Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock in the Crockpot

Soup season is here and after a long, beautiful summer I am once again turning on my poor neglected oven. When I looked in my freezer last week to get some stock for a recipe, I realized I was out of my homemade chicken stock and the thought of buying it at the store just didn't appeal to me. Luckily, my grocery store had Perdue Oven Roasters on sale at .79/lb and I had a coupon for $1.00 off $10.00 meat purchase, so I purchased two 7 lb. roasters.

There is nothing like roasted chicken on Sunday afternoon for dinner. It is so easy to roast a chicken. I simply stuffed the cavity with a lemon, cut in half, a big handful of flat-leaf parsley from our garden, salt and pepper. I rubbed the outside of the bird with some butter and sprinkled more salt and pepper on top. I placed some red potatoes around the chicken and topped them with lemon slices, parsley and a little salt and pepper. I popped the bird in the oven and roasted at 375 degrees for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. The nice thing about Perdue is that their roasters come with pop-up thermometers that let you know when the chicken is done. Otherwise I would use a meat thermometer and roast the whole chicken until it reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees. The thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the cut of meat without touching the bone, per Perdue's guidelines.

This is my chicken right before it went into the oven...
and unfortunately I forgot to take a shot when it was done roasting and before we dug into it. We devoured quite a bit of the chicken for dinner. I did have enough meat left over to make chicken salad for sandwiches for our lunches for the week. We really look forward to lunch when homemade chicken salad is on the menu.

A disturbing shot of the carcass after my husband cut it up. He loves that job.

I put the chicken bones in the crock pot with a whole onion, chopped into quarters. I didn't have whole carrots, so I threw a handful of baby carrots in the pot. I also added a whole head of garlic sliced in half, a few of the lemon slices from the roasting pan, a couple of celery stalks with leaves, cut into big chunks, a couple of bay leaves, a large handful of parsley sprigs, a few grinds of pepper and about a Tablespoon of salt. I didn't add too much salt, because I salted the roaster before popping in the oven. I filled the crock pot with water and turned it on LOW and left it on overnight.

The next morning when I came downstairs, my kitchen smelled so good and this is what I found. Sorry for the yellow glare.

Next I strained the stock through a sieve and pressed the ingredients down with a spoon to get as much flavor as I could into the finished stock.

Liquid gold...I let the stock cool down and then I put it in the refrigerator until the next day. At that point, I skimmed some of the fat off and put into freezer containers and into the freezer for future use. I use containers of different sizes: 32 oz, 16 oz and 1 cup.

This bowl is 4.5 quarts. I estimate that I made about 4 quarts as this bowl is not all of the way full with chicken stock. I priced store-brand chicken stock at .50 for a 14.5 oz can and brand name stock costing up to a dollar. Four quarts = 128 oz, so I made almost 9 full cans of stock and saved at least $4.50. I didn't take into consideration all of the ingredients that went into roasting the chicken and making the stock. I had everything already on hand except for the lemons. $4.50 may not seem like a lot of savings, but I will do this through out the fall and winter, because we use a lot of stock during those seasons. And the flavor of store bought just doesn't compare to homemade.

Making your own chicken stock is very easy and really stretches your grocery dollar. Things to remember when making your chicken stock:

  • Look for sales on roasting chickens and figure out your "buy" price. In my area, .79/lb is a good price.
  • Find a recipe for roasting chicken that you like because those flavors will carry into your stock.
  • There are tons of stock recipes online, but I use simple vegetables that usually can be found on sale and in my refrigerator.

Do you make your own homemade chicken stock?

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  1. I just went to a friend's blog and she did this in a crockpot and I wrote how I don't know why I never do this and make my own, especially after always having a carcass after buying rotisserie chicken if I didn't make my own.

    Great tips!!!!!!!!!1

  2. I have been looking for a recipe to do this and yours sounds great!! I can't wait to try it!

  3. Looks great and relatively easy! Thanks for the tips!
    marybeth at www.babygoodbuys.com

  4. I've made chicken stock on the stove but love the idea of making it in the crock pot. I'll have to give it a go!

  5. This sounds delicious and pretty easy too. Small savings like that add up and make a difference in the end. Plus you know exactly what went into your stock. No secret or unwanted ingredients! I'm wondering about how long you cooked it in the crock pot. Also wondering if this can be done with a whole chicken that has already been cooked in the crock pot as opposed to oven roasting.

  6. Thanks for all of the comments.

    Alison - The crockpot was on for at least 12 hours. And it is funny that you asked about making stock after you have cooked a whole chicken in a crock pot, because I posted a linked today, 10/9, about a crock pot whole chicken recipe that I want to try. I am going to try to make stock afterwards. I don't see why it wouldn't work


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