I cook a lot with chicken. Not only is chicken a good source of protein (24 grams per 3 ounce serving) but it is relatively inexpensive and full of zinc, B vitamins, potassium and calcium.
I usually purchase boneless skinless chicken breasts but occasionally a recipe will call for split chicken breasts or I will find a sale too good to pass up. I often cook the chicken with the skin on and the bones intact but then am left with a lot of leftover parts when I am finished taking the meat off the bone. Up until now I have always thrown this away but knew that there had to be something that I could do with it.
I knew about stock and that it was a healthy alternative to canned chicken broth but always thought it was too much work. Boy was I wrong, it couldn't be easier!
I often keep cooked chicken breast on hand to use in recipes, on salads, in soups or whatever else I can think to add it to.
Recently, I baked several split chicken breasts, chopped the meat and was left with the bones and skin. After a quick google search I added the remnants to my crock pot and went to my vegetable drawer to see what I could add. Some online posts suggested keeping a bowl of unusable vegetable parts (onion skins, celery ends, carrot peels, etc.) through the week and then using these to make stock. I didn't do this so I took an onion, the end of the celery stalk and some garlic, chopped it up and added it to the crock pot followed by water to the top.
I set the crock pot on low and went to sleep. The next morning everything had cooked down and the wonderful smell of warm chicken soup filled my kitchen!
The next step is to drain the vegetables and chicken parts from the broth.
At this point there are no more uses for what is in the colander so into the garbage it goes. What is left is a delicious hearty stock free of salt and preservatives that are often present in canned broth.
You could add spices or other seasonings if desired and then use the stock in your favorite soup recipe!