I've made chicken stock before, and I do it more and more now. It's not that hard, if you have the time, and it's worth it. I still keep some store bought stock in my pantry just in case I need it. I'm only human.
When I first made stock way back in the beginning of the HTCE project I didn't provide a ton of step by step directions. So I thought I'd pass along this post from The Paupered Chef's Nick Kindelsperger. It's a well written and beautifully photographed account of Kindelsperger's quest to make the best Jewish penicillin he can muster for his ailing wife. It is, dare I say it, better than Bittman's recipe in How to Cook Everything (there are ways in which the blog is a better forum for the recipe than the printed page, yes?).
Since I first made stock, I've been after the perfect recipe. Bittman's comes out light and simple, and it's not bad by a long shot. But I like a really strong, dark brown thing that I just didn't get from HTCE. I've been looking for tips all over, but what I think has made the most difference came from Michael Ruhlman's The Elements of Cooking, an essential text for the home cook looking to gleam some helpful knowledge from the pros. What you do is brown the chicken in the stockpot you're going to use before you add the water. The caramelized bits of meat give the stock a deeper darker color and flavor. You can also use this method to brown any vegetables you are using, to the same effect. Just don't tell Mr. Ruhlman that you keep canned stock just in case. He will NOT let it slide.
Well, Ruhlman's a bit of a snob (it's why we love--him someone's got to uphold these standards, right?) and I wouldn't go that far. But with that said, I can't recommend enough taking a crack at homemade stock. It's not difficult, it just takes time. Use Kindelsperger's recipe, or Arthur Schwartz's. or Bittman's or Ruhlman's or Pepin's or your grandma's or whoever you like. It's cathartic, and your house will smell incredible. And then when you inevitably get your first cold of the fall, there's Jewish penicillin right there in the freezer, waiting for you. And it's way better than canned.
Building a Better Chicken Soup [the paupered chef]
THE Best Time to Make Stock [michael ruhlman's blog]