This recipe is so easy, and the results are amazing! Once you make homemade chicken stock, you will never want to use that stuff in a box again! Besides being yummy, it is so much less expensive! Think about it....you buy a whole chicken, you have to cook it anyway, so why not save your stock? If you are like me, you always have celery and carrots on hand that need to be used up, and I buy onions by the bag, so they are always on hand as well. This recipe is also very versatile.....you can add whatever you want to season your stock. If you don't have one of the ingredients, that's ok, just make a substitution, or leave it out! Just don't leave out too much, because the more you have to season with, the richer and better the flavor. So here is the recipe I came up with after looking at several different stock recipes. I hope you try this out....trust me, you won't be disappointed!
Homemade Chicken Stock:
(From: Angie's Kitchen)
1 whole chicken
2 small onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 fresh basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Paula Deen's House Seasoning
Rinse off your bird, make sure that you check the inside for giblets and other organs you want to discard them before putting your bird in the crock pot.
Place your bird inside your crock pot, season with Paula Deen's House Seasoning. Now you want to add a few more items for flavor - a few onions, a few carrots, a few celery sticks, (be sure to use the leafy parts of the celery, there is alot of flavor in there!) a few sprigs of fresh parsley, a couple of bay leaves, and basil leaves, and then sprinkle on a little more of Paula's seasoning for the veggies! (Be sure to chop your onions, carrots, and celery into large chunks to make them easy to remove later on.) You can add other herbs and seasonings if you like. Thyme, oregano, peppercorns...well, you get the idea!
When your chicken is done, remove your chunks of vegetables with a slotted spoon. You can discard them, or save and eat them later! Then, remove your chicken and put in a separate dish. The chicken should be so tender that it just falls apart. The liquid that is left in your crock pot is your yummy homemade stock, but before you use it, you'll want to strain it to remove any leftover bits of chicken or veggies.Then, refrigerate your broth for several hours (preferably overnight). As it cools, the fat will rise to the top, you then need to skim it off. Now your stock is ready for use. You will have several cups of stock, you can use it now, or freeze it for later. I freeze my stock in pint freezer containers, but you can use freezer bags, and freeze in any portion size you want.
Now for the chicken.....when it has cooled enough to touch, pull it off the bone, and discard those bones and all that yucky stuff! You can use the chicken in soups, casseroles, pot pies, or just eat it! If you don't want to use it now, you can freeze it as well. I also freeze my chicken in 2 cup portions since most recipes call for 2 cups of chicken.