basic chicken stock

The air is starting to turn from summer to fall and in our house that means the menu is also starting to change.  I love the cooler weather that makes you hungry for some hearty soup or spicy chili.  And as a bonus to the big family, hot crockpot meals are just what everyone wants.   Throw some stock, meat and veges in a pot and you have an instant meal.  The key to making it yummy is to start with a good stock.

I used to slice up fresh onions, garlic and veges to add to my leftover chicken bones and then cook it on the stove for hours.  But then one day, as I was throwing out the bits and pieces of garlic and onion from a meal, it hit me.  Why not just use those instead.  So now when I am cooking, I keep a bowl on the counter next to the cutting board.  All the peels, stems and left over pieces of veges go into the bowl and then into the freezer along with the remains of our chickens or turkeys.  Once I get about 2 gallon size freezer bags full, then it is time to make some stock.  And no more stove top.  Into the big crockpot they go.  I add 2 T of apple cider vinegar, 2 to 3 chicken feet, 6 whole cloves, and then fill the rest of the pot with water.  Set the crockpot for 24 hours and then enjoy the aroma over the next day.  My kids always enjoy waking to, what they call, the smell of Thanksgiving.

Once the stock is done cooking, you will need to strain out the broth into a large soup pan.  Allow the stock to cool and then cover and place in the refrigerator. If you are not going to use it within the next couple of days, you can freeze it for later.  This stock is not just for soup.  I love to use it in place of water with our rice.  After trying this, you will totally ruined to anything you can buy at the store.  Super easy. Super yummy.

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