Making your own chicken stock couldn’t be easier. Homemade chicken stock tastes delicious, saves money and provides many health benefits. When you hear of people eating chicken noodle soup for it’s immune boosting powers they are not talking about Campbell’s soup. They are referring to the way chicken stock was made before over-processed soups landed on the shelves of every grocery store. Do a little research and you can read all about the health benefits of homemade stock.
Before you can make stock you need a chicken! I love to roast my own whole chicken because it is a very cost effective way to eat a healthy chicken. You can get inexpensive organic whole chickens at Costco. Or better yet if you have a local farmer that sells pasture raised poultry you can purchase whole chickens from them. Whole chickens are so much less expensive than any other way to buy chicken. And you have leftover bones, juices and skin for homemade stock when you’re done. There are recipes all over the internet for whole roasted chicken (in the oven or crockpot.)
If you don’t wait to make your own whole chicken you can always purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local store. Just be careful to watch the ingredients. Here are the ingredients of some of the rotisserie chickens I looked at this week:
Whole Foods: Chicken (that’s it – just chicken, and they are delicious)
Sprouts: Chicken, dehydrated garlic, rosemary, pepper and salt (just chicken and spices)
Kroger: Chicken, spices, sodium phosphate, maltodextrin, yeast extract (MSG), carrageenan, sodium diacetate, malic acid, sodium carbonate (Why is all that other stuff needed?)
Once you are done eating/pulling off all the chicken meat you are ready to make stock. You can either make it immediately or freeze the carcass and make it later. If you want to make the stock immediately and don’t have everything on hand don’t let that stop you! Chicken stock is made so many different ways. Just use what you have! Don’t have carrots? No big deal, just leave them out. Don’t have the spices listed? Use something different. Some people like to add vinegar to their stock because it helps pull the calcium from the bones. When I add it I only add 1 tsp because the smell is strong and my husband loathes vinegar. Another money saving tip – save the ends off of carrots, celery and onions when you use them. Just store those ends in the freezer and save them for stock. I have a bag in my freezer labeled: for stock. I throw vegetable left overs in there so I always have veggies on hand for stock.
Homemade Chicken Stock
chicken bones/carcass from one chicken
1-2 stalks celery
1 small onion, quartered
thyme (sprig or 1/2 tsp dried)
oregano (sprig or 1/2 tsp dried)
white or apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp – 1 T (optional)
salt, to taste
1. Put the chicken bones/carcass in the bottom of your crockpot. If you are using the carcass from a homemade roasted chicken you can add the juices in there too.
2. Add in the vegetables, herbs and vinegar (optional) and cover with water until there is about a 1/2 – 1 inch of room left at the top.
3. Cook on low as long as you can. Try for 10 hours or more. I usually start mine around 7:30 a.m. and go until after dinner.
4. Use a fine strainer and strain out all the chicken parts, vegetables, and herbs.
5. Store the chicken broth in the fridge for up to a week or freeze in freezer safe containers.
6. Use your stock in any recipe calling for chicken broth or stock or try it in my Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili.