New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Homemade Chicken Broth Slow Cooker Recipe


Day 17.


Mmm. Looks lovely, doesn't it? Making your own chicken broth isn't as hard as you think it is. Knowing what exactly is going into your family is important if you have allergies, health problems that call for low-sodium diets, or sensitivities to preservatives.

I am not a purist. I am not going to play one on the Internet. I like spice packets, and I definitely like shortcuts--I do use store-bought chicken broth (a lot.)---but I also use my own broth when I have it on hand in the freezer.



The Ingredients:

--store bought rotisserie chicken carcass (see! shortcuts!) if you are gluten-free or have other allergies, read the ingredients on the package carefully. Costco clearly labels their chickens as gluten-free.

-- chopped onion

--bunch of celery

--2 cups or so baby carrots

--small bunch of green onions

--head of garlic

--3 bay leaves

--1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

--6 cups of water

The Directions:


--put chicken carcass into slow cooker stoneware

--coarsely chop onion, celery, and green onion; place into crock with baby carrots

--peel entire head of garlic; dump in


--add Italian Seasoning and water

Close it up and cook on low for 8-10 hours.



Remove from heating element, and let cool completely on stove-top.



The cooling is important. Humor me.



okay. Wash your hands and dig in. Find all the little chicken bones, peel off any remaining chicken and discard the bones and bay leaves. This is a good exercise in finding your inner 9-year-old.




Use a cup and scoop the soupy liquid into your blender to brothicize.




Once liquified, pour broth into freezer bags in manageable portions. I chose to use 1-cup servings. This particular batch made nine 1-cup servings.

Place on a small cookie sheet and freeze. Once the bags are frozen, they are small enough to be tucked in nooks around your freezer.


This broth has NO salt added. I am happy about this, but some people really like salt. When using a homemade broth recipe, taste the dishes you make and add salt as needed. The overall sodium content will be much lower.

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57 comments:

MJ said...

I do something similar, except I cook an oven stuffer chicken one night, and toss the carcass i the crock the next morning. Toss veggies in and cover with 1/2 broth and 1/2 water. Cook all day. Strain and put broth in post on stove, add more veggies, pasta and left over chicken. Cook until it is soup!


MJ

Crockpot Lady said...

That sounds really yummy, mj! I love homemade chicken noodle soup.
--steph

Amie said...

Looks good! (I've never made/bought/found a chicken carcass before. I buy chicken breasts and that's it. I'm such a chicken. =)

kelly said...

sounds good- i do something similar but usually ditch the veg and feel guilty about doing so...so i'm gonna try your blendy method! thanks...

Jennifer P. said...

Hmmmm....something about cooking with a carcass doesn't sound too appealing :), yet a quality, homemade chicken stock makes all the difference in a soup. Thanks for sharing. And also for using your blender to liquify it--I call it my poor man's food processor :).

Canadian Saver said...

Oh this is definitely different! I usually just strain and lose all those wonderful veggies I added for flavor......

I do have a carcass in the fridge, I'll see if I can get it going this afternoon (stovetop though!)

Becka said...

I think I will do this in two steps because I have a big bag of frozen chicken parts. I am going to cook the parts all day in the crockpot, scoop out enough broth for some chicken and rice soup, and then add my carcass back in with the veggies to make stock to freeze.

Thanks again for a great idea. You are fast becoming my favorite blog!

Crockpot Lady said...

thanks, ladies! It is surprising how much salt your tongue will want to add when you do make it into soup. Think tablespoons...
but slowly and surely you'll retrain your tastebuds.

lol, amie!

Becka, that is so sweet--if you ever want to chat about going gluten free, email me. I like to chat. ;-)

xoxo
steph

the feathered nest said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog as it's given me a chance to visit you. I love it - just what I need. I love using my crockpot (dinner is in it today)! I'll be spending sometime looking at your previous post.

Manuela

Autumn said...

Good job on your blog! I love it. I'm very impressed that you blend the meat into the broth, very innovative :) And delicious :)

Oh yeah, my kids have eczema and we've done different elimination diets so I love your gluten-free recipes :)

Mexrick said...

I put my broth in the refrigerator overnight. The fat congeals on the surface and you can just scrape it off in solid chunks- instant fat-free broth.

Ann said...

Yours is my favorite blog! I laugh so much!!!! Great job :)
Ann

Stephanie C. said...

You amaze me every day! I've never made broth before (don't tell my Mom, she gave me a recipe years and years ago). I will do this one for sure.
And I definitely see a cookbook with you as author on it.

Jennifer said...

I'll have to try this! The only downside is cleaning the carcass. I hated that job when my mom gave it to me and I still do.

Trish said...

Thank you for this GREAT recipe and for the new vocabulary word -- brothicize!

Mel.J said...

I love making stock in my crock-pot. I will try your blender trick, thanks. Here's my best discoveries - (1) I buy really cheap chicken carcasses from a local butcher who sells chicken, 3 for 70 cents. So it's worth asking. (2) if you put the carcass in a muslin bag (I made my own after prewashing the fabric but a ham or pudding bag should work ok too) the bones are VERY easy to remove from the pot. It depends whether you'd rather fish for bones or have to wash the bag I guess.

Crockpot Lady said...

what a great idea, Mel!
-steph

Sarah said...

Hi Crockpot Lady!!! I've just discovered your blog and I am HOOKED. I just made the chicken broth yesterday and I got 7 cups out of it!!! And it was a TINY chicken lol.

My name is Sarah and I'm from New Brunswick Canada, just to give you an idea of your reader hahah.

I'm going to try the tilapia recipe in a few days, and I'm a little nervous. I DO NOT like fish. But I am going to be a big girl and try it anyways lol.

Crockpot Lady said...

hi sarah! Thanks for taking the time to write--I'm glad that the broth worked well for you.

The tilapia in the foil is wonderful. That is a great starter fish and recipe. You mostly taste the cheese. ;-0

xxoo
steph

Sarah said...

My only thing with fish is I am allergic to shellfish. All other fish just SMELLS to me, blech. But a few months ago I was at a restaurant with my best friend, and he ordered fish and chips. For the first time in a LONG time I had some fish lol. It actually smelled good!

Anyways, my goal right now is try to eat some real fish once or twice a week. My brain needs the omega goodness, I guess lol.

Also...I am so making that frito chocolate plateful of sin tonight.

Karen said...

I'm in the process of making this broth right now (I'm a fairly recent convert to your blog), and I'm loving how much my house smells like Thanksgiving Day! There's just something so homey and cozy about the smell of vegetables and herbs cooking with poultry. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. :)

Patrick said...

I have been doing this for awhile now. I normally just strain everything through some cheese cloth on a colander. I discard the veggies. I normally but in fridge to let the fat rise than scoop off. Than I pour into ice cube trays than after they freeze throw them in a freezer bag.

Sarah said...

Do you think it would cause any problems if I were to cook this on low for longer than suggested--say, 12 or 14 hours? (I have a wonky work/sleep schedule.)

Julie said...

here's a link to benefits of broth and other helpful info. Broth is a very healthy food!

Sarah asked if you can cook for 12 + hours... I have and it's been fine. I plug my pot outside if I cook it overnight. Hubby doesn't care for the smell of chicken broth first thing in the morning.

VickiT vburr at charter dot net said...

I have to say I've been following your blog for a long time now and am not quite sure how I found it. Some of the recipes you've done sound wonderful and we've tried a few with wonderful results.

I have to admire you in trying to use your crockpot every single day. It sometimes takes a lot of planning, but really it's no different than planning a meal daily just without all the preparation you must do right before eating. I LOVE my crockpot and use it probably 3-4 times a week because it helps me very much. I have osteoarthritis in both of my knees so standing while cooking an entire meal can sometimes be a challenge in itself. Using the crockpot has become my friend because it lessens the standing time.

Anyway, to comment about the chicken broth and give a tip that you may want to try. I have done this for years now when making turkey soup after the holidays and it has saved me a lot of time and removes the worry of anyone possibly getting a tiny chicken bone I may miss while picking through the soup prior to serving.

I buy cheesecloth and wrap the entire carcass with the cheesecloth prior to putting it into the liquid. I make sure to tie it up making a loop on the top so that I can stick a wooden spoon handle into the loop making it so easy to pull the entire thing out when it's time.

By doing this I have ensured that my soup will never have any of those tiny bones in it which a small child could get stuck in their throat. It makes it SO much easier to pick the meat from the bones as well. I pull it from the pot, placing it onto a cookie sheet with sides to catch any liquids and then cut the top open and then pull all meat from the bones that hasn't alrady fallen off and is just sitting there ready to pick up, check for any bones and when done, put it all back into the pot and stir in. This works really well.

I don't see why this wouldn't work with your chicken broth just as well. The cheesecloth allows all the flavors to still mix into the broth but makes it easy to remove the meat and check for those bones since it is usually falling off the bones by the time you've cooked it for such a long time.
Vicki

Crockpot Lady said...

Vicki, I agree. The cheesecloth makes perfect sense!

xoxo
steph

steve in MA said...

re: using cheesecloth

That sounds convenient, but from my perspective could get expensive. The cheesecloth would be disposed of or very messy to clean.

I just pour the broth through a wire mesh strainer, that does the job. The strainer can just be cleaned in the dishwasher and used over and over again.

Also, I prefer clarified broth. So I don't add vegetables (just add them when I'm cooking a recipe)and just pull a pure chicken broth out, pour it into mason jars, wait for the fat to separate (overnite in the fridge), then take the fat off and save it to use in other recipes.

Kristina R. said...

Just wanted to let you know I made this recipe today after making your crockpot rotisserie chicken last week. I am hooked. We used some of it tonight when making rice (1 cup water and 1 cup broth) which made it so tasty.

As a newcomer to cooking with a crockpot, I love your site. It is so helpful and I love that the recipes are not all stew and soups.

Kirsten said...

I'm excited to try this! I have a question, though--all the other recipes for broth I've seen say to dump the solids. Blending them sounds great, but does doing so change how it's used in, say, soup? Or does it mean that it just gets an extra dose of flavor and my kids get an dose of veggies? :)

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Kristen,

the only difference (other than the nutrients) is that this will not be clear, and might weird some out.

we have used it cup for cup in recipes for years with success.
xox
steph

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

I am a stock maker so I am really excited to try this! My crockpot broke in mid Nov.. I just put it on my *list* for my hubby to buy me a new one.. a week later I found your blog! I waited patiently and have been breaking in my new crock like a good student!
I currently have a chicken in the crock as I type.. Getting ready to hit the store and will grab some veggies to turn the carcass into stock tomorrow.. It will help make the house comfy as we are expecting a doozie of a snowstorm! Thanks for all the hard work you did last year! I *might* even pull on my big girl panites and try fish again.....

TA-TA said...

Sorry for a delayed comment/question... I made chicken in the crockpot and now want to make the broth. I was wondering, though, if there is any thing I can do or should do with all the juices that the chicken produced when I originally cooked it.

thanks!

sldesigns said...

Made the broth after making a whole chicken (poor crock pot) and it was great! It was the middle of the night when finished so instead of blending I smooshed the veggies. That also helped make sure no tiny bones got by. Pulled out a bag of frozen chicken/smooshed veggies/broth the other day and made chicken stew in the crockpot -- heavenly. Gave some to a friend, and she wanted to skip the eating of regular chicken and go straight from whole chicken to stew. Quite a compliment for starting with leftovers!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, and rarely feel a need to comment, but I have to say something about the blending...

I was always taught that you dump the solids for a very important reason: not only have they lost all nutritious value after slow cooking, but they actually absorb fat from the chicken. That's why the veggies can have an especially slimy texture, especially carrots.

Anybody else learn this? Or is it a wives tale?

Eledee said...

I've just discovered your blog after seeing Rachael Ray (we're slightly behind here in the UK) and apart from calling the CrockPot a slow cooker I'm loving the ideas. Tomorrow Rosisterie Chicken, tonight Jacket Potatoes... Saturday, the world (or possibly stock!)

JohnMc said...

Stephanie,

Bumped into you blog a month ago. Working my second batch of chicken stock in my 20yo crock pot per your recipe. The blender processing really kicks in to add body to the stock.

Something I do when I do chicken wings. I take a pair of kitchen shears and cut off the little nubbin on the end of the chicken wing. I freeze the nubbins in a storage bag. If you are buying family packs for parties like I do in about 3-4 months I have enough to do another batch of stock.

Anon,

Yes the veggies would retain some fat. But if you remove all the bones, blend the veggies then put the whole batch in the refig you should not have a problem. At least in my case about 2/3rds of the veg matter settles to the bottom below the fat layer. Any veg matter congealed in the fat I just skim away with the rest of the fat.

MrsRomer said...

A trick my Mom taught me was add just a touch of vinegar - it helps draw out the nutrients from the marrow. I make homemade chicken noodle soup similar to this process whenever any of us start to get sick. It really makes a big difference!

Athena said...

Hey! I just wanted to say I am impressed with your blog and your dedication to it! I absolutely loved finding a blog that had all these different recipes for the crockpot and so nicely organized. I just made your broth and I am looking forward to seeing how it tastes! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea about blending all veggies in broth. I will have to try that one day soon. I did not know about the gluten free chickens from COstCo thanks on that one. Where do you get all your gluten free stuff from? Would love to try that. Any other tips for me?

Mae

Lynnette said...

oh thank you for already doing the guess work! I have been working on the Monday missions on kitchenstewardship blog and wanted to try to make the broth with a crock pot. Her recipe calls for 4 qts of water and more ingredients so I knew I would have to change it. I will do things a little different but I at least have the two to compare and can't wait to have chicken broth in the freezer and say goodbye to chicken bullion cubes! yeah!

jennifer said...

I boiled a whole chicken last night. I tossed the bones, but saved the water that it was cooked in. Can I add veggies and spices to that to make a broth?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Jennifer,

I don't see why not! If it seems too bland, you can always stir in some bouillon granules.

--steph

Kim said...

Thank you for the idea on the chicken. I always used mine for chicken and noodles which I fix only a couple of times per year. I like to think outside the box and to me a slow cooker was best used for summer time cooking but I can't find recipes that fit for summer (all soups). It keeps us out of the kitchen on those fun filled afternoons and keeps the house cool. Is there a place to find "summer" crock pot recipes?

anne said...

Hi,
This is the first blog I've written on, because yours is soooo great. It's just like Julie and Julia, but better...Thanks
anne

Peach Sugarbaker said...

Hi Stephanie! I am a new cook, and very nervous about trying new recipes as we don't have a single penny to waste in our household...

Tomorrow I will be making one of your crockpot chickens {undecided which one} and then I hope to use the bones to make my very first chicken broth.

But what do I do then? What can I make with the broth??

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

motherbynature said...

Couple tips for making chicken broth even better:

- Roast the bones in the oven first. This gives extra good flavour, and also makes it easier to:

- crack the bones open before putting in the pot. This helps get the marrow out. All the REALLY GOOD stuff is INSIDE the bones.

The longer you can let it cook, the better. Especially when being done 'slow'. I know of folks making a real honest bone broth who let it gently simmer for two DAYS... As long as you're sure it won't boil dry overnight, then go to it!

Sara said...

I know this is about 2 years old, but had to write to say THANK YOU for posting this! I have a chicken defrosting to make tomorrow (using your recipe) and wanted to make chicken noodle soup on Saturday. Hopefully all will go well & I'll get good broth for my soup.

I'm a mom of an active 2 year old, and every little bit of savings helps.

Thanks again!
Sara J

Floridamom said...

Yes, this is old, but apparently people occasionally comment, so I will add mine. I made this overnight, and the 3 of us (me, dh, 13 yo son) had trouble sleeping with that wonderful smell wafting through the house. :) One of the things I hate about making broth is picking out the chicken bones and bits. I love the idea of a reusable muslin bag as someone mentioned. I'd rather wash the bag than pick out the bones.

I too prefer a clarified broth, so strained everything out. This came out dark and more like a stock than a broth. The flavor is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts on crock-pot broth/stock making as I've been at it for years.
- If you want a really flavourful stock remove any “edible meat” from the bones then roast the carcass in the oven for a few minutes to brown the bones [don’t let it burn]. If doing a turkey roast the neck too.
- To the crockpot add carcass, skin, neck, fat (lots of flavour here and the fat will be skimmed off later) and any pan juices. Add all the vegetable parts you wouldn’t necessarily eat: the celery tops and woody ends, a whole onion cut in half - skin and all, carrot skins (saving the actual carrots for the soup) just make sure all are well washed first. I don’t add onion to my soup later so I use the whole onion. If you add onion to your soup then you can do as for the carrots: just add the skin and the top and bottom that would normally be discarded saving the onion flesh for the soup.
- Add seasonings if you want the broth to be pre seasoned – I like peppercorns and a few sprigs of sage.
-Add water to cover and set to simmer. I let mine go until the bones soften and the cartilage has mostly dissolved (12-24 hrs).
- Discard everything. After cooking for 12+ hours there are no nutrients left in the soggy remains and any remaining meat will be tasteless so discard it all.
- If you want a clear stock strain but don’t press down on the “remains”. If you want every drop and clarity isn’t an issue press away.
- Put piping hot broth in a cold place (in the winter put it outside) to separate the fat from the broth. Ensure the vessel can withstand the temperature change. (If the broth is not warm enough when put outside you will have incomplete fat separation.) It is then easy to remove the hardened fat and discard.
- An aside. If you start the stock in the evening by morning it will really, really smell. I don’t like it, and my bedroom is on the second floor, but the resultant stock is worth it.

Mexrick said...

With apologies to Stephanie, I recently made beef stock but, because of the amount I made, I needed to use my largest stock pot instead of my slow cooker (6 1/2 qt.).

Anyway, I roasted abut 8 lbs. of miscellaneous bones- neck, spine, ribs, etc. and some veggies for an hour and a quarter. The smell from the kitchen was to die for!

I then transferred everything to my largest stock pot, covered all with water, brought it to a boil and then simmered it for about 8 hours.

After straining and defatting it overnight, I had some of the most delicious stock I've ever tasted. 8 cups went into a minestrone soup recipe and the rest was frozen for future use.

It's the only way make stock.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Mexrick?
as in THE Mexican Rick? Wow! Have have you been?

Keith Burnett said...

Why was i born as a man. You ladies have all the fun cooking with your crackpots.\well guess what i have put on a pinney and started myself with a crackpot.Found your site Steph and are now trying chicken soup pretty regular.Today i went to the butchers and got a bag full of chicken bones to make stock.After simmering for four hours i strained every thing out and are now waiting for it to cool.

Izzy said...

Just found this blog, and made the chicken noodle soup with the carcass of my Tandoori crock pot chicken and its AMAZING! I saw on TV a tip to bake the bones and vegis before making stock, and did so and it seems to add some extra roasted goodness to it. Thank you so much for keeping this up for us to enjoy!! As a starving young person out by myself, this stretched my 4 dollar chicken into 2 weeks of meals!

pmteet said...

This is great. I often put the carcass kn cheese cloth. It keeps all the bones out of the broth. I just found it easier. I did not notice a difference in the taste.

Abcsnana said...

I saw several who just used boneless skinless chicken breasts. My mom always insisted the bones added a much richer flavor. So I made two pots with identical amounts of ingredients. Guess what! MOMMA WAS RIGHT!

Sherry said...

I had some boneless skinless chicken in the freezer that needed to be used right away. I took thme out, put them in the slow cooker, added my veggies and seasoning and let it cook all day. I took the chicken out and cut it up. I discarded the veggies but next time will use the blender. I put the chicen and broth in a zip lock bag and saved them to make home made chicken and noodles (yes I make my own noodles) for our family dinner.

Pig Feeder said...

Oh stephanie I love you. It's fall again and I'm hankering to use my crock pot. I made a toritlla soup from a cook book and tasted it before serving. It was AWFUL. I knew I'd made yours before, checked the recipe - ahhhhh the seasonings were all goofy. a pinch and a dash and it was FABULOUS. You are so awesome.

So why am I on the chicken stock recipe? Our family is having to switch to dairy and beef free! Would you believe most chicken bullion has either milk or beef in the granules? So I had a chicken and we're making stock for the night. I really don't think I should bother reading any other recipes. You rock.

Love the blend it idea too. Deceptively Delicious has really opened my eyes to where you can add goodness and not have it be too attention getting.

This week I used my food processor to chop up an entire bag of onions, a bag of peppers, a bag of carrots and a bundle of celery. It's all ready to toss into whatever I'm making quick and easy. I love the other reader's idea to use a washable sack to keep the bones all gathered! Need to plan that for my next chicken!

Oh and we're a military family stationed overseas! I'm trying to encourage friends to learn to cook - crockpot or not - since the comforts of home are kinda hard to find! I love your recipes - always spot on!

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