Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to make chicken stock in your crock pot the lazy way

Here's the thing, I'm cheap, I'm busy, I'm picky and I'm tired. So I like to put in as little effort as possible to get really good results. I have applied this to my chicken stock recipe as well. I came up with this idea several years ago and then consulted Google, cookbooks and blogs and then decided just to wing it. I crafted a delicious and very easy recipe for chicken stock that I really enjoy. I have used it in all kinds of recipes, but my favorite way to use it is in chicken noodle soup.

I make this the lazy way. It cooks in my crock pot either while I am sleeping or while I am at work. It takes about 5 minutes to throw everything into my crock pot and I get about 3 quarts of chicken stock as a result.

Word of warning for the true tightwads: you can only use the bones once. We will be getting every last good thing from those bones so if you try to use them again the results won't be good. Trust me. I know from experience. ahem.

Here's what you will need:
Really big crock pot
chicken bones from roasted chicken
2 stalks of celery (not the bunch- the individual pieces pulled off of the bunch)
1 cup carrots (can use whole carrots or whole baby carrots)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
7 whole peppercorns
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
Water to fill to top of crock pot

Throw bones in bottom of crock pot. Wash celery stocks and place on top. No need to cut them and keep the leaves on. They taste good. Wash carrots really well. No need to peel or cut them if you are using whole carrots. Throw them in the crock pot. Cut onion in half. Leave skin on. This is the lazy way, remember? Throw in the crock pot. Throw in 4 cloves of garlic. Don't peel them just throw them in. Throw in paprika, peppercorns and salt. Then fill with water to the top. Cook on low until you have time to deal with it but at least 8 hours. I have cooked for 10 hours and then kept warm for several hours. You basically can not mess this up.

Remove the crock and let cool for about 30 minutes so that you can better handle everything. Use a straining spoon to remove everything that isn't liquid from the crockpot. Throw it away.

Put in a container (I use a pitcher and a mason jar) and put in the refrigerator overnight (or while you are at work if you cooked it overnight). The very little tiny bit of fat in this will rise to the top. Spoon it off and throw it away.

There you have it- wonderful, flavorful and easy chicken stock. If you keep things like carrots, celery, garlic and onions around the house this should probably cost you less than $1. You can store this in the refrigerator for 5 days or you can freeze it until kingdom come. I freeze it in plastic bags and then I lay them flat. That way I can just stack them up. I put 4 cups of stock in some bags and 2 cups of stock in other bags. Those are the amounts that most recipes call for.

Optional things that you can put into the stock at the beginning:
Italian Seasoning

I hope that you enjoy this "recipe." This is part 2 of a 4 part blog series entitled: 1 almost 5 pound chicken, three meals I hope that you will check out the first posting below.

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