice cube trays and then transferred them to a ziploc for storage. Those are great for deglazing pans!