Chicken stock is one of those recipes that typically ends up in the back of cookbooks, in the “Basics” section that no one really ever reads. Stock is also considered rather intimidating, like a first date or the first day of school. But it’s neither basic nor scary and because it’s so forgiving – and cheap – to me it’s really an essential recipe.
There are as many way to make stock as there are cooks in this world, maybe more, because most cooks, professional and home cooks alike, have multiple recipes. This is the recipe I use when I have the remains of a rotisserie chicken staring me down at eight in the morning. With a few veggies and salt and pepper done with a twist of the wrist, there’s the potential to have stock burbling away before you can say “Have a nice day!” to the kiddos.
I keep mine fairly straight forward, because these are the ingredients I typically have in my fridge. This yields a light stock that’s a flavorful base for risottos, soups and other worthwhile dishes. I freeze extra in two- and four-cup plastic deli containers. That way, I’m always prepared, even if I’m not sure what’s on the menu for dinner.
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved
- 3 celery stalks, unpeeled and quartered
- 3 carrots, unpeeled and quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 8-12 cups water
- Place the chicken, vegetables, herbs and seasonings into the ceramic pot of your slow cooker. Add water to cover.
- Set the timer to 8-10 hours and cook on LOW.
- Once the slow cooker is done, turn it off and let the stock cool until easy to handle.
- Place a colander into a large clean stockpot and strain the entire contents of the slow cooker into the stockpot.
- Discard the solids.
- Refrigerate overnight, then use within a few days or freeze in individual airtight containers.