I'm sorry. I was on a roll. Did you know I used to write poetry a lot? I mistakenly told Husband that I once wrote a rap. Like, I thought I was going to be the first blonde white girl from Taylorsville, UT to be a RESPECTED rapper. He's fond of mocking me for it. And it's okay, because I deserve it.
Alright, back to the chicken stock. Have you made a roast chicken recently? Of course you have, because it's fast, easy, and a genius way to keep protein in the fridge all week. That guy above these words was made according to this recipe, which is genius. Like, crazy delicious. But when I need my roasted chicken to be fast and nearly completely hands off, I riff off this recipe to cook the chicken right in the crock pot. I seriously do this nearly once a week.
Husband loves it so he can eat chicken on toast, sometimes with cheese melted on top (gross, right?) I love it to make actual chicken salads and chicken sandwiches and BBQ chicken pizzas and to have ready made protein for quick pastas and soups.
Okay, so if you've made the crock pot chicken, the idea is that once you take all the meat off the chicken, you throw the carcass and bones/skin back into the crock pot (I hate the word carcass, and I'm sorry it has to be used.) In the crock pot already is the chicken drippings and onions on top of which the chicken has cooked. Add some veggies and a lot of water and some seasonings, and let it simmer on low overnight, or up to 10 hours. In the morning, remove all the large chunks you can, and throw those away. All their essence is in the beautiful stock!
Strain your stock into tupperwares or jars. This can get messy, so I always do it over the sink. Do whatever works for you!
And you, too, can have healthful, homemade chicken stock! See, easy peasy. I use it in so many applications. Soups, sauces, pastas... You'll be amazed how often you use it up. Also, see how it's gathering that layer of fat on top? That's okay! You can spoon that off if you'd like, but even better is to let it harden in the fridge. Then, when you go to use the stock, removal is simple. Just break the surface and scoop it right out. Bonus: that layer of fat helps keep any bacteria from getting to your stock.
Crock Pot Chicken Stock
(makes about 8-10 cups, depending on crock pot and chicken size)
1 chicken carcass (skin, bones, tough meat)
Chicken drippings, including 1 onion, roughly chopped
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
2-3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1-2 Bay leaves
1-2 teaspoons Thyme
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Put chicken carcass, drippings, veggies, and seasonings into crock pot. Add water, filling crock pot to about one inch below the pot lip. Set the crock pot on low for 10 hours, and let simmer.
After 10 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove bones, veggies, etc. Put these into a plastic bag to be thrown away. Set a mesh strainer/sieve over a tupperware or glass jar. Using a measuring cup or bowl, scoop out stock and pour through strainer into tupperware.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.
Before using stock, be sure to spoon fat off the top. Any seasonings that might get through the strainer are fine, but will settle to the bottom of your jar, so just be sure to not use that last tablespoon or so of dregs.
P.S. If you're vegetarian, you can totally use this same method. Except instead of using a chicken carcass and drippings, just throw a ton of veggies/veggie scraps (like peels) into the crock pot with all that water.