This is a bonus post!!!!
I was going to include this recipe with tonight's menu post, but I figured that I should have this as its own separate post so it will be easier to find. If y'all are anything like me, you will be using this chicken stock recipe ALOT.
Today, I planted my tomato and pepper plants. My edible garden is coming along. I am so excited!!!
|These are my little tomato plants and my pepper plant is in the green pot. (Fingers and toes crossed that they will thrive.)|
|As you can see, my herb garden is not the beautiful thing that you see in commercials and movies, but the herbs are yummy and it is close to my kitchen.|
|Maybe next year I will work on making this more beautiful, but for now, I am happy that these have survived through the winter and are providing me with fresh herb goodness for my recipes.|
The chicken stock that we are making from the roast chicken carcass from last night's dinner has been simmering in the slow cooker for over 12 hours and is smelling divine. This is one of the reasons why I love having roast chicken as a regular meal (I cook one about every two weeks.) They are delicious, make several meals, and I can make chicken stock from the carcass. Considering how much I use chicken stock, this is a definite win. Chicken stock is not expensive, but the one you make yourself is better tasting and you can control the amount of salt that you use. Which means that you have the power to control how much salt that goes in your dishes.
Here is the SUPER EASY way to make your own chicken stock
How To Make Chicken Stock in the Slow CookerSorry, I don't have any pictures for this, but there really isn't a lot to show.
Bones from 1 roasted chicken (Depending on the size of your crockpot, you may need to cut the carcass in half
(If you want a milder chicken stock, half the rest of these ingredients. This amount makes for a very hearty and flavorful stock.)
2 medium yellow onions
4 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
1 head garlic with the top cut off
3-4 sprigs time
1 tbsp. kosher salt, optional (I prefer the taste, but if you want a salt free stock, don't add the salt)
I usually just use the ingredients above to make my stock, but sometimes I add these items to give my stocks different flavors
1 bay leaf
whole pepper corns
6-quart or larger slow cooker (see Recipe Note for smaller slow cookers)
Coffee filter or cheesecloth, optional
Small containers for storing the stock
- Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker: Place the chicken carcass in the middle of the slow cooker (if it does not fit in your slow cooker, break the carcass into pieces so it all fits). Loose bones, like drumsticks, can be tucked inside the chicken carcass to save space. Roughly chop the vegetables and scatter them around the chicken. Add any of the herbs that you have decided to use.
- Cover with water: Add enough water to cover the chicken bones. It's fine to fill to within an inch of the top of the slow cooker. (You want to add as much water as you can before danger of spilling over because you will lose about an inch to 2 inches of fluid during the cooking process.)
- Cook for 24 hours: Set the slow cooker to "low" and cook for 24 hours. If you don't have the time to do a whole 24 hours, put the ingredients in the slow cooker and allow to simmer overnight for at least 8 hours. (You don't have to do it overnight, you can do it during the day, I just like to start it overnight so that I can have it simmer as long as possible.)
- Strain the stock: Set a strainer over a large bowl. Use tongs to transfer the big bones and vegetables from the slow cooker to the strainer. When only small bits remain, pour the stock through the strainer and into the bowl. Using a large spoon, mash the vegetables and bones against the strainer to press out the remaining liquid and flavor. If you'd like a cleaner, clearer stock, clean out your strainer, line it with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and strain the stock again. (I don't worry about a cleaner, clearer stock, but I thought that I would give you the option.)
- Store the stock: Divide the stock between several small jars or storage containers. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the stock in ice cube trays, each cube can be 2-3 tbsp. of stock per cube depending on the size of your tray. My ice tray gives me 3 tbsp. per cube. Once the stock is frozen, remove from the tray and put into a resealable freezer bag. When you need to use them, you can just grab them out of the freezer and pop them into your dish.
- Stock in smaller slow cookers: You can certainly make stock in smaller, 3-quart slow cookers! Just break down the chicken carcass into a few pieces using kitchen shears to save space. You may also want to reduce the amount of vegetables to make more room. This will make a very intense stock — you may want to thin it with some water before using.