I wanted to do a quick post about how I make my chicken stock for zero dollars! This sounds crazy, I know, but I take rotisserie chicken carcasses from family members and friends, herbs from mine and my mum’s herb gardens, the ends of my veggies (I freeze them when I chop them up) and regular pantry staples. Even if you don’t have access to free chicken carcasses or herbs, keep in mind that chicken carcasses are food waste you’d throw out otherwise. A rotisserie chicken is often cheaper than a roaster chicken! Not only do you get 4 meals (or so) from it, you can make stock which can be the base of other meals as well.
I like to make my stock in my crock pot. I love that I can turn it on and (mostly) forget about it. I put it on high for 4-6 hours after I get home from work, using a thawed chicken carcass (usually I pop them in the freezer until I’m ready to make stock) in my 6 quart slow cooker from Hamilton Beach. I add thyme, sage, bay leaf, salt, red peppers, whole peppercorns, garlic, rosemary and carrots, asparagus ends, leeks, and onions. Once it has cooked for 4-6 hours and tastes great, to save space I try to reduce the stock by half. This takes time but is worth it if you don’t have a ton of freezer room.
Once you have reduced your stock, you’ll want to cool it down quite quickly to get it into the fridge. I usually start by half filling my sink with water and a whole tray of ice, then setting the pot in there. I think you’ll be surprised how fast the ice melts! I then drain the water and refill the sink repeatedly until the sink water no longer rapidly rises in temperature, the side of the pot is cool to the touch and the stock isn’t steaming. Then, ladle it into freezer safe containers and pop them into the fridge without their lids on for a couple of hours or overnight. Once they’re fridge cold, pop the lids on an put them in the freezer until you need some stock!
I hope this gives you an idea of how to make easy chicken stock for very little money! Save those chicken carcasses and veggie bits and you are well on your way.
Have a great day!