the chicken stock experiment

Asian chicken soupI read a lot of natural living-type blogs and over and over again I keep seeing the term “bone broth” come up. Bone broth this and bone broth that. What on earth is this magic bone broth? Well, come to find out it’s exactly how I make chicken stock. I think “bone broth” must be a buzzword or something because it’s certainly not new. In fact, I don’t even call it stock I just call it soup.

Soup is something I eat a lot of, and I prefer my own chicken soup (well, my mom’s is the best naturally, but I think I do okay). Since I’m still trying to meet my weight loss goal, and I’m still nursing, a cup of soup and a sandwich is my standard lunch — easy, healthy, and nourishing. The best diet pills can’t possibly taste as good!

At any rate, a lot of the blogs suggested making the stock, bone broth, whatever you call it in a slow cooker. Now, I’ve always made mine on the stove in a pot. There’s no rhyme or reason, really. I basically take a stock pot and fill it with a chicken carcass (from either a chicken I roasted myself or a rotisserie chicken when I’ve been short on time), celery tops, a couple carrots, a large onion (skin and all, quartered), some peppercorns, and a couple garlic cloves if I think of it. Sometimes I’ll add some dried dill as well. I cover it with water and I allow it to almost reach a boil, then turn it way down to simmer for a couple hours. I’m left with a very rich stock that turns gelatinous when I put it in the fridge. That’s exactly how you want it.

Well, the slow cooker method is supposed to work very well. Many recipes call for the addition of apple cider vinegar — something I forgot to add. Now, I’m not sure if maybe that’s where I went wrong but after cooking on low for about 14 hours, the stock had achieved a deep color, but the depth of flavor wasn’t there. And it didn’t have the gelatinous quality even after it spent the night in the fridge. So I won’t be making it this way again. Have you ever made stock in the Crock Pot? How does it come out for you and what do you do differently?

6 Replies to “the chicken stock experiment”

  1. I make mine the same as yours, just without the garlic cloves. I usually use a bay leaf or two also. I’ll have to try it with apple cider vinegar next time.

  2. I’ve never tried making my own stock. I just buy the cartons in the grocery store. 🙂 I like Rachael Ray’s. That bowl of soup in the photo above looks *so* good! I made bean soup the other night, and it was so yummy!

  3. I don’t make stock specifically, but I do make chicken soup with a whole chicken and vegetables. I’ve made it on the stove and in my slow cooker, and once I’ve strained it I do get the nice, gelatinous stock with a layer of fat that can be skimmed off from both preparations. A package of chicken necks is also a cheap, easy way to get that gelatinous broth!

  4. Hrm your recipe looks good. Not sure why it didn’t set like gelatin. I just made some the other day and mine was fine. Oh know what, it could be the veggies. They do have water. I just make stock and then later I make soup. And then add in all the other stuff…so maybe that’s what happened? Also I do it overnight. Because I’m normally making stock after we’ve had a chicken meal. And I put everything left from the chicken in there. Even skin.

  5. I made my own for the first time a few weeks ago using the recipe from It made my soup so delicious!

  6. Tell me more about the chicken carcass. Are we talking picked clean? I’ve tried to make stock before but not been successful. The water kind of just… boils away.

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