Recipe: Free or $1*
Things you learn living in a studio apartment:
1) When Zac gets up at 6am, Caitlin gets up at 6am.
2) When you make overnight crock pot chicken broth/stock, you wake up at 3am thinking your neighbor is making fried chicken. True story.
So that’s what happened with my weekend. After making a super easy rosemary roasted chicken, I used the bones and juice and fat and scraps to make homemade chicken broth overnight. That smell is POTENT. We both woke up to the smell in the middle of the night. I’ve made it a few times in a pot on the stove, but obviously not in our brand-spankin’-new (large-ish) studio apartment – and it comes out about the same every time.
This is what you need to know: homemade chicken broth is the easiest thing you could ever make. It costs NOTHING. It’s good for you.
While I don’t have much against the $1.99 “free range organic” chicken broth found at the grocery store, I’ve yet to find a brand without added sugar, preservatives, or other questionable ingredients. Plus, when you make stock at home from chicken bones, it’s free! How’s that for frugal nutrition?
And I think this technically qualifies as “bone stock.” The difference between broth and stock is somewhat limited, with various definitions. Some say it depends on whether you season the liquid with salt and pepper, or whether you use the meat or the bones. I say it doesn’t matter much what it’s called, as long as it works. You’ll see vinegar on the ingredients list, which helps to break down the bones and make the nutrients in them more available. I believe lemon juice should have the same effect.
Unless you’re doing an insane amount of cooking, it’s a good idea to freeze the broth in glass jars (tips for freezing in glass), BPA-free plastic bags, or in your ice cube tray.
*You can also probably buy just the bones for about $1 per pound at your local grocery store.
Uses for Chicken Stock/Broth:
- Caramelized Fig-Onion-Kale Saute
- Cook rice, quinoa, other grains in chicken stock for added flavor and texture.
- Soups & Chilis – Or use unsalted stock to cook beans from dry, or to make refried beans.
- One-Pot Pasta (instead of water) – Add to sauteing vegetables to keep from browning or losing flavor.
- Bones, grease, skin, etc. from a chicken (We started with a 4-pound chicken, roasted it, then removed all the meat.)
- 8–10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Slow cooker
- Optional: lemon juice, herbs, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt
- Place all ingredients (bones, water, vinegar, etc.) in the slow cooker, and make sure the chicken bones are covered with water. (Add more water if necessary, and any additional ingredients like onion, carrot, celery.)
- Set slow cooker to low and cook for 8-12 hours. (I cooked ours for about 10 hours.)
- *Alternative stove top option: Add all ingredients to large sauce pan, bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 6-8 hours.
- Strain stock through fine sieve, and season to taste!
- *I keep my stock unsalted until it’s time to use it. This way I can cook beans from dry (without them taking forever to cook) or use it in dishes that are already salty.
- Category: Soup, Make Ahead