The Diva here with another secret to divalicious cooking! Yes, I'm invoking the scary S-Word! Making your own stocks is the one biggest thing you can do to improve your cooking by leaps and bounds. Yes, in a pinch, store bought will suffice, but for truly transcendent food, going the homemade route is a must! In fact, many times, you're better off adding water than crappy stock to a great dish.
Usually when I mention making stock, my girlfriends stare at me in abject horror, picturing a 1950s housewife slaving all day over a hot stove. "We don't have time!" they exclaim. "And doesn't it like go bad?" Or they'll ask, "Where on earth do we get a chicken carcass?"
The Diva to the rescue! First, you can store chicken broth in your freezer for 6 months to a year. Second, to get a chicken carcass, you can make a roast chicken for dinner! Soon, I'll post a recipe for my Divalicious Roast Chicken, but in the meantime, one of my favorite to go meals is a rotisserie chicken from the Whole Foods deli. It's healthy and delicious! Pick up a chicken one night for a quick meal in a pinch and then save your carcass to make stock. In these morbid economic times, this is an awesome way to stretch your money by getting double use out of your product! And finally, erase images of slaving for hours over a hot stove with my crock pot chicken stock recipe!
If you don't own a crock pot, you should! It's essentially a slow cooking device that can be left alone all day. They're inexpensive - I paid around $30 for my basic crock pot (see my Amazon store - click here). While you can buy a fancier version, this one works great. All you have to do to make stock, is throw all your ingredients into your crock pot and leave it all day. The longer it cooks, the better! At the end of the day, you can return to strain and freeze your stock. Presto Chango! You have your own, beautiful, homemade stock available anytime you need it!
Domestic Diva's Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock
1 chicken carcass
2 celery stalks (including tops) roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf bunch of thyme
1 tsp peppercorns
Add leftover chicken carcass to crock pot.
Add all the the other ingredients to crock pot.
Cover with filtered water.
Simmer stock all day, then turn off heat and allow to cool.
Strain through a mesh sieve. Divide stock in half and pour into freezer bags. Freeze for up to six months!
For this recipe's inspiration, shout out's go to my Top Chef Brother for teaching me the importance of making my own stock and to Momma Diva for prodding me to get a crock pot!