I typically make stock right after I cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker. After we have eaten and I have taken the rest of the meat off the chicken bones I put the bones and skin back into the slow cooker with the liquid that was leftover after cooking. Yes, this is mainly fat, but it will add flavor to the stock and then it will be skimmed away later. Next, add all those carrot peels and onions skins you have been saving.* This is also the time to add in the giblets you saved from inside the chicken. Next, cover all this yummy goodness with about 8 cups of water. I like to let my slow cooker cook on low for 10-12 hours.
In the morning, I turn the slow cooker off when I get up to allow the stock to cool a bit. I then strain the stock, allow it to cool some more and put it in the fridge.
When I get home at night, I skim the fat off the top of the stock, then I put it into mason jars to store in the freezer. That it, unless I plan on using it for another recipe later in the week. Then I just store what I need in the fridge!
This chicken stock tastes a million times better than store bought and it is SO EASY to make. Enjoy!
*Tip: any time you cut onions, celery, garlic, or peel carrots or parsnips, save all the skins and ends and peels in a bag in the freezer. That way, when you are ready to make homemade stock, you won’t have to waste any vegetables, you will be able to use all these odds and ends. You’re stock won’t taste exactly the same each time you make it, but it will still be delicious!
I LOVE my slow cooker and I am super excited because I just got this new Crock-Pot Slow Cooker after my old one died. Slow cookers are amazing tools for busy cooks, and I love that I can set mine up in the morning and come home to an incredible meal after being at work all day.
Just about once a week, I cook up a whole organic chicken in the slow cooker. Not only does that mean we have a delicious roast chicken dinner once a week but it also means that I can make sandwiches with the chicken for the rest of the week or use the chicken in another meal. I love doing whole chickens in the slow cooker because it is easy and it gives me control over what I put on my chicken (as opposed to buying a rotisserie chicken at the store). I also have control over the type of meat I purchase. The final reason why I LOVE roasting chickens in the slow cooker is because I then get to use all the bones and skin and other little non-edible bits to make my own chicken stock in the slow cooker. Not only is homemade chicken stock better for you than the stuff in the cans or boxes, but it tastes a million times better too!
Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
This is more of a method rather than a recipe. Please feel free to play around with it, add spices of your choosing and most importantly, have fun!
1 5-6 lb chicken (preferably organic)
1. In a clean sink, rinse chicken thoroughly. Make sure to remove the giblets for a later use (chicken stock!). If you are not using the giblets right away, you can freeze them.
2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
3. Place the chicken breast side down in the slow cooker. I have done the chicken both ways, breast up and down. I think that breast down keeps the breast more moist, but then the skin from the breast side will not get crisp. It’s your call!
4. Generously sprinkle the chicken with seasonings.
5. Cover and cook your chicken for about 8 hours on low. It is done when juices run clear.
6. Remove from slow cooker and enjoy! Mine usually falls apart a bit because it has been sitting on the warm setting for a while after it finishes cooking. The presentation isn’t the most amazing but the taste is outrageous!
DO NOT throw away the liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker or your bones, skin and other little bits of the chicken you are not going to eat once it is cooked. This will all be a part of the slow cooker chicken stock.