Making your own chicken stock is incredibly easy. Now I am kicking myself for not making it for all these years. But in the last month I have made two batches, basically for free. And it is thick and rich and doesn’t contain any unneccessary additives. For example, the brand I used before contained “chicken flavor” (what the heck does that mean, anyway?) and honey (why does this need sweetening?). The brands with salt have a ridiculous amount — 15 to 20 percent of your daily recommended amount of sodium per cup. Yikes! Some brands contain MSG or weird preservatives. And they are still expensive. Why pay $3 a carton when I can make twice as much with scraps I was going to throw away anyway?
So now I am a convert. Please try this just once, I promise you too will change your thinking!
- 1 chicken carcass or about a pound of scraps (I have seen this for sale at the grocery store, usually in a package of necks & backs. This will be dirt cheap.)
- vegetable scraps (onion ends, parsley stems, dried out baby carrots, mushroom stems, peels, cores, whatever. I save mine up as I go in a zip-top bag in the freezer.)
- Put everything in a pot. Use enough water to cover everything.
- Simmer, lid on, for at least 3 hours. You can go as long as you want, until the bones dissolve if you so desire (this is probably a little extreme). Add water as necessary to keep everything submerged.
- Strain out the solids. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in small batches. Skim/scrape off any solidified fat if desired.
My favorite method is to cook a chicken in the crock pot, then make stock in the crock pot overnight on low. Couldn’t be simpler!