Chicken Stock is essential to creating great recipes and homemade stock just doesn’t create delicious recipes, but it is also full of amazing health benefits. It is believed that stock or broth made from animals like chicken, fish or beef are magic elixir’s and can be a healing agent inside the walls of our homes. From building strong bones to nurturing the sick, this liquid gold is filled with nourishment that our bodies desire. Have a sore throat or feeling like you’re coming down with something? You can sip on this magic elixir like you would tea to assuage the soreness and build up your immunity.
“A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.” -Weston A. PriceWe are not talking about the kind of chicken stock found in cartons on grocery store aisles, Empresses! This is the good ol’ homemade kind…AND it’s simple to make! All you need are bones, water and an onion. That’s it! You can get creative with this adding in additional spices like 5-10 peppercorns, parsley, thyme, garlic and vegetables, such as carrots and celery if you wish, but we are keeping it simple with this one. Even without all of the extra’s this stock is delicious and full of flavor. The best part is that it’s inexpensive to make, and can be frozen for future use to ensure you always have plenty on hand!
Start with a whole cooked chicken. You can roast a whole chicken in the crockpot by just removing the insides and placing it in the crockpot and seasoning it with: 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon Thyme, Onion Powder and Cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and black pepper. Or, if you want to skip a step, just buy a rotisserie from the deli at your local grocer. Ideally, you will want to use an organic, free range chicken, however homemade chicken stock is SOOO much more nutritious than store bought boxed stock, that any chicken will work and be nourishing. Once the chicken is cooked or eaten, then it’s time to save the bones! My kids are constantly cracking up at that statement, because I always tell them to “save the bones!” as opposed to throwing them away like their used to doing! After eating, or once chicken is cooked and you have removed the meat, slice up an onion and place the bones in your crockpot with water and the onion. You can even just pull the meat off of the chicken, store it in some tupperware, refrigerate and use it for another recipe like chicken salad or my healthy, easy and fast Mexican Chicken Soup. Once done, pour the entire mixture through a colander and into a large bowl or pot. Then repeat the above step pouring through a colander and back into the crockpot. This will separate the liquid stock from the bones, onions and additional ingredients that it was cooking with. Ladle the stock into mason jars. I like to use a mesh strainer that fits over the opening of the mason jar, but this is totally optional. It can easily be done with a funnel or just ladled in. I also use a variety of 8oz, 16oz and 32oz jars that can be bought at any local retailer like Target, Wal-Mart or even your local grocer. You can refrigerate for up to a week, but it will be the freshest within 4 days. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months in an air tight container or in mason jars, but if using glass jars, make sure to leave a few inches from the top to keep your jars from breaking. TIP: pour the stock into 8 oz Tupperware type containers, freeze overnight, and then remove from the container and store in a plastic freezer bag. Place the bag of stock “disks” back in the freezer until you are ready to use them (make sure to date them on the bag to ensure freshness). This way you always have 1 cup ready to go for the next recipe you’re in need of stock.There are so many recipes to use your Chicken Stock, like braising meat and many of our crockpot recipes. I personally like to make homemade soups like our Broccoli Cheese, Butternut Squash, Chicken Noodle, and Vegetable Soup. I also cook rice in chicken stock, as opposed to water. It gives rice an amazing subtle flavor.Try this crockpot chicken stock out and let me know what recipe’s you use your chicken stock in! I love a new healthy recipe and we would love for it to be featured here on The Empire!