This simple chicken stock recipe is a cinch to make in your crock pot and can be used in a variety of recipes!
I love making food from scratch, especially when the recipe is simple AND saves me money. Homemade chicken stock is one of those recipes!
But what is chicken stock? Isn’t it the same as chicken broth? Chicken broth and chicken stock are inter-changeable when you are using in a recipe. How they are made is where the difference is. Chicken broth is made using meat to boil in water. Chicken stock is made using the bones, cartilage and skin from the chicken. I prefer chicken stock as it is usually more flavorful and is another chance for you to get collagen in your diet. (Keeping your joints healthy is just one of the many health benefits of consuming homemade chicken stock)
This chicken stock is also a great way to use the leftover bones and drippings from the Crock Pot Roast Chicken that you just made! After you have cleaned the meat off of the bones, throw all of the skin, bones and excess meat right back into the crock pot along with any scrap veggies that you have and fill it with water. This is the exact reason of why I keep a resealable bag in the freezer to throw any scrap veggies or peels into. (onion skins, potato/carrot peels, asparagus bottoms, green bean tips…seriously the options are endless)
If you do this the same day that you made your roast chicken then that means you get to skip a crock pot washing! Am I the only one who just dreads washing that darn thing? Literally I have to mentally prepare myself to wash it. It also makes for the greatest surprise ever when Trevor washes it for me without me asking him to!
Or throw the chicken remains in the crock pot and put in the fridge until you are ready to make the stock!
I mentioned earlier that this chicken stock will save you money. These savings are two fold as it literally costs you nothing to make! You use scraps that would normally have been thrown away. Secondly, you will never have to buy chicken stock from the store again!
I could literally rave about this homemade chicken stock all day but I think you get the point!
How to Make It:
In your crock pot, place the chicken remains and any veggie scraps on hand. Fill the crock pot with water until it reaches an inch from the top. (this will start to boil and if you put too much water in it will boil over. Learn from my mistakes please!)
Turn your crock pot on low for the longest time period that your crock pot has. I usually let this simmer in the crock pot over two-three days. I place the crock pot in the fridge at night between simmering periods. You are more than welcome to run this overnight but just know that this will produce a strong chicken stock aroma. While this smell in no way smells bad, it can be annoying when you smell it at 3 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep. Try to have it cooking for a total time of at least 24-48 hours.
This is what my stock looked like after two days of cooking in the crock pot.
After you have cooked the stock and the crock pot insert has cooled, place the insert in the fridge overnight. This will allow any fat in the stock to rise to the top. Being in the fridge will also force the fat to harden and form a layer on top. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish out all of the fat from the top. The fat will form an off-white colored layer at the top so it is not hard to see!
I then pick out the veggies and discard (or throw in your composting bin!). Next I pick out the bones, skin and meat and store in a resealable bag in the freezer to use for the next time. I do this because I make stock more often than I buy whole chickens.
Finally, run the stock through a fine mesh strainer before storing in glass jars or resealable freezer bags.
If you are going to use this for any dog recipes, then DO NOT add salt to the stock. If you are using for human consumption only then add 1/2 tsp kosher salt to each bag or jar. I usually do one 2-3 cup bag with no salt to use for treats for Emmy and then the rest of the bags get salt. The stock will keep for one week in the fridge and three to four months in the freezer.
Tips for Making:
- If your plan is to freeze the stock, then use quart sized freezer bags and put 2-3 cups in each bag. I have used the gallon sized before and it is way more stock than any recipe will call for. The gallon sized are also a pain in the rear to try and defrost quickly or break off the portion size that you need.
- Write the date and portion size on the front of the resealable bag BEFORE you fill the bag.
- Use a funnel to get the stock into the bags or jars.
- Place bags on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Place in freezer until hard. The flat bags will be easier to stack and take up less space in your freezer.