Homemade Chicken Stock - Crock pot easy

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It's Multi Cooker Monday.   We post on the third Monday of the month, and there is no theme.   Sue of Palatable Pastime started the group and it's been fun participating. 

We are a bunch of bloggers who celebrate their various different cooking methods using anything from crock pots, instant pots, air fryers, toaster ovens to sous vide. Anything thing goes, almost.  

Cause you don't always need to use that big old stove sitting in the middle of the kitchen to cook on or with, especially in the hot summer months. 

I don't have that many kitchen toys I play with, but one of the workhorses in my kitchen arsenal is my crock pot.
Home made Chicken Stock

I love how you can just dump stuff in there, turn it on and come back several hours later to a finished or almost finished meal.

I've made everything from soup to stew to dessert in mine.
But the one thing, I use it for most, is making homemade stock.  Whether it's chicken, turkey, vegetable, beef or even pork stock, it's almost a 'set it and forget it' appliance.

I keep the bones or carcass from any chickens I cook. It doesn't matter what kinds of bones are left, I'll throw them in the oven, and roast them up again, and then keep a big bag of bones in the freezer until I get enough for stock. I've even used the little wing tips from whole chicken wings, roasted them and used them for stock.  I'm not fussy at all.  And if you're a fan of rotisserie chickens, the carcass from that makes a great addition to the stock pot as well as being good eating.  I have to admit I buy them from time to time, cause I like them. 

The bones then go in the crock pot with some carrots, onions, lots of celery, the odd garlic clove or three, and some water.  I let them slow cook for several hours, then strain the stock.  I like to place it in the fridge overnight at this point, if there's too much fat on top, I can take it off, and then reduce it further on the stove top.  And it's fun to see how gelatinous it can get.  It wiggles and jiggles when you dump it into the pot. 
Home made Chicken Stock
You can freeze it at this point and it's wonderful but I like to reduce it, down to half, before freezing. It saves on valuable freezer space. 

After it has reduced, I'll then taste it and add salt and other spices.  If you add salt before reducing the stock, you also concentrate the salt.  And that can be nasty. 

I then freeze it in ice cube trays, and use those little cubes of deliciousness when I make gravy, or add them to the water when cooking rice.  I'll sometimes add a couple to a pan and slow cook chicken, or add them to a roasting chicken, just stuff a couple into the cavity, as the chicken roasts, they add moisture and flavor.  They can add so much flavor to so many dishes. (and yes, that is a Crown Royal impression on the cube.  I got the tray with a bottle of Crown a few years back, and use it for soup stock)

Home made Chicken Stock

Home made Chicken Stock

I have several sizes of silicone ice cube tray, the smallest holds just 2 tablespoons, the next size, holds 1/4 cup in each compartment,  and the largest is 1/3 cup in each compartment.   I usually just use the two largest sizes, but the smallest also comes in handy.  I've picked these up in various home goods stores, and love them.  It's easy to get the cubes out, they go through the dishwasher like a dream and I love having different amounts pre-measured and frozen. 

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