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Chicken stock is one of those things that everyone knows that they should make themselves. That if they did, in fact, make their own that it would be practically free.
Making chicken stock seems like a daunting task because good chicken stock takes forever on the stovetop. It just sits there, barely bubbling the day away until every ounce of deliciousness has been sucked out of chicken pieces and a few aromatics and turned into liquid gold.
The cooking isn’t the hard part, the time is the hard part. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time that I spent the entire day at home. It just doesn’t happen that often.
We are busy people with busy lives and it’s hard to fit something as basic as chicken stock into our daily doings. So we, like most busy people, buy chicken stock or, at the very least, chicken bouillon.
The thing about store-bought stock or chicken bouillon is that it is mostly salt and not much in the way of flavor. There are some good chicken stocks out there, but they are pricey, almost as much as a whole chicken per quart. With soup season upon us (hooray!) having a good chicken stock is essential to a really unctuous soup.
What is Double Stock?
Double stock means that you are basically making a stock with stock. This process gives you a deep, rich base for any soup or stew. If you don’t have stock already, then replace the called for stock here with water.
I highly recommend double stock for your next batch of chicken noodle soup. Chicken stock is easily attainable by using your slow cooker. I like to start this in the evening around dinnertime so that it is done by breakfast the next morning.
My crock-pot seems to run a little hot and my stock will start to bubble away at the LOW setting, so I get it started and then turn it to the WARM setting before I go to bed. Too much bubbling will lead to a cloudy broth so try to keep your stock at just barely a simmer, so adjust to your crock pot as best you can.
Straining Your Broth
When your stock is finished, you’re going to want to strain it. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove all of the large pieces from the stock and discard them.
You can then pour the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a large container and place in the refrigerator to cool before freezing.
Skim any hardened fat off the top of the cooled broth before using or storing.
Storing Chicken Stock
The easiest way is to freeze your stock. Simply pour your cooled stock into zip-top bags and lay flat in the freezer. Once frozen you can store them upright so they don’t take up much space. They will keep in the freezer for several months.
You can also pressure can your stock if you are so inclined. It’s not difficult if you have a pressure canner. The Ball Preserving website recommends 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. If you aren’t familiar with pressure canning, check out our post on it here.
- 2 chicken carcasses or 8 chicken wings
- 2 carrots cut into large chunks
- 2 stalks celery cut into large chunks
- 1 large onion halved
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 t. dried sage
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 quarts of low sodium chicken stock store-bought or homemade
- Water to cover
- Place all of the ingredients into a large crockpot and cover with water. Set the crockpot to LOW for 4-6 hours. Turn to the WARM setting and continue to cook for 4-6 more hours. Strain the broth to remove the carcasses and vegetables. Refrigerate until fat solidifies on top. Remove the fat with a spoon or ladle and discard. Store the broth in gallon Ziploc bags and freeze.