Homemade Chicken Stock

Cook stock overnight, strain in the morning and refrigerate during the day. When you return home, the fat will have congealed on top of the stock and you can skim it off. Transfer stock to heavy-duty zip-top plastic bags in 2 cup increments. Label and freeze until ready to use. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Because I have 2 large slow cookers I like to buy a slightly heavier chicken and split it between them. I split the ingredients (adding a little extra) and fill them both with water to about a 1/2-inch below the lid.

SLOW COOKER (large – minimum 6-qt.)          Yield: 12 cups

4 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken parts

3 onions, coarsely chopped

4 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped

4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

6 sprigs parsley

3 bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

optional salt

12 cups water

  1. In slow cooker stoneware, combine chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, salt, if using, and water. Cover and cook on High for 8 hours. Strain into a large bowl, discarding solids. Refrigerate liquid until fat forms on surface, about 6 hours. Skim off fat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Tip – the more economical parts of the chicken, such as necks, backs, and wings, make the best stock.

Note – I usually discard loose skin before cooking. You can also save the chicken, rather than discarding it, for sandwiches or another dish if you like. Be sure to pick out bones.

from The Healthy Slow Cooker, by: Judith Finlayson

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