I told mom about how I have been making my own chicken stock for about the last year and she thought it would be a good idea to post it on the family blog so everyone can get in on the $$ savings!
Start with a whole chicken. I never pay more than .85 a pound. I can usually find them at Winco in packs of 2 for pretty cheap. I freeze them until I am ready to use them. You can either bake/roast the chicken for dinner, or cook it in the crock pot all day (with about 1/2 cup of water) on low, shred the chicken and use it later in recipes. On Monday I made this recipe for roast chicken, it was really good. When we were done with dinner I put all of the bones/leftover chicken remnants in the fridge. I even use the leftover skin, but if you wanted to just throw the skin away it would reduce the fat content of your stock. I knew I was going to make my stock the next day, but you could also freeze this and make the stock any time.
When you are ready to make your stock put all of the chicken bones, etc. in a big stock pot.
I usually quarter 2 onions, 4 celery stalks, and a bunch of carrots.
Put them in the pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat to low. Let the stock cook on low all day. Your house will smell so good!
The water will start to reduce down, so about halfway through the day fill the pot back up to the top. It won't water it down, it will just reconstitute the reducing stock.
After it has cooked 8-9 hours remove from heat and get all the big pieces out. Then use a smaller mesh strainer to strain out the small bits and pieces. I usually pour it into a big bowl and back into the pot, straining both times.
Let the stock cool for a little while. The fat will all rise to the top and you can spoon a good bit off.
You can store the stock in re-useable plastic containers. You can find these for relatively cheap at the grocery store. I have even frozen it in plastic freezer bags. They work great. I put 2 cups of stock in each container. This is how much stock/broth is in a store bought can and most recipes call for stock in 2 cup multiples.
Freeze and enjoy!
I usually get 16-17 cups of stock from a pot this size. That is the equivalent of more than 8 cans of broth (and the stock is so much better than salty broth). A savings of about $6-8 depending on where you shop, made from stuff that would normally just be thrown away!
I made this soup for dinner last night with my new chicken stock. I have lots of other soup/stew recipes that I use the stock in if anyone is interested! It makes me feel so good to be able to stretch my dollars in this way and not waste any part of the chicken.