Thinking about Thanksgiving in a couple weeks has started me thinking about stock-that essential flavoring that I always leave to the last minute and which always adds more time and cleanup to every recipe. So yesterday while shopping at fairway I bought a bunch of chicken wings with the vague memory of an easy stock that didn't require the whole chicken (or whole carcass). I came home and did some research about easy stocks and discovered a whole thread about making stock in the slow cooker. I decided to try Sara Moulton's Chicken Stock recipe. I skipped the parsley and used the chicken bones from the rotisserie chicken that Michael and Mack were demolishing for lunch. (I saved the extra chicken for another meal or salad.) It turned out a very tasty stock that didn't require a lot of mess or extra steps (no excessive straining, defatting, etc.)I boiled it down some to reduce and concentrate it then froze in in 4-c and 2-c portions.
But I still had 3 pounds of chicken wings in my fridge so I started looking for a more traditional stock recipe and stumbled upon Smitten Kitchen's Perfect Uncluttered Chicken Stock—that happened to be made in a slow cooker! It seems this is sort of a thing. And why not? You're just slow cooking all the ingredients then straining out the liquid. So next I dumped the wings, onion, garlic, salt (and added carrot, celery, peppercorns, thyme and a bay leave ala Moulton.) 10 hours later i had a rich stock (more flavorful and complex than Moulton's recipe) that I could freeze for the weeks ahead. This is the kind of ctockpot use I can appreciate. Less mess, no stove on for many hours. Done.
stock from Smitten Kitchen
- 3 pounds uncooked chicken wings
- 3 quarts water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste*
Place all ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5.
Strain out chicken parts, onion and garlic. The stock is now ready to use, or, you might prefer to do as we do, and put it in the fridge to chill until any fat solidifies on the top. (Though, there is really very little here, and some might prefer to leave it.) Once defatted, you can now use it or freeze it until needed.)