Sunday, January 15, 2012

Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock

Did you know you can make homemade chicken stock 1) with rotisserie chicken and 2) in the slow cooker?  This is the least painful way to make delicious, healthy, cheap, homemade stock.  It's only slightly painful with the cooling and the straining and straining again....

Since I've had so much homemade stock on hand, my meals have been even more tasty.  There really is a difference between homemade and boxed!  Lemon Chicken Paillard and Phake Pho are 2 dishes I've made with the homemade stock, but I have the rest in the freezer waiting for a snow day to make chicken noodle soup, tortilla soup, or chicken and dumplings.


I had the bones of 2 rotisserie chickens in the freezer (you can use any kind of chicken bones, even the neck, ick), so I tried it 2 different methods: stove top and slow cooker.  And good news! Even though the slow cooker method took much longer, the resulting stock was exactly the same as the stove top stock. You do need a big crock pot, though (I have a 7 quart).

Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock

bones, skin, and extra meat of a rotisserie chicken
yellow onion, cut in quarters, skin on
4 large carrots, cut in quarters, not peeled
2 bay leaves
4 celery ribs, cut into quarters
4 whole cloves of garlic
20 whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
spring of fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley or 1/2 tablespoon dried of each (except parsley)
cool water to cover

Place everything in the slow cooker.  Don't bother to peel or chop too well because everything is discarded at the end. Cover with cool water, set slow cooker on low, and let it go for 8-10 hours (or longer). 

When the stock is finished, remove all the big stuff with a slotted spoon and discard.  Strain the hot stock first with a fine mesh strainer.  Then, place cheesecloth in the fine strainer and strain again (you can also use thick paper towels) to remove all the tiny bits. 

Pour the hot stock into a large bowl to cool.  Place the bowl in the sink with cold water and some ice to speed the cooling process.  When it's room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place it refrigerator overnight.  When the stock is cool, the fat will solidify on the top.  Remove and discard the fat.  Transfer the cold stock to small containers or Ziploc bags to freeze.  Will keep in the fridge for a week and the freezer for 3 months.