Web Exclusive: Slow Cooker Chicken and Beef Stock

’Tis the season—for warm stews and soups! Homemade stock can make a simple soup taste phenomenal, but often takes hours of stovetop cooking to complete. The recipes that follow are a simple way to get great homemade flavor with minimal effort using your slow cooker.
By / Photography By D. Lucas Landis | November 25, 2015

Instructions

Chicken Stock
 
Yield: About 4 cups
 
¾ pound chicken legs, breasts, thighs or bones (can use leftover carcass from roasting)
1 small yellow onion sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 carrot cut into 1-inch chunks (about ¾ cup)
5 cups cold water
¾ tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
 
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low heat. Allow to cook for 6–8 hours on low, skimming the surface a few times during cooking.
 
When finished, strain out the aromatics, chill and remove the top layer of fat from the stock. Freeze or use in any recipe calling for chicken stock.
 
 Beef Stock
 
Yield: About 5 cups
 
1 pound beef bones
1 garlic clove
6 cups cold water
½–1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1¼ cup)
 
Place the beef bones, garlic, water, salt, peppercorns and bay leaf in a slow cooker on low heat. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions and parsnips. Cook for 7–10 minutes, until the onions are soft and the parsnips are beginning to caramelize. Add this to the slow cooker. Allow the mixture to cook for 8–10 hours on low heat or 4 hours on high. Avoid boiling. Skim off the “scum” that floats to the surface as the stock is cooking.
 
Shut off the slow cooker. Strain out and discard the aromatics. Cool and skim the layer of fat that forms on the surface of the stock. Freeze or use in any recipe calling for beef stock, like our Braised Oxtail Soup in the Winter Liquid Assets Issue.

Preparation

Invest in Stocks

From scratch stock well worth the time it takes

 

Ivy Tech Culinary Arts Instructor chef George Albiez shares his stock making techniques with writer Tricia McCann

 

TM: What is the most important step to take when making stock?

GA: Having the right, freshest ingredients. You should also keep in mind the four cardinal rules of making a stock:

One: Use cold water. Two: Never boil stocks or they will get cloudy. Three: Skim the top frequently to remove impurities. Four: Let it go for a long time. When making stocks, longer is better. I do overnight for beef stocks.

 

TM: What about stock ingredients?

GA: I use half as much bones as water and about 10% mirepoix. The mirepoix should measure out to about half onion, a quarter celery and a quarter carrot. Herbs in the mirepoix are usually thyme, bay leaves and parsley stems, which add a subtle flavor.

 

TM: For your oxtail soup (featured in our Winter 2015 issue), what type of stock and bones do you use?

GA: I use beef. When making any beef stock, I use the joint or knucklebones. The fresher the better, since they usually have less fat and more collagen to give flavor to your stock.

 

TM: Where could someone go to find bones to make their stock?

GA: Any butcher or meat shop can reserve bones. Ask your local butcher to save them for you!

 

Tricia McCann is a South Bend native and recent IU South Bend graduate. She travels frequently in the name of good food and new recipes. It is not uncommon to find her at markets and breweries soaking in the local flavor.

 

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