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Chicken Stock

December 11, 2011

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.


  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a deep stockpot.  Reduce to simmer.
  3. 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. 
  4. Remove from heat.  Strain the solids and skim the fat. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sister permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:43 pm

    I’d rather use an extra whole chicken than chicken cubes or buy a few turkey legs to throw in.
    also, i don’t boil the stock, just simmer it as boiling can make for a bitter taste.
    you can also roast the vegetables along with the carcasses.
    AND it way just be my oven, but i set it to 400 as 425 smokes a little. but yey my smoke alarm works. but boo my dog barks at it non-stop til i hush it.

  2. December 12, 2011 4:37 pm

    I do this often and I absolutely love having jars of stock ready to go in the pantry. However, I speed-up the process by using the pressure cooker (or canner) to make the stock. Instead of boiling or simmering for hours, simply toss it all into the pressure cooker and cook at 15psi for about 45 minutes.

    Admittedly, you won’t get any praise from a French Chef for clear stock (the rough and tumble environment of the pressure cooker, in theory, makes the stock a little cloudier). However, it’s every bit as rich and flavorful and you can have it in half the time.

    Incidentally, a huge pressure canner can fit 2-3 turkey carcasses in it at once and makes a whole bunch of stock. I’ve learned my lesson to only fill my 96-quart canner about half-full, not because it won’t work but because it dilutes the stock less and that much cold water can take close to an hour just to come up to pressure.

  3. December 22, 2011 9:05 am

    I’m desperate for a pressure canner to can soup in 2012 following your wonderful example. My fingers on the amazon buy button as we speak.

    • December 22, 2011 9:23 am

      As much as I hate supporting them, Walmart has the best prices on Presto pressure canners (both online and in-store if your store has them in stock). Let me also recommend buying the smaller one instead of the big one. I bought the big one and I very rarely do enough at one time to completely fill it (i.e. a second layer of pint jars) and it takes forever to build-up the pressure with that much empty space in the pot. Also, the smaller model comes with a 10psi weight while the big one only comes with the dial and a 15psi weight, so you have to tinker with the stove to keep it at the right pressure for most canning recipes.

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