I said in my very first post that one way I keep my grocery budget low is by making things from scratch. It also allows me to be sure that I am not pumping lots of chemicals and preservatives into my family since I am in control of the ingredients. But I realize that cooking most things from scratch can seem like a daunting task. Believe me, I've been there and still struggle sometimes with how hard something seems to make.
I've been searching a lot lately on how to make my own version of many store bought treats and thought it would be fun to share these with you guys every week as I try them. I will also include homemade versions of foods that I already make. So every Friday I will have a new recipe posted that anyone can make at home with minimal to no special equipment.
I have found that chicken stock (or any broth) is almost essential to a frugal cook. The problem is that those little cans or boxes can get expensive and you aren't always assured of the quality. But this problem is solved with minimal effort and expense.
I start with a whole chicken and then take all the meat off the bones. Sometimes I cook this chicken as part of a specific meal and sometimes I cook it just to make stock and have shredded chicken in the freezer. This chicken was being used right away, but usually I separate the chicken into meal sized portions and freeze that way. That way I can get up to six meal from one chicken (not including stock)! Talk about a double-duty meal.
I then turn the crockpot onto low and let it cook for 6-12 hours (it all depends on the time I am working with). The stock will reduce and this is what you are left with.
I then strain the stock first through a regular colander to get the big pieces then through a small mesh strainer (okay, actually a splatter screen) to get the small bits.
*keep in mind that this is just how I do it...I do it this way because it is simple, though it may not be the exact right way to do it