Making your own chicken stock is really easy and it's a great way to get a little more use out of that roasted chicken. The entire process from raw bird to stock is really easy and fairly inexpensive. We went down to the farmers market and bought a chicken from the Pondera Hutterite Colony for $7.50. We bought a bag of carrots, head of celery, and 2 onions (we were able to use half for the chicken and half for the duck a week later). Roasting the chicken took about 2 hours. The chicken provided us with 3-4 meals and plenty of doggie treats for the pups.
The stock was even easier, Simply Canning has a great recipe and a tip I hadn't considered: save up your scraps over time in the freezer until you have enough to make stock, that way you don't have to buy it all at once.
For the stock we put the chicken bones, skin, and leftover bits we didn't want to eat in a large pot with some chopped up celery, carrots and onion (it's not an exact science, use what you have on hand) and let it simmer for several hours, the longer the better. I think we ended up simmering it for 4-6 hours. Then we strained out the chicken pieces, bones, and vegetables. Use the pressure canner method to can the stock. Easy!
We did the same thing with the duck, but that was a special treat since the bird was $16. We won't be doing that every week, but it sure was tasty and it makes a really rich and fatty stock. Now we have about 20 pints and 4 quarts of homemade stock to use. I love adding a little stock when I'm cooking rice or barley, it adds a really nice flavor to it.
Here are the chicken and duck stocks side by side: