I had great intentions of writing about all our kitchen creations while I was away helping my sister. However, even the best set plans can be turned upside down when you are preoccupied with enjoying family, friends, and loving a new baby.
We started this post on the 17th of October and it is the prerequisite to the next post and instrumental in most of our soup recipes. Often we make stock as needed but like all good things it really makes life simpler to do up a couple of batches and have them ready and waiting on your pantry shelves. You will need to have a pressure canner to preserve any soup stock whether it is chicken, beef, or vegetable because the pH is too high for water bath canning alone. But, not to worry for those without a pressure canner, you can make it as needed and it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for weeks.
RECIPE FOR CHICKEN STOCK:
- 2 whole chicken carcasses (reserve meat for soup, sandwiches, casserole, etc…) Note: your local butcher may sell chicken bones for this purpose.
- 1 large onion; skins on and chopped
- 2 large carrots; washed and chopped
- 2 stocks celery; washed and chopped
- 1 large head of garlic; approximately 5 large cloves
- 4 knorr chicken cubes
- 16 cups water
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- handful of fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the chicken carcasses on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a 425F oven for about 20 minutes or until the meat just starts to brown and the kitchen smells good.
- Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a deep stockpot. Reduce to simmer.
- Place the chicken carcasses along with the other ingredients in the stockpot. Return to a boil. Reduce heat but keep the mixture boiling uncovered, stirring occasionally. Boil for about 3 hours for the flavours to concentrate. Add salt and more pepper if needed to taste.
- Remove from heat. Strain the solids and skim the fat.
- Ladle hot stock into hot sterilized jars leaving 1″ headspace. Remove any air bubbles and top up with additional stock if necessary. Wipe rims with a damp paper towel, center lids and rings on jars and tighten rings until resistance is met and then adjust until finger-tip tight.
- Process in a pressure canner following directions. We pressure can 1 litre (quart) jars of stock at 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes. Please follow the instructions and guidelines outlined in your pressure canning manual.
- The stock can also be used right away. Or, allow remaining stock to cool then refrigerate for up to 4 days. Once the soup goes cold in the fridge you will be able to skim off and discard the solidified fat from the top. For an easy way to store leftover stock, simply freeze it in ice-cube trays then use later to add flavour to sauces, gravy,etc.