Friday, February 22, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Stock

Yesterday I finally got around to roasting a chicken, and just the day before I had used my last quart of chicken stock. Good timing I suppose! Anyway, we picked the bird almost clean last night and dumped it in my crock pot.

Here's the exact recipe I used:

  • chicken bones from roaster
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 bay leaf
I threw all that in my big crock pot, and covered it all with water and went to bed. The next morning it looked like this. 

I turned off my crock pot to let it cool, and had some coffee and got my kids started on their school work. It probably sat for about an hour.  Then I got some cheese cloth and started straining while I got my mason jars boiling in another pot to sterilize them. I set up my cheese cloth in a mason jar so it would hold still while I poured the stock through. 
Lots of directions you'll find on the internet say you need to skim the fat off the top after it cools. I'm not patient enough to wait for it to cool that long, so I use a gravy strainer. The fat rises to the top pretty quickly and I can get a move onto the next step.

Storage choices! You can freeze the stock just fine in zip lock baggies. I don't like to freeze mine for two reasons. One, ziplock baggies aren't very eco-friendly. I'm supposed to be the green momma, so I try to avoid this process unless I'm stressed for time. I also don't like to freeze them because I have to actually think ahead of time and thaw it out when I need stock to use. For you though, I did one, and stuck it in the freezer. You're welcome. :)

For those who like to can, stocks need a pressure canner. Water bath canning doesn't get hot enough to safely store it. Freeze your stocks if you don't have a pressure canner. If you do, chicken stock needs to boil with 15 pounds of pressure for 20/25 minutes.

While I canned I made my kids some to die for chicken noodle soup. Really hit the spot since they've both been under the weather this week.  I was able to put two quarts in storage, and I froze 5 cups of stock. Had I not made soup or frozen any this recipe probably would have yielded 4 quarts.

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