When I did my short stint in culinary school, I learned how to make chicken stock. You roast the bones and you simmer for-EV-ah and you can’t let it boil. Then strain and strain and strain…
I have made it that way at home for ages.. and for a long time I didn’t even make stock because I had nowhere to store it. I used to freeze it but I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. I don’t like waiting for it to thaw. And yes, I know, I could freeze it in ice cube trays and it would thaw faster but that doesn’t solve the problem of freezer space of which I have very little. Not only that, but I could never not boil it. My stockpots are not the greatest and trying to regulate the temp is so. hard.
I had contemplated getting a pressure canner for a while but I didn’t want to spend the money. Not when chances are I would just use it to can stock.. or maybe not even that because I have a habit of trying new things and then, when the bloom is off the rose, I forget about them. (which is why, as for much as I want to buy a SideKIC, I won’t)
And then, a friend of mine was making room in her home after redoing her pantry and she had a giant pressure canner hogging space. She offered it to me! (and I gave her chicken stock in return!)
Now I have used Big Betty to pressure can the stock I made on the stove. But it never occurred to me to make the stock IN the canner. This canner is HUGE at 23 quarts so I never thought I could cook in it.
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this post by An Oregon Cottage but when I read it, it was a light bulb went off! I was inspired!
I put the chicken bones and bits I had in the freezer in the bottom of the pot, threw in a quartered onion, four carrots broken into bits, about two and a half gallons of water, some bay leaves I got from Otis at a From Scratch Club Swap
and a small amount of peppercorns
I popped the lid on the canner and dropped on the 10lb gauge weight.
It took about 25 minutes for the canner to get up to pressure and by then, the house was smelling fantastic. My canner manual says that my weight should jiggle every few seconds. It’s not as important for cooking but for canning, it’s kinda important. When I started pressure canning it took me a while to figure out what a jiggle looked like. So here.. Imma gonna help you out.
It looks like this:
I set the timer for 30 minutes. If you are wondering why I chose 30 minutes, it’s because the manual for my canner has a recipe for vegetable soup made from raw bones and it has a time of 50 minutes, which seemed pretty long for already cooked bones.
After 30 minutes, I turned the heat off, removed the weight gauge (helloooo chicken sauna!) and when the pressure came down, I cracked the canner open and all I saw was this beautiful stock and all the stuff was on the bottom.
I fished out a bone, which was still whole … and I’m not even kidding when I say I did this with one hand
Folks, there was no skimming, there was no foamy bits.. no crud. Everything was still in one piece. The carrots didn’t fall apart but they were very very cooked. All I had to do, was dip my ladel
When I got closer to the bottom, I had to pour the stock out of the pot through the strainer just because I couldn’t get my ladle around all of the bits.
For a total of maybe 20 minutes active time and an hour of passive time, I got 8 quarts of gorgeous, chickeny stock.
How does it taste?
Amazing.. seriously amazing… the best I’ve ever ever made. Also, in case you were unaware, Bone Broth is Beautiful
PS: If you are looking for a more traditional method of making stock from a stewing hen, check out Leah’s amazing post over at From Scratch Club.