This is a guest post from Kimmy.
Note from Jami: When Kimmy contacted me about writing this guest post, I thought it would be good to have another option for you to be able to make your own chicken stock (turkey and beef, too – it’s all in the bones!) – in addition to the traditional way to make stock on the stovetop and the Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Stock I’ve written about previously. Whatever way you find that works best for you, I’m happy to do what I can to encourage you to make your own stock – for all the reasons Kimmy has listed!
In our home we try to eat as simply as possible. I buy the very best food that we can afford and is in season. This means that often one meal will be the prep for the next. For example one simple roast chicken dinner will also be the shredded chicken for the next and the leftover bones will wind up as stock.
Yes, I believe you should make your own chicken stock. It is infinitely better than anything you can buy at the store and, if done right, can be practically free. Most of what you buy in the store is broth anyways- not stock. Stock means the gelatin in the bones has rendered giving you a rich, hearty, sometimes a bit solid concoction. Once you have made your own you won’t go back. I promise.
It can be a bit of work, however I have discovered a shortcut. A few years ago a friend of mine mentioned she made stock in her pressure canner. You know those huge 23 quart pressure canners used to can low acid foods like green beans? Yeah. In there. The best part? Well there are two things actually:
- It is cooked start to finish in under an hour
- It makes a large amount of stock
First can we talk ingredients?
For my first batch of stock I simply went to the grocery store and bought about four pounds of chicken thighs. It worked great but it seemed such a waste to purchase chicken and then not be able to use the meat (the pressure cooker does the meat no favors, the one downside to doing it this way).
Now I simply save chicken as well as vegetable scraps in the freezer. Some batches have more celery, some have more carrots. It isn’t exact. Use what you have. Little by little it adds up and over the course of a couple of months I finally have enough bones and vegetable scraps to make stock. Completely free!
Two last notes about the chicken:
- I recommend the more bones the better. If you are interested in a really thick, well-gelled stock then you need bones and lots of them. If it doesn’t gross you out you can even ask you butcher for a few chicken feet to throw in. Often they will give them to you for free or really cheap and they are the BEST for making stock.
- Please consider buying locally grown pasture raised chicken. Since I have switched to pasture raised chicken I will never go back. The taste is incredible not to mention I love knowing the farmer and farm the chicken came from. Yes it costs more, but if you are mindful and stretch one chicken to two or three dinners and then use the bones for stock I think you will find it isn’t very expensive it all. Besides, want to know where the idea came to use chicken feet in my stock? Yep, my farmer gave them to me for free the last time I purchased chicken from him.
Ready to make stock? Here is how to make chicken stock with your canner (of course a regular pressure cooker works, too – it just makes a smaller amount):
Homemade Chicken Stock with a Pressure Canner
(makes 10+ quarts)
- 4+ lbs chicken bones/pieces/feet
- 4-5 medium carrots cut in half
- 4-5 celery stalks cut in halt
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 4+ garlic cloves (to taste) peeled
- 2 tbs salt
- 20 black peppercorns
Note: These are the instructions based on my pressure canner. The pounds of pressure and times are based on the instruction for my Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker. Please check and follow the directions for your canner.
- Start with your clean 23 quart pressure canner. Add all the chicken pieces, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, salt and peppercorns to the pot.
- Add water till your pot is 2/3 full. Place lid on the canner and twist till closed.
- Place the regulator on immediately, turn on the heat, and bring it up to 15 lbs of pressure.
- Hold at 15 lbs of pressure for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and allow the pressure to drop. Once the pressure has dropped open the lid and let the stock cool a bit (I normally let it sit for an hour or so. It is rip roaring hot).
- Strain stock into a cheesecloth lined colander set over a bowl. Use a couple of bowls if necessary. Allow to cool overnight in the fridge.
- Skim off the fat and discard. Scoop or pour (depending on much the stock gelled) in to storage containers.
- Freeze for up to 1 year. If it lasts that long.
Kimmy blogs her kitchen escapes over at kimmysbakeshop.com. She is a full time momma to Little and squeezes in gourmet cooking during naptimes. She focuses on frugal, seasonal, and homemade.