Despite the groundhog sighting in early February, we’re still firmly in winter wonderland around here, with no sign of it letting up. The snow is as high as we can pile it and we have so much, there isn’t a ton of room for any more. Homemade soup tastes perfect when tired from playing outside in the snow, and lately I’ve been making a ton of delicious varieties! The one thing they all have in common? Easy Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock! It will blow your mind how easy this is to make, with ingredients that could really be considered “leftovers”!
I first learned how easy it was to make Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock at a cooking class at Kitchen Window in Minneapolis many years ago. The instructor was telling us how easy it was to make stock and we were peppering her with questions. She seemed surprised not everyone was doing this and that we thought we needed a “recipe”. This one is super forgiving and adaptable to whatever you have around, but in my early stages of cooking I wanted a RECIPE. A blueprint. Something in writing that I could follow.
Now, after about 10 years of making my own stock, I understand the instructor’s confusion. I mean really, you just throw what you have in a slow cooker and let it go for 24 hours or so. Simple right?
I do have a few tips to make this even easier though. First: no acidic vegetables. This isn’t the place for those leftover red peppers, green peppers, or tomatoes. Save those for another use. Also, I would caution you against using rosemary. After 24 hours in the slow cooker, rosemary can taste really medicinal and may be better added at the end, or not at all. Keep in mind this stock isn’t salted, so you have the option of adding salt, or my preference is to just add salt to the dish you are making instead.
That’s it. You’re ready to make to this at home!
Not ready to make stock on the day you eat your rotisserie or dutch oven chicken? No problem. Throw that chicken carcass in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer until you are ready. I also have a ziplock bag in my freezer where I throw my leftover carrot, celery, and onion scraps, as well as fresh herbs that are at the end of their lives. When I’m ready to make stock, I take out the chicken carcass, as well as the bag of scraps, throw it in the slow cooker and set it to low. Perfect way to use leftovers!
The amounts below are guidelines. Certainly your stock will turn out just fine if you add extra carrots, or don’t have any celery. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, when adding to the recipe you are going to use it in, make sure that you taste for salt as your homemade chicken stock does not contain any salt, and you will need extra to your dish.
Easy Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock
This is an easy, hands off, way to use your chicken bones to make a gorgeous homemade chicken stock! Free of any chemicals or preservatives, this chicken stock is pure goodness, perfect for using in soups or other recipes. Freeze so you always have homemade chicken stock available!
- 1 chicken carcass (I use the bones from a rotisserie chicken or dutch oven roasted chicken)
- 3 large carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 onion, rough chopped
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 12 cup water (or until your slow cooker is full)
Place the chicken carcass in a slow cooker. Add carrots, celery stalks, onion and thyme.
Fill slow cooker to the brim with water. Turn on low.
Cook chicken stock on low for 24 hours.
Allow to cool.
Using a colander, strain chicken stock into a large bowl. Discard solids.
Portion chicken stock into quart sized glass jars leaving an inch (or more) at the top of the jar. Screw on lids tightly.
Label and place in refrigerator if you are going to use within the week. If not using within the week, store in the freezer and use within 6 months.
If you are storing your chicken stock in the freezer, make sure there is at least an inch of room in the jar, otherwise the jar is at risk of breaking when it freezes.
When you go to use your homemade chicken stock, you will need to add salt to taste (as it does not contain any salt at this point).
Ways to use Homemade Chicken Stock:
Things you might need to make Easy Slow Cooker Homemade Chicken Stock (or the Dutch Oven Roast Chicken):
Slow Cooker. I use this relatively basic model. It’s inexpensive, sturdy, and has all of the features I need.
Canning Jars. These are an easy way to store your homemade chicken stock. Leave ample space if freezing. Fill to the top if refrigerating.
Thermapen. I have used many meat thermometers and this is by far the best one I’ve found. It is super quick, super accurate, and super easy to use. Hits the trifecta and it’s worth every penny.
Dutch Oven. My absolute favorite is my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I had to save up a little in order to get it, but I use it at least twice a week, so it has been well worth the investment.
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