Crockpot Chicken Stock
Every week or two we take advantage of the Tuesday Rotisserie Chicken Special at Whole Foods. A whole free range rotisserie chicken for $5.99. Not too shabby! To increase the value and decrease waste I save the bones to make chicken stock.
I store the bones in a plastic “zipper” bag in the freezer until I have collected enough bones. Two birds are about the right amount of bones in my opinion to make a wonderful concentrated stock. Though you can make stock with one bird’s worth with great results.
Here is how I prep my bones for freezer storage.
1.Cut all of the meat off of the bones. Place the chicken carcass and any stray bones into your freezer bag, Store the bag in the freezer.
3). Cover the bones with cold filtered water. Cold because this allows the flavor and nutrients to be fully extracted from the bones, and filtered because you really don’t want chlorine or fluoride in your stock. Though I am sure the chlorine would evaporate off.
4). Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (I usually use apple cider) and allow to sit for about an hour. You really need to do this to allow the minerals to be extracted from the bones. I usually start this before I start cleaning the kitchen after dinner. You know me always multi-tasking.
5). Turn the slow cooker to low and allow to simmer overnight. I usually let it go for about 18-24 hours. My husband always laughs in the morning when I do this. “It’s like a chicken sauna in here!” The chicken smell is disarming in the morning since I usually associate chicken with dinner.
6). Once it has cooled a bit, strain chicken stock using a colander, sieve or cheesecloth.
7). Let it settle and cool completely in the fridge. Don’t be alarmed it will look like chicken flavored Jello. You want your stock to gelatinize – this indicates it is not only delicious, but extremely nutritious too.
8). Skim the fat off the top of the stock if desired. Don’t get your panties in a bunch if you miss some. DO NOT STIR, some sediment will settle on the bottom. It doesn’t hurt you, but I like my stock pretty and clear. Yes, I am a little OCD.
9. Now this step it’s up to you. If you anticipate using the stock with in a couple days just store it in an air tight container in the fridge. I personally like to freeze my stock.
10.) Freezing stock. There are many schools of thought about this step. In my opinion it depends on how you are going to use the stock. I have used ice cube trays, but I find it hard to know how much stock I am adding to recipes. Lately, I have been freezing the stock in 1/2 c quanities in the bottom of several 32 oz yogurt containers. Pop the stock discs out and store in a plastic freezer bag.
Once you start to homemake stock it is very hard to go back to the flavorless, over priced, over salted, water downed box stock. Plus it’s great to know what is going into the food sustaining your family. No MSG in this stock.
So next time save your bones!