Friday, 13 July 2012

Homemade Stock in the Slow Cooker

Ever since reading Christine's post on 'Slow Living Essentials' about making stock in the slow cooker, and from scraps no less, I've been saving my kitchen peelings for such an event.  Now the time has come and I have enough to create quite a large batch of yummy homemade chicken stock.  Pop over to Christine's blog and see how she does it too.

I have been saving my carrot and onion peelings, some spring onion tops, parsley stalks and a couple of chicken frames left over from roasts.  Each night I have just been adding them to a container in the freezer until I had what I thought was enough for a lot of stock and once the stock was made I then froze it into smaller portions in ziplock bags for future use.

I had been meaning to try making my own stock, but with working outside of the home it seemed like something I just couldn't add to my list of weekend activities, but with Christine's method it is simple.  I took the frozen vegetables and chicken and put it in the slow cooker, covered it with water, cut up the celery leaves from a fresh bunch as I didn't have any frozen, and added a couple of bay leaves, some peppercorns and salt with a splash of Apple Cider vinegar, turned on the slow cooker and walked away.

Another thing that concerned me at first was using the brown skins from the onions, was it safe to eat those?  As a knitter and spinner I have used them to make lovely dyes for wool and was a bit worried about the tannins (?) that come from the skin and if it was suitable for consumption and guess what?  Turns out they are very very good for you so that was another bonus to making this stock.
You can read some more about the benefits of adding brown onion skins to soups, and stews here and here.

Voila!.....12 hours later I have 3 litres of beautiful homemade, healthy chicken stock.  Remove the vegetable and chicken bones and then strain through some muslin.  What could be easier than that?  It tastes better than store bought stock, is better for you because it doesn't have any of the preservatives and additives heaped with salt, and it is made from things that would normally be thrown away so it is almost free.
I froze mine in 1-litre portions in ziplock bags ready for use as most recipes seem to ask for 4 cups of stock.

With the left over vegetables and bits of chicken and some of the stock I added some rice and made a casserole for dog food, making sure I picked out all the bones and only used the carrots and some of the greens in the vegetables.

I'm going to add this to my regular processes in the kitchen and enjoy fresh homemade stock from now on.
Thanks Christine!


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic stuff, Chez! I'm so pleased you gave it a go, it really is a very easy way of having loads of stock on hand.

    It's also great to read the confirmation that the onion skins are so healthy/useful - to have it defined exactly why is wonderful!

    I have my slow cooker chugging away as I type, to be strained tomorrow morning. The next batch will be with a big ham hock bone..looking forward to that one. ;)


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