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Post  Thu, Apr 18 2019, 10:06 am

Excerpt From: America's Test Kitchen. “The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook Season 11.

Why This Recipe Works Homemade stock tastes a lot better than even the best store-bought broths. While it’s not complicated to make, it does require some babysitting on the stovetop, so instead, we turned to our slow cooker. We piled vegetables and leftover cooked chicken bones in cold water, added seasonings, and set it on high. The slow cooker prevented evaporation so the bones remained submerged, which is often a challenge with stovetop stock recipes. Refrigerating the strained stock allowed the fat to rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to discard. This rich, savory stock is remarkably easy—and thrifty too.


This stock is great to use in any of our recipes calling for chicken broth. You can freeze chicken carcasses one at a time until you have the 2½ pounds needed for this recipe; three to four rotisserie chicken carcasses or one 6-pound roaster carcass will weigh about 2½ pounds. This recipe was developed using bones from cooked chicken.

3 quarts water
2½ pounds roasted chicken bones
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf

1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 8 to 10 hours.

2. Let stock cool slightly, then strain through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl. Use immediately or let cool completely, then refrigerate until cold. (When cold, surface fat will solidify and can be easily removed with spoon. Stock will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.)

Stock Storage

Frozen homemade chicken stock lasts for up to two months. Freeze small and medium amounts in ice cube trays or muffin tins; once frozen, pop out the stock blocks and keep them in zipper-lock bags for easy access when making pan sauces or gravy. Freeze larger amounts in plastic quart containers or zipper-lock bags, which are easy to stack in crowded freezers.


Buy loose celery heads, not bagged celery heads (with clipped leaves) or bagged celery hearts. Loose celery heads tend to be fuller and fresher. Look for glossy green stalks without brown edges or yellowing leaves. Revive limp celery stalks by cutting off about 1 inch from both ends and submerging the stalks in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. The best way to store celery is to wrap it in foil and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.


Buy fresh carrots with greens attached for the best flavor. If buying bagged carrots, check that they are evenly sized and firm (they shouldn’t bend). Don’t buy extra-large carrots, which are often woody and bitter. To prevent shriveling, store carrots in the crisper drawer in a partially open zipper-lock bag or in their original plastic bag. Before storing green-topped carrots, remove and discard the greens or the carrots will become limp. Both bagged and fresh carrots will keep for several weeks.
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