One of the projects my mom and I undertook (in truth, she did all the dirty work - what a mom!) this past week was to investigate and make chicken stock.
Google "health benefits of chicken stock," and you'll get volumes of information. Or just read "Broth is Beautiful." The bottom line is that chicken stock is every bit as good for you as Grandma always said. It's great for colds, healing to the gut, and the list goes on...
The first thing I educated myself on was the difference between stock and broth. Broth is made from cooking the meat in water. Stock is boiling the carcass or bones slowly with vegetables and spices. The goodness in the bones and cartilage is what produces the benefits of stock. I have a bag of broth in my freezer from boiling some chicken breasts. It looks pale as water compared to the stock we made.
We roasted three chickens (because I wanted LOTS of meat). After Mom picked them clean, we put one in the crockpot (with a steamer basket on the bottom for easy removal) and two in a stockpot. Throw in some veggies (washed, not peeled), bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cover with water.
We cooked the stock pot birds for about 4 hours. The crockpot was on low for 8-10. Strain, bag, freeze. We found that 4 cups in a quart-sized baggie was a manageable size.
Now we're looking forward to some savory and healthy soups over the next couple months!