Chicken Stock

How, oh how, can I beg for people to start making their own chicken stock??  Not only is it easy and cost effective, it is delicious!

Note: all amounts are approximate.

To a large crockpot, add in this order:

bones of two chickens
4 ribs organic celery, cut into chunks (or the base of one bunch of celery stalks)
4 carrots, cut into chunks
one large or two small onions, chunked
2 t dried Mexican sweet oregano, uncrushed (optional)
10-20 black peppercorns
6-10 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1/2 bunch fresh italian flat leaf parsley (about 1 cup)

Fill crock pot with water until barely covering ingredients.  Simmer on low for 8 hours (or high for 4), uncovered for the last half hour.  Strain through a chinoise (then strain again through cheesecloth for really clear stock…but I’m too lazy for that step!).

Organic celery is much more flavorful, so if not using organic, increase celery to 6 ribs or add 1/4 teaspoon celery seed.  I freeze this stock in 2-cup containers; 4 cups takes forever to thaw and is often too much for a non-soup recipe.  To amp up the flavor, add chicken, celery, carrots, onions in the crock pot insert and roast in a 450F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and roasty-smelling.  Remove from oven; allow to cool, then proceed with recipe as written.  If the container is not cooled before adding water, the cold water could crack your insert.

To keep this as cheap as possible, I have a big container in my freezer into which I throw chicken bones until full.  I almost always buy whole chickens for economy (free-range organic is expensive!!), but if you’re using bones from thighs, wings, etc, it can take a while to have enough bones for a batch.  If my carrots/celery are starting to look less than fresh, I’ll throw them in the freezer too.  I make stock when I have enough rejects to fill the crockpot.

This stock is not only more flavorful than store-bought, it contains much more collagen- which makes the mouthfeel more velvety and recipes will require less fat as a result.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Taste: [rate 5]
Ease: [rate 5]

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