You may remember several weeks ago I promised tales of cutting up a whole chicken into parts for a recipe. Well, I did cut up the chicken, and aside from a lot of swearing and my accidentally separating the leg from the thigh and ending up with one piece that looked like a stump, it went pretty well. Unfortunately, I was too covered in chicken juice to take pictures as I went. But after that, I threw the carcass and neck in the freezer, remembering that I always wanted to make my own chicken stock. A couple weeks later I decided to throw them in the slow cooker and see what happened.
I used a whole frozen chicken carcass, 1 onion, quartered (sources advise you to leave the skin on), 2 carrots (quartered), 2 stalks of celery (also quartered, leaves and all), a healthy palmful of mixed italian herbs, and some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. If I had a bay leaf, I would have used that. Similarly, if you have fresh herbs instead of the dry stuff I used, that would be excellent.
I threw everything in the slow cooker, added water to cover the bones, and put it on low overnight. In the morning, I had stock, sort of! Strain the stock through a colander to catch the big pieces, and then again through a fine mesh strainer to get the many little bits of junk you don’t want in your soup. Now comes the tricky part. You want to remove the chicken fat from the stock. I have read that the easiest way to do this is to refrigerate the stock until the fat hardens, and you can peel it off the top in a layer. I was antsy to use the stock though, so I attempted to skim it off with a measuring cup. Word to the wise: if at all possible, use the refrigerator method.
And that’s it! Homemade stock for any soup you want!