Slow cooker chicken stock or broth is gloriously easy. Just toss raw parts or carcasses in a slow cooker with vegetables, water, and herbs in the proper proportions, walk away, and come back later to a rich, deep, concentrated, out-of-this-world paleo-friendly stock. Trust us when we say it's a game changer. Here's how to make it.
Slow cooker chicken stock has cast its spell on us.It’s not that making chicken stock from scratch is difficult. But it just seems to require far less effort and patience when left to burble in a slow cooker than when left to burble on the back burner. Perhaps because you can walk away from it and not worry about the gas flame being a little too high and causing the stock to boil raucously and turn cloudy or being a little too low and extending the already long process. The slow cooker strategy simply ensures the stock burbles sleepily and remains clear as can be. Once you make homemade chicken stock in a slow cooker, chances are you’ll be so wooed by the ease with which it comes together, you won’t want to go back to making it any other way, just as everyone who’s tried it seems to say. [Editor’s Note: But in case you do, we’ve got the perfect Roast Chicken Stock recipe for you.] Originally published January 22, 2013.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Tweak Chicken Stock To Your Liking
A homemade chicken stock recipe isn’t hard to stumble upon. (Google it and see for yourself.) But a reliable homemade chicken stock recipe? That’s another matter entirely. Sure, you can certainly toss chicken (whether raw parts or the carcass of a roasted hen) and whatever vegetables and herbs you happen to have on hand in your slow cooker with some water and chances are it’s not going to be terrible, though it may not be as much to your liking as it could be. While we’re all for the spirit of experimentation, we actually prefer the proportions of ingredients in the recipe below. And folks who’d followed the recipe are waxing poetic about it being their default go-to foolproof chicken stock recipe from here on. Still, if you’re the sort who doesn’t like to necessarily adhere to a recipe, we’ve a few things you may wish to consider in terms of ingredients…
Leeks lend a milder allium experience than onions.
Celery imparts a rather clean, almost astringent note.
Carrots ensure sweetness.
Black peppercorns—just a few, mind you—lend depth of flavor and complexity.
Herbs add a…well, we think that’s sorta obvious what herbs add.
Same goes for garlic.
Ginger imparts a warming sharpness that’s a boon to anything Asian, though best used sparely and only with other ingredients such as lemongrass or onion.
One last thing. Whatever you do, don’t rely on mere bones and water. Trust us. [Editor’s Note: When we (and by “we,” we really mean our editor in chief, Renee) first made homemade chicken stock as a very young twenty-something straight out of college, she poured water over roasted bones and let the potion simmer for hours, assured that the gods of stockmaking would smile favorably upon this effort. They did not. Let it be a lesson to you. It certainly was to her.]
Special Equipment: Slow cooker
Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 12 H
- Makes about 2 quarts
- 2 pounds chicken wings, necks, backs, or other parts (raw parts or carcasses from a rotisserie chicken or roast chicken)
- 4 smallish carrots, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 smallish onion, peeled or unpeeled, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 fresh bay leaf (optional)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Cold water
- 1. Toss all the ingredients in your slow cooker, add enough cold water to cover, and cook on low for at least 12 hours or overnight. You may need to skim the surface toward the beginning of cooking.
- 2. Strain and let cool completely. Freeze in resealable plastic bags in 1- to 2-cup portions.
Curious to hear more about working magic with your slow cooker? Peruse our entire selection of slow cooker recipes.
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