It's not difficult to make your own home made stock. The only time consuming part is allowing it to come to a boil and simmer on the stove top. I would imagine you could probably make this in a crock pot and let it do its thing while you are at work. When the stock has cooled down you can put it in plastic containers in the freezer or freeze the stock in muffin or cupcake tins and when they are frozen, bag them up in freezer bags. When you are ready to have some stock you just pull out how ever many disks you need for that nights dinner. Great to have on hand if you have a chicken dish and have nothing to make gravy with but want some sort of sauce to go with it.
Now my carcass still had the thyme and dill and the half lemon inside the carcass which I discovered as the stock started to boil. But I can tell you the aroma coming from that pot of stock is divine. The amount of water can be adjusted based on the size of the carcass. You need enough to just cover it. The carcass I had was from an 8 pound bird.
- Chicken carcass and any legs or wings you have left over
- 16 cups of water (Adjust according to the size of the carcass of the bird.)
- 3 medium carrots - cut in thirds
- 3 stalks celery - cut in halves
- 1/2 large onion (softball size)
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp. kosher salt**
- Place the carcass, legs and wings if you have them in a 6 quart pot.
- Add in the water, the vegetables, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt.
- Cook over medium high to high heat covered until it comes to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer for at least 45 minutes covered.
- Uncover and simmer for another hour to reduce and concentrate the flavor, longer if you like.
- Allow the stock to cool down - use an ice water bath to help. Place ice in your clean kitchen sink with cold water and set the pot in it. Cool it down for one hour.
- Strain the stock into another stainless steel pot or large bowl and refrigerate over night.
- The next day you can skim off the hardened fat that has accumulated.
- Place the stock in containers to freeze or in muffin or cupcake tins to have individual portions of stock on hand whenever you need them.
This is the photograph I took at the beginning of the process. You can see that you need not be particular with the size. I did not even peel the carrots nor cut the ends; after all you strain all of this.
And here is the finished product that I am cooling down in my refrigerator.