Homemade Chicken Broth

I was sick with a stomach virus a few weeks ago, and was very thankful I had some homemade chicken broth in the freezer that I could sip while trying to recover. I wasn't able to eat for two days, and the chicken broth really helped. I like to have some waiting in the freezer for recipes, too, so I made a batch this week in the crockpot.

It's really easy to make chicken broth or stock in the crock pot. What I do is keep a ziploc bag in the freezer with various vegetable trimmings (carrots, onions, garlic, leeks, mushroom stems, etc.) and chicken bones, backs, necks, and wings. I will save both cooked chicken bones from a roasted chicken and raw bones like the neck and wings. You can use both. As I cook other recipes and have leftover pieces of onion or celery I put them in the ziplog bag in the freezer until it's full. Then I throw everything in the crockpot, fill with water, add a splash of apple cider vinegar, a bay leaf and a few black peppercorns, and let it simmer on low for at least 24 hours. Add water as necessary because it will evaporate. Then cool, strain, and divide into containers for the freezer. It's very easy and super nutritious!

An alternative to the crock pot, if you're going to be home for a few hours and have a whole chicken to cook, is to put it on a large stockpot on the stove with some onion, carrots, celery, etc. Bring it to a boil, skim off any foam that rises to the top, and simmer the chicken for about an hour until it's cooked. Remove the chicken, pull the meat off the bones, and put the bones back into the pot. Cook for several more hours until the bones are soft. Use the meat in mexican dishes, soups, or chicken salad.