Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken Stock

We are big believers in not wasting things and one of those things that people often (incredibly) waste are chicken carcasses. It is incredibly easy to make great chicken stock from the bones of your chicken feast (or turkey stock, vegetable stock, fish stock, meat stock, etc!) You just throw in the old carcass, some veggies, some herbs, and some water - then simmer it for awhile and voila!

The problem for us is where to put all that chicken broth. Usually Jeremy freezes it in some large and medium size glass containers. When they're fully frozen I remove them from the container (which is not easy, let me tell you) then we pop the giant chicken broth ice cubes in plastic bags in the freezer. Then when we need a little chicken broth we go through a long process of thawing and chipping and thawing and hacking at the giant ice cubes till we get enough broth for whatever recipe we're making. Aargh! It can be a long and frustrating process - though not enough to make us buy chicken broth from the store.

Imagine our surprise and delight when I found out last fall that we could can chicken broth! Now it seems perfectly obvious (I mean, you can buy cans of chicken broth at the store!) but for some reason it was a surprise.

Canning chicken broth, we realized, was one way to help out in our freezer challenge. Jeremy found several chicken carcasses and a duck carcass in the freezer and a bag of chicken feet - which is an excellent addition to stock (we get them from a local farmer). He made a ton of stock.

We also rescued a number of containers of frozen chicken broth and thawed those out to can as well.

After processing them in the canner, they made this funny popping sound for a good 10 minutes.

We got 16 quarts of chicken stock. Now we can just grab a quart off the shelf and we don't have to bother thawing them out! Wahoo!!


Mom said...

I am amazed. In shock. You grew up helping me can chicken stock - somewhere along the line you must have forgot. Wow. Well, glad you remembered you could can it. such a pain to freeze. Plus, you are putting all this trust in the electric company. I would much rather can my stock.

Adrian said...

I love making turkey stock. I never thought to can it, though. That's probably because I've never canned anything in my life...but that seems like a useful place to start.

Mom said...

Make sure you process the stock long enough though - I was surprised how long I had to process quarts when I started doing this 30+ years ago. A great reference for canning is:

And of course, I always bring home canned stuff to the boil and hold it there for 10 minutes. Just as a precaution.

Anna said...

When you canned your chicken stock did you use a BWB or Pressure canner? And for how long? I am new to the canning world and want to take full advantage and learn from others.

Aimee said...

I had to ask Jeremy about this, but I should have just looked at the video! We used a pressure canner. Always a pressure canner for meat products. I guess you could use the hot water bath for vegetable broth; but meat broth should be done in the pressure canner.

It did not take us long to go through those jars of broth. I can't even remember when we ran out! Months and months ago. We'll have to look into doing that again...