With such an overabundance of fresh produce, I keep canning everything I get my hands on. My favorite thing to have on hand is homemade chicken stock. I sampled my first Crock Pot Freezer Meal... and while the ingredients were good... it lacked the robust flavor I'm used to since I opted to use a flavorless high-sodium store bought chicken stock.
Incidentally we had not one, but two, roast chicken carcasses in the refrigerator. This is a common occurrence at our house. We often grab a rotisserie chicken at Fresh Market for lunch or dinner.
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 1 leftover chicken carcass with some meat still on
- 2 large carrots (I prefer organic or fresh from the garden or farm). You can't believe the difference in flavor!
- 2 large celery stalks - with leaves (once again, I prefer organic)
- 2 large yellow onions - quartered - leave the skins on to add to the gorgeous color of the stock
- 2-3 bay leaves
- freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes
- Fill the pot with water. I probably 8-12 cups of water per chicken (use more than you think necessary - it will reduce as you simmer it!)
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar - helps draw the goodness out of the chicken bones.
In a large stock pot, place the chicken. Pour the water on top. Add the apple cider vinegar. Chop up the vegetables and add to the pot. Season. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 hours. Remove from heat. Pass chicken stock through a strainer to remove all meat, bones, and vegetables. The water will reduce a great deal during the cooking. You will be left with a rich, robust, flavorful chicken stock which is perfect for cooking. I pour mine into pint and quart jars. I've ordered a pressure canner for the proper canning of soup stock, but in the meantime, I fill my mason jars about 2 inches from the top, add the lids, and freeze them until I need them.
My friend Joanne taught me the trick about using the apple cider vinegar. I can't impress upon you what an impact this has on the flavor of the chicken stock. It's the magic ingredient and I wouldn't make it any other way.
This stock is so good - you almost feel better just smelling it! After I made this batch on Tuesday, we had a delicious chicken risotto for dinner last night just so we could use some of the fresh chicken stock.