It’s fall, and that means one thing.
“But gra, how do I even make chicken stock?? Don’t I need, like, fresh herbs and vegetables and powdered unicorn horn and the Pope’s blessing?” No gra. You need a chicken carcass and a pot. You need to barely cover the bird with water and you need to bring all that to a boil. Then you need to let it simmer away for as long as you’ve got, covered or not (depends on how much water you feel comfortable losing through the miracle of steam). Then you need to salt & pepper to taste. Then you need to pat yourself on the back.
(You could go all textbook and add vegetables and other things too, if you wanted, and they do give the stock a more rounded flavor. But truly, they are not a necessity.)
Waste not, want not. Now, you might be saying “uh, well, I don’t normally waste a chicken carcass because the day you see me roasting my own chicken is also the day I start making my own soap and, like, hah, using lemon juice as deodorant.” You laugh. But really, roasting a chicken well– and simply (though you, enlightened reader[s], probably know that the two often go hand in hand in the kitchen)– is not hard to do. There are a zillion and one sets of instructions out there– pick your favorite and go with it. The alternative is, of course, getting one of the (relatively) freshly-roasted ones from the grocery. Anyway, at the end of both of these paths, you will stand before a lovely roasted bird with two things to gain: tasty meat (that you can and should save and/or freeze) and SHEER POTENTIALITY. By using the parts for priceless stock, you not only save yourself the money you’d otherwise be throwing away on the pathetic excuses for “broth”/”stock” at the supermarket, you’re truly using the whole item you purchased in the first place. And you’ll get a quick anatomy lesson. And your whole house will smell lovely.
Remember: chicken stock comes from chickens. Not a box. So have at it! You’ll be glad you did and you probably won’t ever go back to the box*.
*But if, heaven forbid, you do find yourself thinking longingly of boxed stock, maintain at least a modicum of self-respect and see if you can’t get your hands on this brand. Admittedly… it is pretty damn good in a pinch.