Making and Canning your own Homemade Chicken Stock
There is nothing like walking into a house to the smell of a chicken roasting or stock simmering on the stove, am I right? Once a month I make it a point to plan a Sunday dinner around roasted chicken, so I can save the left over bones to make stock. If they are small chickens I save them until I have a few, so I can make a big batch at once. I used to just freeze it for later use, but found it was taking up too much space in my freezer, or I never planned far enough ahead to have thawed broth available. I found I kept going back to container broth, ready to go at a moments notice. But when I finally took the leap to try pressure canning, the first thing I did was can my stock- total game changer!
Typically I make stock out of whatever leftover carcasses I have in the freezer, and its different batch to batch- a little bit of all the veggies I have in the fridge. But last week I found a good sale on whole chickens and decided to try it with the whole bird because I read somewhere that using the meat will give you clearer broth. I used Ina Garten's recipe for homemade chicken stock. By far my best batch yet! The flavor is so good and a beautiful golden color. I am still working on the clarity of my stock but when it tastes this good, who cares?! I suggest you give it a try! I added extra chicken since mine were all 3 lbs each, and a bit more water so I ended up with 6 quarts and 6 pints of chicken stock.
Because stock is not acidic, it must be pressure canned for safety. The bright side is that broth is very quick to can, one of the shortest times for canning things!
I treated this recipe as any other stock for canning purposes. You should have an understanding of how your pressure canner works, and what is needed in order to operate it safely. After you strain the stock and allow to cool for defatting, heat to boiling and then keep hot. Have your jars warming so you do not have thermal shock- I put my clean jars in a warm oven (150-200 degrees) until I am ready to use, and have 2-3 inches of water simmering in your canner. Fill each jar with stock, leaving 1-inch headspace. Wipe rim with clean cloth and cover with the 2 piece lid finger tight, and place in canner. Pressure can at 10 psi (adjust for your altitude) for 25 minutes quarts and 20 minutes pints.
Do you have a favorite recipe for stock?