Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup Base

The little one had a very exciting past week. We officially started preschool!! WOOHOO :D

There were some tears and clinging, but I survived OK. J/K. I did most of my crying at home, the Sunday evening before the first day. The little school-goer did cry and had trouble letting mommy leave for work. She also had a short bout of refusing to eat or drink that first day, but every evening, she told me how much she just loved school, and wanted to go back the next day. We're very happy to have found such a great school, with such a lovely group of teachers who truly care about the kids.

Unfortunately, school also means bringing home icky bugs. We already caught our first one. This also came with the unfortunate timing of our very first ballet recital this past weekend. The little ballerina was NOT in the mood to sit through a whole recital (even though it was very well done, and moved along quickly). She then wandered out on stage behind her class, tears streaming down her face, and promptly sat down on the stage floor and sobbed. Lots of "Aww"s from the audience. Thank goodness they were all parents too, and many "Been there, done that"s were what they were thinking. That's okay. The little one really enjoyed her ballet class, loved her teacher, and we do have at least one good dress rehearsal on video for Grandma and Grandpa's enjoyment. LOL ;)

Anyway, ballet is over, and I think we're going to follow suit with a couple of the other moms in the class, and take a break until August. Time to nurse that cold today. Thankfully, I decided to make chicken soup this weekend. Ever since putting together that super easy
Fall-Off-The-Bone-Roast-Chicken recipe, we've been regularly roasting those (even hubby did one the other day! Yay hubby!). We usually eat up the dark meat the evening we roast it, and the next day, the white meat goes into chicken pie, or my apple-raisin-chicken salad (will post that recipe sometime). But we're not done there. The leftover carcasses (ribs, back, wings, with a bit of meat left on the bones) have been going in the freezer. I now had three, and I was ready to make soup. This is how I made a delicious, super easy stock in the slow cooker:

3 frozen chicken carcasses
1 small carrot
1 rib celery
1 parsnip
1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Arrange the frozen chicken carcasses and vegetables in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add enough water to cover. Cook overnight (8 hours) on low, covered.

When complete, strain the stock, discarding all the solids, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
To easily skim excess fat, refrigerate the cooled stock and the fat will rise to the surface and solidify, making it easy to lift out and discard. The remaining soup will have a jelly-like consistency when cold, due to all the collagen released from the bones and meat. This is what provides the body to soups.

This stock can also be frozen in ice cube trays, and later transferred to zip-top bags. Take a couple cubes from the freezer and toss them in the pan while making a sauce.

We had the most gigantic leeks from our organic buying club this week. I tend to use the dark greens, too, when I cook. I diced the leeks, gave them at least three good washes in cold water, to remove all the grit, and simmered those in this homemade chicken stock for about 20 minutes. That leek soup tastes even better the next day.

Enjoy! :)

Chicken in stock pot image courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh I love slow cooker recipes, love chicken soup and love how simple this recipe is. :) You've got me in the mood for soup now!