My friend Jen over at How to Peel an Onion got me started on making my own stock. Yes, it's great for soups and stews, but with summertime approaching, I use it as a water substitute, especially when cooking rice. Chicken Stock is super good for you and cooking it in the crock-pot requires zero attention and zero culinary skills! This is a non-cook's dream!
The How-to for Crock-Pot Chicken Stock:
- Bones (meaty is fine) from a roasted chicken; giblets and/or organs are optional
- apple cider vinegar
- salt and some peppercorns to taste
- bay leaf
- garlic cloves
- vegetables --celery, carrots, leeks, onion (optional for flavor and added nutrients)
Turn to low and let cook for 24 hours (the long cook time = more health benefits). That’s it!
Strain the stock and allow it to cool. The fat will rise to the top and the stock will become more jelly-like as it cools. You may want to skim the fat off, but know that you're actually getting rid of good, healthy fat. The stock lasts a few days in the fridge and 6 -12 months in the freezer.
Some of the Health Benefits:
- Homemade bone stocks are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals which are essential for optimum health.
- Bone stocks also contain glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin--good for joint and arthritis pain.
- It's good for digestion and lines the gut with a protective mineral coating.
- Boosts the immune system (the ultimate cold remedy--chicken soup).
The Quality Cheap Breakdown:
I bought the chicken so I might as well get the stock for FREE! Homemade chicken stock also has the nutrients that are often lacking in store-bought, MSG added stocks. I can save anywhere from $3-$5.