I don't know why I didn't start doing this sooner. I wish I had pictures...but not this time!
First, start saving your chicken bones/skin and any extras from veggies (peelings, ends, etc...). Just start shoving things in a plastic container/bag and freeze until you have the equivalent of a whole chicken. (Bonus if you roast a chicken and then strip it when you're done)
Put it all in a large pot and cover with water. Add some black pepper and salt. Get it boiling. When it hits a rolling boil turn it down to a LOW simmer. Cover it so you don't lose a lot of liquid. Keep it this way for 24 hours. (Yes, 24 hours) If you're not comfortable leaving the stove on when you're away from home or overnight you can turn it off briefly. Just make sure and bring it to a rolling boil again when you turn it back on and make sure it simmers for 24 hours (even if they aren't consecutive).
Fast forward 24 hours...
I usually grab another large pot and put a pasta strainer over it. Pour the liquid into it. This will strain out the large chunks of chicken and vegetable. Now grab your glass jars (I save all of the ones we buy. Jelly jars, salsa, etc...just run them through the dishwasher first). I take a glass measuring cup (because it's easy to pour) and pour it into the jars. If you want to strain it further you can put some cheesecloth or papertowel over the mouth of the jar. It's your choice. Pop them in the fridge and celebrate!
- Saves money! One chicken usually gets me over 2 quarts of stock. That's 2 quarts that I don't have to buy in the store.
- It's Healthy! When made this way you get the immune boost (bone marrow) and calcium (bone) that you don't get from the boxed stuff. Plus, low sodium because it's not packed with preservatives!
- And it just tastes better when you make it yourself.