Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chicken Stock ($0.29 per cup)

$0.29 per cup          68% savings          save $29.08 yearly

In my last post, I gave you a fabulous recipe for egg noodles... which totally got me in the mood for chicken noodle soup. It seemed only natural that I share my chicken stock with you next. And when it comes to making the real deal, so-good-it-warms-your-soul chicken noodle soup, it's all about the chicken stock: rich, flavorful, completely delicious chicken stock. No chicken broth from a can allowed.

But, hold up.

What the heck is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth? Stock is made from bones, and broth is made from meat.

The Food Network has a great explanation on their site. If you're interested, check it out here. In the mean time, enjoy this easy recipe... and the amazing results. 

Chicken Stock

(Note: I like to buy a rotisserie chicken, serve it to my family for dinner, then remove the leftover meat for chicken noodle soup and a chicken pot pie. I use the bones and skin to make this chicken stock. The skin is great because it has all those additional seasonings to add to the flavor of the stock.)

*Makes about 2 quarts

1 whole chicken carcass (from a 3 lb chicken; include the skin)
1 onion, quartered
2 celery ribs with leaves, quartered
3 carrots, scrubbed and quartered (not peeled)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 dried bay leaf (I crush it)
10 cups water

Place the chicken carcass, (skin included) and vegetables into a large pot, add 10 cups cold water, and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. If the carcass is not completely covered in water, wait until it has been heating for a while, and it will easily come apart with a spoon, allowing all parts of the chicken to be submersed.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4-5 hours, uncovered, skimming the scum that rises to the top with a ladle every so often. 

Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Discard the bones, skin, and vegetables.

You may skim the top if desired. Use immediately or let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown
3 lb rotisserie chicken - $5.48 - used 4 times = $1.370
3 lb bag onions - $1.96 = $0.245 ea. = $0.245 
1 lb bag celery - $1.48 = 15 ribs = $0.100/rib = $0.200
2 lb bag whole carrots - $1.48 = $0.74/lb. = $0.222
8 oz. black pepper - $3.84 = 37.75 tsp. = $0.102/tsp = 
.12 oz. bay leaves - $2.96 = 18 leaves = $0.164 ea. = $0.164
Total Recipe Cost = $2.30
Per Cup = $0.29

The Contender
Swanson Chicken Stock (26 oz.) = $2.68
Per Cup = $0.89


"Over a year" scenario
Make Chicken Stock 6 times = $13.80
Buy 16 Swanson Chicken Stock (26 oz.) = $42.88

*Money Saved = $29.08


  1. I make my own broth in the crockpot. Pretty much the same ingredients as yours but let it cook on Low for 24 hours (Yes, 24 hours!). It cooks all the good stuff out of the bones and makes a very RICH stock. After it cools in the refrigerator, it should be gelatinous, and then you know you've got a good, healthy stock.

  2. I make stock in the crockpot as well -- usually overnight on low if we ate a chicken and I have the carcass just sitting there. Add a small splash of vinegar to help dissolve the goodness out of the bones. I just cover the carcass with water, slow cook overnight and strain it to keep my stock very basic, so that I can add it to anything. I freeze mine in a muffin tin, then pop out the frozen discs and store in the freezer in a Ziploc. Each one is about half a cup!

  3. I add about 1/4 cup vinegar to the water to help draw out all the minerals and goodness from the bones. And I freeze mine in 2 cup containers. This is a great recipe!

  4. Hmmm.. I started making this in my big stockpot at 9pm, not realizing how long it had to cook.. so I think i'll switch it over to the crockpot to cook overnight. Thanks for the recipe! :-)

  5. Did you know you can repeat this process with the same bones a good three to four times? I think I've done three rounds in the past. Obviously the flavor will not be as intense or the texture gelatinous in the fridge, but it is still yummy and works great for certain uses.

    1. Kayla, I did NOT know that. It makes sense though... I'm assuming you immediately start your next round(s) as soon as you are done with the previous round of simmering. Am I right? I can see using round 2 (and round 3) in place of canned chicken broth in recipes where the flavor of the broth isn't a primary concern. Thanks! Not sure why I never thought to do this before... :)

  6. It wasn't my idea; happy to pass it along.:-) If I have the time to do another batch right away I do,(using new veggies and spices) otherwise I put the bones in the fridge til I can get to them. I just found your site through your comments on Lydia's blog last night, and am loving it! I have the homemade rolls rising right now and am excited to try more of your recipes! Thanks for all the hard work you put into this; I appreciate it!

  7. My mom taught me to always scrub my veggies for my meals and then peel them... saving all the peels (potato, onion - yes, even the dried brown skins, carrots, the green part of leeks, etc.). If not using the peels immediately, then put them in a large container in the freezer until you are ready to make stock. Then, instead of using a perfectly good carrot, onion etc. just throw in your peels. The stock pot looks like you are cooking your compost (which, in essence, you are) but the flavour is A.Mazing! Also, save the strings that are on the rotisserie chickens. There is soooo much flavour absorbed by them and by adding them to your stock you are getting all that goodness too! In fact, when I cook a beef roast (and the odd pork one), I save all the strings (or netting) and fat, put it in a Ziploc bag in my freezer, and when the bag (I use a gallon freezer bag) is full I put the strings in the crock-pot, with my bag of veggie peels, cover them with water and turn on low for 24 hours. There is no actual beef in the crock-pot - just strings and fat (and veggie peels) but the stock that comes out of there when it is finished is robust and flavourful! My mom and I run a small catering company and use this broth to make soup all the time and customers RAVE about it! I do admit, that we have never given away our secret to anyone before because people would think that we are completely insane for feeding this to paying customers but it is the best stock that I have ever tasted!


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