I’ve experimented a lot with slow cooker stock. My first batch, tasted like watered down stock. Not good. The next was a little better, but still not good enough.
I make a ton of traditional stock, but the problem with a slow cooker is it doesn’t maintain that simmer all day, like the stove does, to extract the flavor needed for a stock. So I realized I needed to add a punch of flavor in the ingredients. After many attempts, I have finally come up with this recipe which uses two chicken carcasses, parsley, dried mushrooms (which are key), and a hint of soy sauce. The result is a beautiful, dark, rich stock. It’s darker than traditional chicken stock and almost looks like beef stock.
This stock is particularly good in my vegetable, barley soup; chicken noodle soups; Asian soups; mushroom soup; potpie; rice dishes; sauces, etc.
This will yield 7-8 cups of stock, so you probably want to freeze extra.
If you are single and don’t buy two chickens at a time, just freeze a carcass when you’re done with one and the next time you buy one, make this stock.
When making this stock, it’s important that you use the chicken skin, too. I never eat the skin because it’s so unhealthy, but it’s loaded with fat and seasoned, which adds flavor to your stock.
I also love how easy this is. I don’t have to monitor it like I do a stovetop stock. I toss it in and forget about it.
If you have to go buy all these ingredients, then this will be more expensive than store-bought stock, and not really worth it. But I always have all these ingredients on hand, so I make homemade stock all the time. I prefer the flavor and it has less sodium than commercial brands. If you are watching your sodium level, skip the soy sauce in this recipe. Plus, I freeze it so I can grab stock whenever I need.
Slow Cooker Stock
8 cups water
2 rotisserie chicken carcasses
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1 large onion
4 stalks of celery with the leaves
1 clove chopped garlic or 1 teaspoon dehydrated garlic
3 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms or another dried mushroom, like shiitake
½ teaspoon soy sauce
¼ cup fresh parsley with stems (optional)
Place all ingredients in large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours. Note, if you have a slow cooker that cook in hours instead of heat, 4 hours, 6 hours, 10 hours—then if possible, cook it on 4 hours and then when it’s done, hit 4 hours again. This will be the highest possible temperature, which will yield the best results.