Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Home Made Chicken Stock (in the slow cooker)
One of the things I'm trying to improve on is using less canned goods in my household. They are easy to use and overly accessible so it's easy to go to them whenever we are making dinner. Canned goods also contain extra sodium that is used to preserve. Having too much salt is of course something many of us are guilty of.
One of the easiest ways to use less canned goods is to eat fresh. Use fresh fruit or fresh vegetables. Steam your vegetables to make them into a side dish at dinner time. You can add a little salt but at least this way you are able to control how much salt you are adding.
The same thing goes for chicken stock. It's so very easy to go buy a large can of chicken broth or stock and use that. You can get the low sodium versions to reduce the sodium but it's still processed to stay on the shelf for longer periods of time. If everyone knew how easy it is to make your own chicken stock, I think more people would do it. It does take time and some planning but the effort is well worth it. You will fall in love with the flavor of your home made stock. You can also tweak it to add whichever herbs and spices you and your family particularly love!
I made this in the slow cooker. You can make it on the stove but I decided not to simply to make my life easier. One warning though. This cooks for 24 hours in the crock pot and your house will smell ridiculously amazing the entire time. I also did not take step by step pictures but it's just that easy to do.
1 whole chicken with bones *
1 stalk of Celery
2 large Carrots
1 whole Onion
1 head of garlic, roots cut off but leave the skins on.
Salt and Pepper to your taste
1 Tbs. Dried Parley
* You do not have to use the whole chicken. If you make a roasted chicken, save the carcass. Stick it in a freezer bag and save it until you have a couple of them. A couple of carcass's will work wonderfully for this as well! What a wonderful way to use up everything!
First chop up your veggies. Nothing fancy here. A large rough chop will do.
Add your chicken to the slow cooker. Then add all your veggies around it. Salt and Pepper and then add your parsley.
Fill the slow cooker with water almost to the top of the chicken. Being that it's a whole chicken, there's a good chance it will make a bit more liquid so don't fill the slow cooker to the top with water.
Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for 24 hours. No need to stir or lift the lid unless for some reason the water is going down then add a bit more water. My water did go down while I was sleeping. I blame this on my lid. It wasn't centered on right and so it was venting all night long. Oops.
The next day take the chicken out with some tongs. It's going to fall apart and you will lose pieces in the stock. No biggie! You may use this chicken for sandwiches, casseroles, or soups. It will be very tender!
Next strain the stock with a mesh strainer into a bowl. It will get all the spices, bones or chicken that are left in there.
The stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for future use.
One other note: The fat that is left will float to the top of your containers once you let it sit. I skimmed that off so that there was barely any fat in my stock.