16 years ago – that’s when I purchased my Crock-Pot (with a removable ceramic crock – how I’ve managed not to break it all these years is unbeknownst to me). Btw, Crock-Pot is Rival’s brand name for slow-cooker so the terms are referring to the exact same appliance. I initially purchased my crock-pot so that my first grade students and I could make applesauce together in the classroom. Even though I’m an appliance
junkie collector, my slow-cooker had definitely been under utilized because my family and I aren’t typically one-pot meal eaters. However, thanks to the internet, I have recently discovered that LOTS of things can be made in slow-cookers including chicken stock. Did you know that you can roast a whole chicken in the slow cooker? You know what’s even better? Without washing the pot, you can make chicken stock.
Not only is chicken stock easy to make, but it’s very healthy. Most likely you’ve heard more than once in your lifetime that chicken broth/soup helps heal colds. I don’t personally have evidence of the particular health benefits of the soup, but homemade broth is definitely healthy since chicken bones contain minerals that are infused into the resulting stock such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulphur to list a few. The broken down cartilage & tendons infuse the broth with glucosamine and other supplements typically used for joint pain. I had absolutely no idea that something so simple could be so nutritious!
- chicken carcass, bones etc. (basically any part(s) that you’d throw away)
- herbs/seasonings of your choice ~
- 1-2 Tbl vinegar (apple cider or white) ~ optional
- water (filtered is preferred, but use what you typically drink)
Place the bones etc. into the slow cooker. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Add water to the top of the veggies. The slow-cooker should be approximately 3/4 full. Optional: Add the vinegar to the cold water and allow to sit for 1 hour to help extract the minerals from the bones.
Turn the slow-cooker on low and allow to simmer for 12-24 hours. Allow the stock to cool, strain, and then store in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s up to you, if you want to skim the fat off the top. Also, some people freeze the stock in ice cube trays, then store the frozen cubes in ziploc baggies.
Kitchen Tip: When cooking dinner save the scraps from carrots, celery and onions; the parts that would typically get thrown out. Put them in a re-closable baggie, freeze them and use them in the broth.
note: the terms stock & broth are used interchangeable… however, I believe that stock is the concentrated form that broth is made from ~ I say toe-may-toe, you say ta-ma-toe
So far, I’ve made Chicken Divan, Bacon & Potato Soup, and Macaroni ‘n Cheese with the chicken stock 🙂