My mother would no sooner toss out a roasted chicken carcass than she would rob a bank. Consequently, neither would I. But I’m shocked at the number of roast chicken remains I’ve seen go in the trash over the years (mind you, I’ve rescued some, too). Is it because the cooks don’t know how to make chicken stock? Or because they think it is too much work? People, listen. Even if it’s a store bought roasted chicken that came home with you in one of those end-of-the-day-what-will-I-feed-my-family moments of panic, you can use it to make chicken stock. And I promise it’s easy.
Making your own stock means that you will eliminate the cans that store-bought stock comes in along with questionable ingredients and the environmental issues that come with purchasing a product that may have been shipped halfway around the world.
You could follow a specific recipe, but you know how I feel about measuring. My method probably wouldn’t be approved by Julia Child, but it works and it’s easy.
Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
- 1-2 roasted chicken carcasses
- 2-4 handfuls of vegetables, roughly chopped, if you have them (This is where you clean out your refrigerator crisper. Pull out the limp veggies you haven’t used all week; celery, carrots, onion, garlic, greens – they’re all fair game.)
The stovetop version:
Place the chicken carcasses in a stock pot along with the vegetables. Fill the pot with water to within 3″ of the top. Bring to a low boil, then simmer (with the lid on, of course). How long, you ask? My mom always simmered for 2-3 hours to get a nice chicken stock, but more and more, I’ve been letting mine go for a lot longer. I don’t like to do this on the stovetop, though, so I make it in my slow cooker.
The slow cooker version:
If you have a slow cooker, you have the freedom to let your stock cook for a day or two without having to worry about leaving a burner on for that long. Cooking for this long draws out all the goodness of those bones and makes a nice, gelatinous broth. To make it this way, simply toss your ingredients in, cover with water, and let it cook on low heat for 24 to 48 hours to create a rich bone broth.
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken bones and vegetables. If you want pristine broth, you can strain it, but I rarely do.
Ladle up a cup and enjoy! Divide excess into the freezer container of your choice (mind the head space if you’re using glass) and freeze for later use. I use this homemade broth when I make polenta, risotto, and soups or simply for drinking.