Making Chicken Stock

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of chicken soup, especially when it’s cold and/or wet outside.  To me, it’s comfort in a bowl.  And while my family & I can eat the canned soup from the store,  we would much rather have homemade soup.  It’s even better if you have your own chicken stock on hand to use.  It tastes much better and it’s a whole lot better for you!  When making your own, you control what goes into it and how much, especially salt content, and it doesn’t have all the preservatives in it that the store bought does.  “But, it’s too hard to make & takes up too much time!,” you say?  No!  You’ve got it all wrong!  Making a wonderfully tasting chicken stock is much easier than you think!  In fact, you can even use your Crock Pot!  Oh, yes, you can.  

Hopefully, you’ve already been saving the chicken carcass when you’ve had a roasted chicken or even the bones from when you’ve cooked chicken for another meal.  If not, make sure you do this in the future! You can throw them in the freezer until you’re ready to make stock out of them.  Same thing goes with any bones from meals that you’ve made.  They make wonderful stock. 

Also, make sure that you’re putting your veggie peels in a bag in the freezer, as well.  By this, I mean carrot peels, onion peels, ends of celery, potato skins, etc.  These add wonderful flavor to broths!  Instead of just throwing them away, why not get all the yummy nutrients out of them first?

Here’s what you’re going to need:

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (if there’s a bit of chicken left on the bones, it’s okay.  You’ll tend to that later.)
1/4 cup white vinegar
veggie peels from freezer
a couple of carrots, cut into about 4 to 6 large pieces
a couple of stalks of celery, cut into 4 to 6 large pieces
1 small onion, cut in half
giblets (optional)
1 bunch fresh parsley or 1 Tbs dried
approx. 16 to 20 cups water

1. Add chicken carcass, water, & vinegar to pot.  Allow to soak for 30 minutes.  (The vinegar is essential to pulling out all the wonderful vitamins otherwise locked away in those precious bones, particularly potassium, calcium, & magnesium.
2. Add veggie peels or veggies to pot, along with giblets.  (It’s okay to use older looking veggies as long as they do not have any bad spots on them.)
3.  Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 12 to 24 hours.  If using your Crock Pot,  make sure to cook it closer to 24 hours on high.
4. About 10 minutes or so before stock is finished, add parsley.
5.  Strain broth to remove bones & veggies, making sure to keep any remaining chicken meat that was attached to the bones.
6.  Allow to cool completely before dividing and freezing, making sure to remember to keep some out for the delicious soup that you were planning to make!
Here’s what your wonderful stock will look like when you’re done:

Hot Finished Broth

Mine still has to finish cooling so that I can put it in the refrigerator.  Once it’s completely cool, any fat will have risen to the top and harden so that you can skim it off & throw it away. 
Coming soon, my recipe for a yummy, juicy, tender roasted chicken!

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