I have a simple recipe for you today. In fact, it’s so simple that I never considered it “blog-worthy.” But the other day, after whipping up another batch and getting it ready to freeze, I realized that my method for making chicken stock is so easy that everyone should hear about it.
This rich and beautiful stock is the base for nearly all of my soups and chilis. I use it to make my risotto. I use it in braises. The long-simmered flavor comes from overnight cooking in the slow cooker. Though it’s doing its thing for hours, it literally takes five minutes of active prep time. Plus it makes use of that chicken carcass you’d otherwise toss in the trash (even the one from that rotesserie chicken you picked up when you were too tired to cook dinner).
Throw that in your slow-cooker, along with the limp carrots, celery and onions at the bottom of your produce drawer (I’m on to you…) and you’ve got your next meal well on its way to homemade awesomeness. By the way, have you ever read a lable on the back of store-bought chicken broth? Not only is it a huge source of hidden gluten, but it has SO MANY unnecessary and yucky ingredients.
The only problem with this stock is that the warm, cozy fragrance of soup simmering away all night sometimes makes my tummy a bit growly come morning. That’s a small price to pay…promise.
This is the easiest way imaginable to make your own fresh chicken stock. A few minutes of your time yields rich and delicious stock that you can use in all of your soups, braises and chilis.
- 1 chicken carcass, picked relatively clean
- 4 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 stalks of celery with leafy greens attached
- 1 onion, peeled and chunked
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, optional
- Place the carcass, carrots, celery, onion, bay, peppercorns and salt (if using) in a slow cooker and cover with water (fill to one inch above the chicken).
- Cover, set to low and simmer for 12-24 hours.
- Cool slightly and carefully pour through a strainer into a bowl. Ladel broth into jars or another stoage container, leaving a couple of inches of head-room. If desired, chill in the fridge for several hours until the fat congeals at the top (I never do this as I like a little extra fat in my stock). Scoop the fat from the top, cover and use within 5-6 days, or freeze for 6 months. After that it's still safe to eat, but won't be as flavorful.