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The Easiest Crockpot Chicken Stock Ever

The Easiest Crockpot Chicken Stock Ever

Broth and stock are staples in our home. Nutrient dense broths and stocks are not only superfoods with legendary healing properties, they are also a great way to use up every part and get the most nutrition out an animal.

Lately, instead of making my regular supply of broth from fresh, pasture raised chickens on the stove (with this recipe), I’ve been making chicken stock in the slow cooker just from the carcasses of pasture raised chickens I roasted for dinner. And while the slow cooker stock tastes different and has less healthy fat than my original broth recipe, it’s yummy, as well as much easier and cheaper to make!

What’s the difference, you say?

Broth vs. Stock

Both broth and stock start with the same basic foundation: water, onions, salt, pepper and seasonings. Often both broth and stock include carrots and celery to make a mirepoix as well. Broth is then enriched with the meat of a chicken—usually a whole chicken. The mixture is simmered and strained (and the chicken is great to use for salads, tacos, etc.). Broth should be light with a clean and clear flavor.

Stock starts with the same ingredients as broth, but rather than simmering it with meat, stock is made with lots of bones. Sometimes the bones are first roasted in the oven, and then added to the stock pot, creating a much deeper flavor.

The bones contain a lot of natural gelatin in them so they give stock a richer “mouth feel” as well as significantly more nutrition. Stock is sometimes colloquially called “bone broth,” but chefs and cookbooks will always refer to it as stock.

Since I roast a chicken two or three times a month, I freeze the necks and organs (usually packaged inside the cavity of the chicken), and then after we have eaten all the meat from the bones, I put the carcass in the freezer, too. When I have two medium or three small carcasses collected, I make the following stock.

Easy Crockpot Chicken Stock

Makes 4-6 quarts

Tools

Ingredients

  • Carcasses from 2 or 3 roasted chickens (no more than can sit on the bottom of your crockpot)
  • 4 organic or pasture-raised chicken feet (These are essential to getting a good gel. I get mine at Whole Foods or online)
  • Hearts, livers, necks and other organs from inside the chicken, if not otherwise using. (Optional.)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • Handful of veggie scraps including carrot tops, celery ends, onion skins, etc. (Optional. Don’t use broccoli, kale or related veggies, as they will make the stock taste bad)
  • Small handful (10-20) whole black peppercorns
  • Small handful (10-20) whole allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. white or other mild vinegar
  • Pure water

Directions

  1. If you want a deeper, richer stock, roast the bones and veggies in a 400 degree oven until they are really well caramelized, about an hour.
  2. In the bottom of your crockpot, place roasted chicken carcasses, chicken feet, onions, veggies (if using), peppercorns, bayleaf and allspice berries.
  3. Cover everything with pure water to the maximum level your crockpot will hold.
  4. Add just 1 Tbsp. of the sea salt and 1 tsp. of the vinegar. Stir gently.
  5. Set crockpot on high for 3-4 hours, then reduce to low and simmer for 8-10 hours.
  6. When done, draw the stock off with a ladle and strain it through a cheesecloth, nut milk bag or Bouillon strainer into Mason jars or other storage containers.
  7. After you have drawn off as much stock as you can, fill the crockpot again with pure water, and add the last Tbsp. of sea salt and 1 tsp. of vinegar. Repeat the cooking cycle once more.
  8. Again, draw off the broth with a ladle and strain it through a cheesecloth, nut milk bag or Bouillon strainer into Mason jars.
  9. After two cooking cycles, the chicken bones should be very soft. You can discard them, or for a super mineral boost, purée them with a blender into a soup recipe.
  10. Use your stock in place of water to add richer flavor and greater nutrition to everything from rice to beans to soup!

Shared with Seasonal Celebration Sunday, Sunday School, Made from Scratch MondayMix it Up Mondays, Natural Living MondayMelt in Your Mouth MondayMonday ManiaBetter Mom MondaysHomestead Barn HopGluten Free MondaysFat TuesdaysSlightly Indulgent TuesdaysTasteful TuesdaysTitus 2sdaysAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysLiving Green Link Up, Family Table TuesdayHearth & Soul HopFrugal Tuesday TipTitus 2 Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Backyard Farming ConnectionTasty TuesdayTutorial TuesdayThe Gathering SpotTiny Tuesday TipPenny Pinching PartyWhole Food WednesdaysReal Food WednesdaysAllergy Free WednesdaysWildcrafting WednesdaysParty Wave WednesdaysHealthy 2day Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysThe Mommy ClubGluten Free WednesdaysAdorned from AboveWicked Awesome Wednesdays, Creative JuiceKeep it Real, Natural Living Linkup, Your Green ResourceSimple Lives ThursdayDIY Thrifty ThursdayPennywise Platter, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate ThursdayTasty Traditions, Gluten Free FridaysFight Back FridaysFreaky FridayFresh Bites Friday, Weekend Bloggy Linkup, Farm Girl FridayFoodie Friday!

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35 Comments

  1. Your crock pot method makes great sense. Since I tend to make stock in larger quantities I have started slow cooking my stock in the oven over night. We raise our own chickens and always save the feet after processing them. The feet make a rich gelatinous stock.

  2. I made this for the first time ever! However the second batch was much lighter in color than the first batch. Is this to be expected?

    Thank you!!!!

    • Yes. I often cook the second batch a little longer, or add an extra chicken foot or two.

  3. Hello…
    I don’t have a crockpot and am using a gas stove. I have been boiling it on med for two hours and it has reduced quite considerably. Is that normal? should I add more water or just simmer?

    • No, you are not supposed to boil it that long. A crockpot simmers very low and slow. If you are making stock on the stovetop, first bring it to a boil, and then turn it down and simmer on very very low for 3-4 hours longer. Add water, as needed.

      • Ok thank you! and after I simmer this for 8 hours, I can do it all over again??? one more time???

  4. Here’s my question…can I cook the whole chicken in a stock pot with your directions in the other post, with veggies, seasonings and vinegar, THEN take the bones, roast them and use this recipe for making stock?? Would I end up with broth the first time and a cooked chicken, and then stock the second time that is more nutrient dense? And should they both gell?

    • Yes, you can do that! (That’s brilliant, in fact.) Your stock may not gel much given it’s gone a second time round, but it will have the minerals from the bones. If you added a couple of additional chicken feet to the stock, you might get a better gel.

  5. Thanks for sharing! I have two questions. 1) How do I store this??? I can’t freeze mason jars, correct? and 2) when I make soups that call for chicken broth (just canned from the grocery store) do I use what the recipe calls for…of my broth that is….or is this a concentrated portion and I only need to use half of what the recipe calls for and add water? Thank you!

    • You can freeze mason jars, but there is always the risk of them breaking. If you try it, leave at least and inch of headroom for the broth to expand. I use these BPA-free freezer jars to freeze my broth.

      I always use my broth full strength everywhere I can think to use it. For example, instead of cooking rice or beans in water, I sub in 100% broth. This makes anything you cook in it tastier and more nutritious.

      • You can also place in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze flat. I do 4 cups in each bag, makes for easy storage and easy use!!

        My question: Why the feet? I raise chickens and I am just not a fan of chicken feet. I’m sorry, but they are always dirty and always in poo…..any foot substitute??? TIA!!

        • The feet are one of the best sources of nutrients like collagen and glucosamine. Of course always use well-cleaned and skinned chicken feet (which you can usually buy at the store for very little). You can also use heads and necks.

  6. Thanks for sharing with Simple Meals Friday! You are one of our featured posts this week!

    http://mexicanwildflower.blogspot.mx/2012/12/simple-meals-friday-10.html

  7. Your explanation of the differences between broth and stock are really helpful! I’m definitely planning to use your “easy” method for chicken stock so I won’t be tied to the kitchen so closely the day I have chicken bones to cook.

  8. Dawn I had no idea there was a difference between the two. Now more enlightened on the subject I shall make this next time my husband roasts a chicken or two;-) Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca x

  9. Thank you for sharing :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again this week!

    This week is sponsored by Sugar and Spice Market! They are giving away a package of their gluten free sugar cookie mix and a package of their gluten free pancake/waffle mix! It is just in time for the holidays!

    Link up starts tomorrow (thursday) at 7:05pm eastern time! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  10. I just finished making turkey broth and canning it. I love both broth and stock and would find it hard to make it through the winter without it! Thanks so much for sharing in our recipe linky. Don’t hesitate to share any other recipes you may post this month. Have a great week!

  11. What a great recipe! This really is a good one to know! You are so talented!! We hope you will come back this week! Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop. This weeks party starts at 12:01AM on Wednesday and runs through Sunday night. Have a great week.
    Debi, Joye and Myrna (The Busy Bee’s), Linda (Two Succulent Sisters)

  12. We love to make chicken stock but I never thought to make it in the crockpot–thank you for this recipe! Interesting about pureeing the bones too, never thought of that. Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday!

  13. This is totally amazing. Wow. I didn’t know all this stuff about making stock. Now I do. Thanks so much. Thanks also for linking to Adorned from Above. Happy Christmas Season. Linda

  14. I use homemade stock for so many things and the ease of using a crock pot would make it even better to manage and leave when I have to run errands — smart! Thanks for sharing on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  15. Your Chicken Stock looks so rich and delicious, I will be giving your recipe a try. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. How do the pureed bone affect the taste and texture of a soup? I’d like to try, but I don’t want to make something my family won’t eat.

    • I strongly flavored soup like squash or leek, you might not even notice. However in a clearer soup, the taste might be unusual for some.

  17. Looks amazing! I think I will go heat myself up a cup of turkey stock right now!

    I hope you will share this with Simple Meals Friday!

    http://mexicanwildflower.blogspot.mx/2012/11/simple-meals-friday-9.html

  18. A great idea to make chicken stock in the crock pot. What an easy way to do it. Would love for you to share on Thursdays Treasures http://fooddonelight.com/thursdays-treasures-week-62/

  19. I love your post! It’s very informative! I followed this same technique with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass, and it was so delicious! I like the idea of brewing it 2 times – very cost effective!

    Check out my recent similar post on beef bone broth: http://www.consciouseatery.com/2012/11/beef-bone-broth.html

    Angie@ConsciousEatery

  20. There’s nothing better than homemade stock. I make mine in the crock pot all of the time as well. I am giving away two great prizes on my blog: a $50 gift certificate to my favorite jeweler robinsonlane.com and a copy of a new book published by fellow blogger, Kat Robinson. It is called Arkansas Pie: A Slice of the Natural State. I just know you will love either one. http://diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-merry-merry-munchies-3-baked.html Come link up to enter.

  21. I totally needed this! I’ve always wondered the difference between broth and stock lol. Thanks for an informative post (as always!) and for the recipes!

  22. Homemade stock/broth is definitely wonderful and a great way to use all the chicken. I love having portions in the freezer. You give some great tips – like saving vegetable scraps and roasting the bones. Thanks for posting!

  23. Thank you for the info and recipe.

    We may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.
    http://simpleesue.com/try-one-new-recipe-a-week-thanksgiving-feast-day-2pa-dutch-potato-filling

  24. I never realized the difference between stock and broth. Thanks for the education.

  25. Such great information. I never knew the difference between stock and broth. I love the tip about roasting the bones and veggies again. Can’t wait to try it.

  26. I make bone broth every time I cook a chicken, but never thought of using the bones a second time, so I’ll try it next time. Thanks!

    • I make bone broth every time I cook a chicken, but never thought of using the bones a second time, so I’ll try it next time. Thanks!

      Oops, I should’ve said stock! I’ve always called it bone broth.

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