A wonderful way to save money is to make your own stock.  Stock is made using the bones of the chicken (or marrow bones for beef). Broth is made from making an actual dish with the meat.  In my humble opinion, the two words are essentially interchangeable.  I got the gelatinous stock when making “broth” so I think as long as you are making something that helps you avoid having to buy the high sodium laden chicken broth/stock boxes from the store, go for it.

In Part One of How to Cook a Whole Chicken, you will have a lot of excess liquid leftover at the end of the cooking process.  I transfer the whole chicken to a cutting board, or as much as I can without it totally falling apart.  Then I strain the liquid with a mesh strainer into a large bowl.  This is batch one of the chicken broth.

Gel is a good thing when it comes to stock

Now time for batch two.
Remove all chicken meat from the bones to serve with dinner, and the rest for salads, leftovers, etc.
Save chicken skin, bones, and necks to use in making the stock.

Combine the following into your slow cooker/crock pot or pressure cooker.

  • Chicken parts
  • Two onions quartered
  • Two carrots chopped into 2″ pieces
  • Two celery chopped into 2″ pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon of peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (acidity helps draw healthy minerals out of the bones)
  • 10 Cups of filtered water

Cook on low heat for at least 12 hours in the Slow Cooker/Crock Pot.  Great overnight project.  Some people just leave their stock running all the time on the counter to always have it for cooking rice, beans, etc.  I don’t happened to have an extra slow cooker for this, or the counter space.

In the Pressure Cookeryou can make it in 45 minutes, plus about 10 minutes for the Natural Pressure Release.  The stock made in the pressure cooker tends to have more clarity, if that makes a difference to you.

The chicken stock will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.  I freeze in 2 cup and 4 intervals.  Or I just fill whatever glass jars I have handy and pop them in the freezer.   Just remember to leave room at the top, at least 1 1/2″ of space to allow for expansion. If I’m making soup, I take out the frozen stock the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator.

The middle jar bit the dust in the freezer.

This batch probably cost about $1.00 to make when you count in the veggies I used and spices.  If I got organic low-sodium chicken broth at the store, it would be upwards of $10.  Not a bad savings.  More money to spend on organic strawberries, since they are costing a small fortune these days.

Any success or failure stories of making your own chicken stock or broth?  Do you prefer to make it all on the stove?

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2 replies
  1. jessilee says:

    Thanks for this! I'll be slow cooking the chicken tomorrow and making 2nd batch of stock tomorrow night. What do you think of the plastic freezer containers? Im scared of broken glass! ; ). Thx!

  2. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food says:

    That's a really interesting idea about making stock in the pressure cooker, I've never thought of that! Bummer about your broken jar of stock – that's happened to me before 🙁 Now I always just sit the lid on top until the jar is completely frozen, then I screw it tight – that way air can escape as the liquid expands during the freezing process. Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

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