Introduction: Slow Cooker Chicken Stock

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Chicken stock is simple to make at home and tastes so much better than the stuff you get at the store. Making stock is even easier if you use a slow cooker. You can ever make it in your sleep! :D

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
That's it! Pretty simple, huh? You don't even really have to use fresh ingredients - I keep bits of carrots, celery and onion frozen as well as chicken bones to use for later.

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!

I typically cook my stock for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low. :D

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.


Step 3: Finishing the Stock

Depending on when the stock finishes cooking, I finish it in different ways.

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:
  1. cool the stock in the fridge to allow you to spoon off the layer of fat
  2. use a slotted spoon to remove the large bits of vegetables and chicken
  3. 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!
You can also pass it through a piece of cheesecloth if you want the stock to be a little clearer, but I never worry about that. :D

Step 4: Storing the Stock

Keep the stock for 3-5 days in the fridge, or freeze!

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!