Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Canning Chicken Stock

I have been without chicken stock for too long (about 3 months).  I don't know how many recipes I would get started making only to remember that I didn't have any chicken stock!  Of course I had it scheduled on my monthly menus to be made 3 months ago, but, as is always the story, one thing lead to another, which lead to my pantry being devoid of stock.  Anyways, back to the post.

 Whenever I make a whole chicken, I save the liquid and the bones and put them in a big plastic tupperware container in the freezer.  When that container gets full (or I am in desperate need of chicken stock) that's when the fun begins. I let it partially thaw, then dump everything into a large stainless steel pot.  Add water so everything is covered.  I then add whatever I have in the kitchen that I think might make a good flavor.  Onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, parsley, anything you want.  I only simmer mine for an hour.  Some people let it simmer for 5 or more. The more it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.  Once you have let it simmer for however long you want it to simmer for (I just love the word simmer, can you tell) you can strain it through cheese cloth.  I then put mine into a pitcher, cover it, then let it set in the fridge overnight.  This is so I can strain of the fat that collects at the top. 

Fast forward to the next day.  Now you are ready to can your chicken stock.  Heat the stock in a stainless steel pot to boiling.  While I am doing this, I have a small crock pot of water heating for my lids.  You want to soften the rubber for about 10 minutes in hot (not boiling) water.  Please don't reuse lids, you can reuse the rings, but the rubber on the lids is only good for only one time use.

Your jars should be real mason jars.  Not all jars are made to withstand the pressure of a pressure cooker and you don't want one to explode.  Trust me, you DON'T want one to explode.  Make sure they are sterilized and free of any chips that might cause the lid not to seal correctly.

Transfer the hot stock to the jars, leaving a 1 inch headspace.  Screw the lids on fairly tight.  Add 2 to 3 inches of hot water into the canner, then place the jars into the canner.  Use the rack so the jars don't touch each other, the sides of the canner, or the bottom of the canner.  Lock the lid on and allow the canner to vent for about 10 minutes.  Process at 10 lbs. pressure.  For pints 20 minutes, for quarts 25 minutes.  Once the time is up let the canner cool on it's own.  I turn everything off, and let it set for at least an hour.  The cooling period is when the jars seal.  After I remove the lid to the canner, I wait for the pinging.  It is music to my ears.  I enjoy watching as each lid slightly vibrates, then the lids "ping" down.  I'm such a nerd, but I am a nerd with some crazy good chicken stock.



P.S.  What's the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?  Chicken broth is when you simmer with the meat still on the bones.  Chicken stock is simmering just the chicken carcass.  I use chicken stock just as I would broth.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up on the broth vs. stock. Silly as it sounds, I had never known the difference!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Check out Tattler canning lids. They ARE reuseable. A bit of a learning curve when you first start using them, but worth it. I love them!

    ReplyDelete

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