Monday, March 22, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken Stock

I love making chicken stock in the crock pot, because you take what would otherwise be garbage and turn it into something you'd have to pay for normally. It's also absurdly easy and makes your house smell really good.

The blog Nourishing Days has some really good tips for making stock here. What was new to me was the addition of vinegar (it works, and you can't taste it) plus using cold water and letting everything sit for about an hour before turning on the slow cooker. Also, the idea of hanging onto vegetable scraps in a ziploc in your freezer and to use in your stock is inspired. I literally take a chicken carcass and veggie scraps that would otherwise just be trash and turn it into a staple I'd buy regularly anyhow. I feel like I'm making money in my crock pot!

What do I do with the chicken stock? In addition to using it as a great base for soups, I use it to make risotto, the absurdly easy cheesy chicken and rice recipe I posted a while back. It's required for my favorite chicken pot pie recipe, and for quick coq au vin. Or this fabulous lemon chicken (the last time we got lemon chicken at a restaurant both The Big Geek and I thought of this and wished we were eating it instead.)

Or sometimes I just use it to cook rice, cous cous, or quinoa to give it more flavor.

At any rate, it's easy, delicious, and free--so you may as well try it.

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