Thursday, April 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

When Boxing Day sales hit after Christmas, I bought this great Crock Pot for under $40. Thing is, I didn't realize that cooking in one takes a bit of effort to learn.

Oops. As a result I haven't used it much so far.

Anyway, I had all these chicken pieces sitting around in my freezer, so I thought I'd try making some home made chicken broth. Usually I would think that making broth would take forever, but using the Crock Pot made it really effortless. The evening before I decided to make it, I prepped all the veggies so that in the morning all I had to do was throw everything in the crock pot and turn it on, then leave for work. Here's what went in:

3 lbs of chicken pieces-backs, thighs, drumsticks, etc.
1 large onion, chopped into about 8 pieces
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into hunks
4 celery stalks chopped into hunks
8 cups of water
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, smashed
salt and pepper to taste

All of this was chucked into the slow cooker, and then I turned it on low and let it cook for 8 hours. When I came home the house smelled amazing! I removed all the solid pieces and strained the liquid through some cheesecloth, then set the broth in the fridge to cool.

I also stripped all the meat off of the chicken pieces and set it aside. When the broth was cool, I scraped the fat off the top.

I was left with about 6-8 cups of broth, and so I made some really awesome (and incredibly easy!) chicken noodle soup. I didn't even need to use the chicken breasts that it calls for because I had lots of meat left over from making the broth.

Served with some cheese biscuits, it made a really nice dinner-and Jake happily took some to school the next day for lunch, too.
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