Do you enjoy making soup? I’m a fan of any one-pot meal. It makes dinner time easy, and it also helps with meal prep as well.
Yet, if you’d like to make a traditional soup, chicken stock is a common base for most soup recipes. I’m going to share with you today on how to make chicken stock.
It’s easy and can save you a fortune at the grocery store. I hadn’t purchased stock in a long time because I make my own. When I needed to buy some in a hurry, I was stunned at how expensive such a simple recipe was on a store shelf.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money any longer. Here’s what you should know about making your own chicken stock:
- Chicken Bones
- Italian seasoning
Method #1: On the Stove
If you’re going to be hanging around your home for the day, you can make stock on the stove easily. However, it does take time, and you’ll need to be around to keep an eye on the stove.
1. Place the Ingredients in a Pot
I leave the amount of the ingredients open to you. I change mine a little each time I make stock. My usual ingredient amounts are 1-2 whole chicken carcasses. If I roast a whole chicken for dinner, I’ll save the skin, bones, and any left-over meat for the stock.
If you like celery, add two or more stalks per chicken carcass. If you aren’t a huge fan of celery, you may only want to add one stalk.
We like onions in my family, and I’ll add two whole onions to the stock. You can add less or even use dry onion powder if you aren’t as big of a fan of onions.
I usually add approximately 5-10 peppercorns, one tablespoon of salt, and ½ tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
Once you’ve added your ingredients, fill the stock pot with water until everything is fully submerged in the water.
Turn your stove on medium-high heat and bring the concoction to a boil. When the stock has reached boiling, turn the stove down to low and let the stock simmer for at least two hours.
When the two hours is up, check the stock’s color. If it is a dark yellow color, you know your stock will have a good flavor.
However, if it’s still a little pale for your taste, allow it to keep cooking. You can add more water if necessary.
3. Prepare the Jars
While the stock is cooking, work on preparing your jars. Wash the jars and rings in warm, soapy water. Be sure to rinse the jars and rings when finished washing.
Here I'll explain how to use the pressure canning method to preserve the stock. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about sanitizing the jars before filling them.
If you have a dishwasher, you can use it to wash your jars and rings as well. When the jars are washed and dried, they can be used for canning.
4. Process the Stock
When your stock has reached the color you desire, put a strainer over a pot. Pour the stock over the strainer and allow it to strain into the other pot.
Once the bones, vegetables, and any other chunky ingredients have been removed from the stock, allow it to sit and cool.
When the stock cools, the fat will rise to the top and solidify. Skim the fat off the top of the stock and bring it to a boil.
After the stock has boiled, use a ladle and a canning funnel to get the stock into the jars without burning yourself.
Leave ¼ to ½ inch headspace of the jar to give the lids room to seal. Once the jars are full, place a new lid and a ring on the jars and secure them.
Place the jars in a pressure canner and follow manufacturers instructions for pressure canning with your specific canner.
Once the pressure is up and has reached the right pressure for your canner, set a timer. If you’re canning pints, they should be processed for 20 minutes. If you’re canning quarts, they’ll need to be prepared for 25 minutes.
After the timer is up, turn off the stove, and leave the canner alone until the pressure plunger drops.
5. Wait and Store
When the pressure has dropped on the canner, use jar grabbers to remove the jars from the canner. Place them on a hard surface which has been layered with towels to prevent the surface from being scorched.
Make sure the rings are secured to the jars and leave them be for 12-24 hours. Once the period has passed, check the jars to make sure the lids have sealed.
If the button in the center of the lid is now flat, the jar sealed. If the button is still raised, the jar failed to seal.
It’ll need a fresh lid placed on top of the jar and reprocessed as mentioned above. When all jars are sealed, label the jar with the date it was processed and the contents of the jar. Store the jars in a cool, dark location to prevent the food from continuing to cook and ultimately spoiling.
Method #2: In the Crock Pot
There is a second method of making chicken stock. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have a few hours to tend to a pot on the stove while the stock is cooking, consider using your crock pot.
Many nights after I finish cleaning up supper, I’ll use the scraps from a whole chicken to make stock. I’ll toss the scraps into my crockpot with the other listed ingredients, and let it cook on low overnight.
This way the next day, I can drain the stock, and bring it to a boil to safely preserve it for later use.
The only downside to making stock in a crockpot is I don’t get to make as large of a batch in one-time cooking, but it’s much more convenient.
Use whichever method works best for you at the time of preparing the stock.
If canning is intimidating, also consider freezing your stock in an ice cube tray for later use. You can drop a couple of cubes into a pot of soup for added flavor.
Stock is a necessary ingredient for many recipes, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to make.
Instead, it’s simple and a great way to use scraps from other meals. You can use this recipe in a generalized way to make different varieties of stock as well. You may need to substitute specific ingredients or omit them altogether depending upon the stock you’re making.
Hopefully, this will help you to make more ingredients fresh from your kitchen, save some money, and also have more control over the foods you’re consuming.