Works for Me Wednesday – Homemade Chicken Broth

I think I’m going to start counting how many times I write about how much I love to eat soup in the cold weather. What can I say – I tend to talk about what I like. One thing I love about soup as an evening meal is that not only is it generally pretty healthy, but it’s also usually pretty inexpensive. Although the one exception to that rule seems to be chicken broth. I didn’t realize how expensive it was (to get the good stuff) until I started making soups that called for at least 6-8 cups of chicken broth.

So what’s an aspiring “make everything from scratch and keep it as cheap as possible” cook supposed to do? Make chicken broth at home of course. One problem. I seem to have no free time for long, laborious, stand over the stove recipes. Enter: The Slow Cooker. This has revolutionized my soup making.

(*Note: I have absolutely zero idea if this is the “correct” way of making chicken stock. I read about it on numerous blogs, have tried it myself successfully, and have made some delicious soup. I’m speaking from experience and nothing else).

This really couldn’t be easier. I like to start with the bones of a chicken – most likely a roasted chicken I bought from the grocery store (although my mom is teaching me to roast a chicken this weekend! Updates soon). We generally have chicken for dinner that night, then I pick the rest of the meat off to freeze for future recipes. Once I’m left with the bones of the chicken the steps are as follows:

  1. Put chicken carcass (ha, who uses the word carcass in a recipe?) in the crockpot
  2. Add whatever seasonings you want and cover with water – I usually add some fresh thyme, oregano, parsley, and some salt and pepper. I also read that if you add some vinegar to the pot at this point and let it sit, it helps get all the minerals into your broth. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don’t.
  3. Add your vegetables – I usually add carrots, celery, and onion. You can also add these halfway through, but again, I tend to forget, so I just add everything at once.
  4. Cover, turn crockpot on high until it comes to a boil and skim off whatever comes to the top.
  5. Turn crockpot to low and simmer for 12-24 hours.
  6. Let the broth cool and strain it into containers to freeze. I like to strain it into a large bowl, then place it in freezer bags in 2-cup quantities. Freeze the bags flat on a cookie sheet so that they’re stackable in the freezer.

It seems complicated, but it’s really not. And the best part is that the broth just cooks away while I’m doing something else. I like to start it on a Friday evening after dinner, let it cook all night, and then deal with it on Saturday morning.

Homemade broth really does make the best soups, and best of all you can control the ingredients in it. It’s cheap, healthy, easy and delicious. This is what works for me.

Inspired by Donielle at Naturally Knocked Up

If you like what you see, you may want to sign up to get free email updates or subscribe via rss. :)

  Pin It

33 Responses to “Works for Me Wednesday – Homemade Chicken Broth”

  1. 1

    Mari — October 27, 2010 @ 3:11 am

    What a great idea! I love to use my crockpot, but have never tried it for stock. Thanks for the tip!

  2. 2

    amanda@seegirlcook — October 27, 2010 @ 3:40 am

    I have never made my own chicken broth before, I'll definitely be giving this a try!:) Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    Lisa — October 27, 2010 @ 3:47 am

    I love it when I can make my own chicken broth. It's amazing how much broth can come from just one chicken and yet, like you said, you have to pay an arm and a leg just for one small can.

  4. 4

    Jessica @ How Sweet — October 27, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    I need to make some of my own. I hear it is so much better!

  5. 5

    Shannon — October 27, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    I've never used a crockpot for stock. What a great idea!

  6. 6

    Simply Life — October 27, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    Great idea using the slow cooker!

  7. 7

    Jenn — October 27, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    I've not used my crock pot to make stock before.. I'm loving this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  8. 8

    pajamachef — October 27, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    looks easy! however, i absolutely cannot stand dealing with bones and insides and that kind of thing. i make my husband do all the gross stuff. another tip i have regarding the cost of chicken broth is to consider using an instant base (this isn't meant to upstage megan's recipe though, just another thought).

    i use orrington farms. it's obviously not homemade but i can find it on sale at kroger for about $3.50 for 16 ounces and it makes 90 cups of broth! this alternative is not as healthy because it has a lot of sodium, but the ingredient list is alot shorter than other brands out there which i like! http://store.mrswagesstore.com/1004.html

  9. 9

    sinfullyspicy — October 27, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    Never tried making chicken stock at home.Infact its not that much used in Indian cooking. U knw wht I just love slurping on warm chicken stock on its own with little salt :) your recipe is so easy..The idea of leaving crock pot to work on its own for long time is superb :)

  10. 10

    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — October 27, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    This looks like a great (and inexpensive) way to make broth! I've seen many recipes call for multiple chickens which just seems like it could really add up. I can't wait to try this one! And anytime I get to use my slow cooker is a bonus!!

  11. 11

    Treat and Trick — October 27, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    Sounds great and you could freeze them, thanks for sharing this useful idea..

  12. 12

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 27, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    that's a great idea to make stock in a crockpot! i know what else i'm using mine for now :)

  13. 13

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 27, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    that's a great idea to make stock in a crockpot! i know what else i'm using mine for now :)

  14. 14

    cindy — October 27, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    Love the crockpot idea! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

  15. 15

    Tampa BookWorm — October 27, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    This is exactly how I make mine!!

  16. 16

    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — October 27, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    I just through away a roasted chicken carcass last night! I am definitely going to remember this next time.

  17. 17

    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — October 27, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    I just through away a roasted chicken carcass last night! I am definitely going to remember this next time.

  18. 18

    oliepants — October 27, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

    I love the idea of using a slow cooker! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. 19

    happywhennothungry — October 27, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    I've never thought of using the slow cooker to make chicken stock before… what a great idea! Thanks for sharing and happy soup eating :-)

  20. 20

    Alea — October 27, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    I make my own broth too. I it so frugal, so healthy,and so much tastier than store bought! I would love for you to share this with my readers on my carnival Real Food Deals. It is new, but I created it so that we could share ways that we save money on Real Foods.

  21. 21

    Alea Milham — October 27, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    I make my own broth too. I it so frugal, so healthy,and so much tastier than store bought! I would love for you to share this with my readers on my carnival Real Food Deals. It is new, but I created it so that we could share ways that we save money on Real Foods.

  22. 22

    A Cooks Quest — October 27, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

    Now why have I never thought of making broth in the crockpot? Brilliant! I will definitely be doing this with my next "carcass!"

  23. 23

    Karen — October 27, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

    This is a brilliant idea – I usually make chicken broth the long laborious putting -it-all-in-a-saucepan & simmering on the hob method. Now I will use my slow cooker – apart from being much easier, it will use less electricity.

  24. 24

    the blissful baker — October 28, 2010 @ 5:00 am

    i've never made my own chicken broth before, mainly because its too time consuming. but i'm sure it's definitely worth it! thanks for the tips :)

  25. 25

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — October 28, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    I know a lot of people who make their own broth but I haven't tried it. But you make it seem so easy!

  26. 26

    CaSaundraLeigh — October 28, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Making homemade chicken broth has always been on my list of to-do's!!

  27. 27

    Melanie @ SpareTimeBaker — October 28, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    What a great idea! I'm not much for making birds — I typically buy the rotisserie ones from the store too. This is a great way to make use of EVERY part of it! I'm definitely going to have to try this to see if I'm as successful as you! :)

  28. 28

    thedelishdishblog — October 28, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    sooo cool…i keep meaning to make my own stock but ive just been putting it off. im sure the taste difference is huge!!

  29. 29

    Maranda — October 28, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    Oh my gosh! What an amazing idea! I wish I had read this yesterday! I JUST threw away some roasted chicken bones last night after I got all the meat off. I will definitely remember this for next time. I love the idea of using the slow cooker. Thanks for sharing!

  30. 30

    Beth — October 29, 2010 @ 2:08 am

    Love, love, love homemade chicken broth!!

  31. 31

    Meredith — October 31, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    I just made some vegetable broth from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything,it was so rich! And now to find this recipe using a crockpot,genius.Homemade chicken broth is such a classic and a must and you just made it super easy,thank you!

  32. 32

    Claudia — January 15, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I started the stock last night and made homemade chicken soup tonight. Sooo good! Homemade stock makes a big difference. The soup just had a much heartier taste. For those wondering, this yielded about 8 cups of stock for me. I used it all plus ~2 cups for my soup. One more note: if you have time, it’s a good idea to let the stock get cold in the fridge for a day. That way it is easy to skim off all the excess fat.

    • megan replied: — January 16th, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for including the amount it made, that’s always very helpful to know. Also, great suggestion on skimming off the excess fat. :)

Leave a Comment