Making a Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth or Stock is more than a delicious and savory component to a meal. It’s an incredibly healthy ingredient to always have on hand. And it doesn’t get easier than with a slow cooker.
Difference Between Stock and Bone Broth
“Bone broth is essentially stock,” says New York chef Marco Canora. “The confusion comes from the traditional definition for stock, which is more viscous due to the collagen that seeps out of joints and bones during long-term cooking, and broth, which is thinner and is made with more actual meat (versus meat-stripped bones used for stock). The confusion comes from the fact that the current trend uses the word “broth” even though bone broth is essentially stock.”
Health Benefits of Chicken Stock
Just as mom always said, chicken stock is incredibly healthy. It contains “nutrients, as well as collagen, marrow, amino acids and minerals. These may protect the digestive tract, improve sleep and support joint health. Additionally, adding vegetables and herbs to either stock or broth can increase the vitamin and mineral content and release beneficial aromatic plant compounds.”
For example, parsley, oregano, and thyme “are all sources of antioxidants that are commonly used in stock and broth. And certain cooking methods, including simmering, actually increase their antioxidant capacity.”
How Long can Homemade Broth Be Stored in the Refrigerator?
For longer shelf life, homemade broth can be frozen for 1 to 2 months.
How to Freeze Homemade Broth
From the food editors at Southern Living:
1. Cool. Refrigerators and freezers cannot cool soups quickly enough to be food safe. Speed up the cooling process by placing the pot of soup in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir soup often to help release the heat.
2. Package. Label and date gallon- or quart-size zip-top plastic freezer bags, place in a bowl, and cuff the bag over the edge. Ladle soup into each bag, then let out any excess air and seal.
3. Freeze. Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer; when frozen, stack bags to save space.
Slow Cooking Stock
What I love about using my slow cooker for making chicken stock is that it’s completely self-contained. It frees up my stove for other uses. And… while the slow cooker makes its magic on the kitchen counter, it’s bathing my home with the most delicious aroma… ever. That’s comfort food at its best.