minutes per mile blog

chicken stock: homemade or store-bought?

18 degrees out there! I almost wimped out this morning but decided to brave the cold. It actually wasn’t so bad — cold for sure, but only 2 mph winds which was a relief. And there’s your Nashville morning run weather report :)0113160637_Burst02I headed down to the park for a peaceful little jog! The lake was so still today — like a mirror.0113160652I needed to get home quickly to tend to a frittata (as one does) and I think the cold temps made me want to run fast. Not sure how or why I decided to keep this pace ?! I’m usually more of an 8-minute girl but today I was feeling fast.0113160709On the opposite side of the spectrum: let’s talk about SLOW. Slow cooking.

minutes per mile grocery rant #5985934: The other day I was buying boxed chicken stock at the store and as I watched the two boxes of what is basically water slowly make their way to the register on the conveyor belt and ring up for $4.50 I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I decided that I can’t live my life blowing money on store-bought chicken stock and that I NEED to make my own.homemade_chicken_stock_slow_cooker_DSC0863The problem is that I work full-time, workout almost every day, write this silly blog, and have to dedicate 45 minutes per day to The Goodwife. When would I have time to slave over a pot of homemade stock?

And then I thought: Slow cooker to the rescue!!!! And yes I use that many exclamation points in my brain when I think about my slow cooker. whole_chicken_slow_cooker_DSC0840I bought a whole bird and put it in the slow cooker on Monday before I left for work — about 7:30 a.m. To unpack the slow cooker, unwrap the bird, and toss in half of an old onion took five minutes total.

When I got home at 6:30 p.m., my chicken was fully cooked and had released a ton of liquid! It took about ten minutes to take all the meat off the bones — it was so tender it basically fell right off.whole_chicken_slow_cooker__DSC0844Next, I added water (about 7 cups) to the chicken liquid in the slow cooker and put the slow cooker on HIGH for ~90 minutes while we ate dinner and watched that very necessary episode of The Goodwife. I also discovered a few extra veggie odds and ends at this point (carrots and bell pepper tops) so I tossed them into the stock, too.

Next, we put a strainer on top of a big pot and poured the stock into it to remove all of the bones and bits. This was probably the messiest, most time-consuming part of the process: pouring and storing the stock + cleaning dishes took another 15 minutes or so._DSC0854But: Now I have 10 cups’ worth of essentially **free** chicken stock into the freezer. Bam! Done. homemade_chicken_stock_slow_cooker_DSC0859For my true grocery geeks, here’s a cost comparison of homemade vs. store-bought stock. Even if you intentionally buy your veggies for the sole purpose of making stock (which typically wouldn’t be the case — most people use leftover/old/end bits of the veggies), you’d still save money, according to the research.

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3 thoughts on “chicken stock: homemade or store-bought?

  1. Have you ever tried the chicken bouillon cubes? My mom uses them, but I always forget to look for them/they never pop out at me in the grocery store, so I have yet to try them myself. I believe they are cheaper than boxed stock though!

  2. To justify buying super expensive organic whole chicken, I’ll make roast chicken with potatoes and carrots the first day and save the meat that we don’t finish. Then I’ll cook the bones, an onion and some seasoning in the slow cooker for a whole day, drain it, add in carrots and celery, then bring it all up to a boil and add in the leftover meat and some egg noodles. This makes tons of soup and this way a single chicken can make two dinners, and usually two lunches as well!