I know when most people need chicken stock or chicken broth, they reach for a can or carton that they purchased at the store. What I don't understand is why. It is so incredibly easy to make! And superior (in both taste and nutrition) to what you can find in the store.
Let me show you how to make it!
I started with a small chicken. I was cooking it for Molly. It was a beautiful sunny day so I put it in the Sun Oven.
Once the chicken was cooked and used in the recipe I have for her, all I had left was the chicken carcass. This is what you use to make the stock. Don't just use the bones though, use everything that you have left over: skin, leftover meat, neck, gizzards, everything! Put it in a pot and cover with water. Only add enough water to cover the bones. If it is a small chicken, you can freeze the bones until you have another and then cook them both together. Sometimes I do that when I am busy.
You can also add any leftover vegetables you may have. I use carrot tops, the ends of green beans, peas (if I have them), and parsley. You can add any spices or other herbs you would like as well. Next time you chop up some vegetables for dinner, save the discards and put them in the freezer. When you go to make a batch of chicken stock, use all the discards you have saved. To help get all the nutrients out of the bones, add a couple tablespoons of vinegar as well.
This is where I differ with some other directions you may find on the Internet. I have read that you should bring the pot to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer. I don't like my chicken stock to boil, it turns cloudy and you get this icky foam that you need to skim off. To keep the chicken stock clear (like the store bought stuff), simmer it on low. A crock pot works really well here. You can simmer it all night while you sleep!
You can also put it in the Sun Oven. In my opinion, the Sun Oven slow cooks better than a crock pot (and it doesn't use electricity!) I use the inside piece of my crock pot and the cover and put it in the Sun Oven. This doesn't even need me to turn the oven every 30 minutes to redirect it at the sun. Slow cook means I can turn the oven every 2 hours or so. In the summer, I can point the oven where the mid-day sun will be and leave it there all day. I let mine stay in the Sun Oven for a total of about 8 hours.
When it is done, use a colander to separate the bones, vegetables and anything else you added to the pot. You can discard them now. What you have left is the best chicken stock you have ever tasted! This stuff doesn't last long at my house!
You can freeze it or can it if you would like. Next time you cook, reach for the homemade stock instead of store bought. Not only will you notice the taste difference in your meal, but you also won't be getting any artificial ingredients in your food - just good wholesome nutrition.
What a cool idea it is to make something so good tasting (and good for you) from things that would have gone into the trash!
Now that is being frugal!