perpetual slow cooker chicken stock

When I first saw this recipe from Nourished Kitchen for perpetual chicken bone broth, I was instantly intrigued and had to try it for myself.

If for no other reason than simplicity and anytime access to chicken stock (which I love to use!)...  although I must admit the easy nutrients sounded pretty good to me too!

I had some leftover turkey legs and bones from Thanksgiving, so I threw those into my slow cooker with half an onion, a few cloves of garlic and some peppercorns...  covered everything with water and turned the slow cooker on for the week!

A week?  The slow cooker is on for a week?!  All the time?!  Yep!

And besides the bit of warmth it adds to our house (so nice during these cold winter months!), it also keeps our house smelling deliciously like homemade chicken soup.  Yum!

According to Jenny, this broth tastes lightest on day 1 (24 hours after starting), richest on day 5, and then lighter again on day 7.

I am on day 4, and it has been amazing each day...  I can't wait to taste how good it is on day 5 if it's only going to get better!

As you dish up some broth to sip, or use in your soup or cooking, simply replace with fresh cold water and there you have it...  perpetual chicken stock!

At the end of the week, you should be able to easily crush the end of a bone with your finger tips.  That is how you can tell that all of the nutrients have been given.  If they haven't, feel free to continue to use another day or so!

Perpetual Slow Cooker Chicken Stock Recipe
adapted from Nourished Kitchen

1 chicken carcass, or bones - raw or previously cooked*
an onion, peeled and quartered
a few cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
a tablespoon or so of whole peppercorns
some parsley leaves and stems, if you have them

Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker.  Fill to the top with cold, filtered water, cover and cook on low for at least 24 hours or up to 7 days!

As you dish up a serving, pour through a fine mesh strainer or a reusable coffee filter.  Season to taste with salt and replace that amount of water into the slow cooker to keep the broth going.

*You could also place a whole chicken in the slow cooker and then remove it and take off the meat for another use when it's cooked through.  Return the carcass to the pot and continue with your stock!

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