Friday, May 25, 2012

Making Chicken Stock Second Method

If you've read my blog before, you know that I use rotisserie chicken from the store often.  I figure if they can roast it for me for the same price as a raw chicken, I will let them.  I will let you in on another little secret:  I have an aversion to raw poultry.  It grosses me out!  I hate the smell, and the feel of it.  I really hate it when it's not cleaned good, and you have to pull the pin feathers, or clean leftover guts out of the body cavity.  I have a hard time eating chicken after handling it raw, it just bothers me.  So, I buy it warm and roasted and smelling delicious from the store.  There, I've admitted it!
After I pick all the meat off of the chicken, I put the skin and bones in a zip lock bag, and it goes in my freezer.  That way, when it is a cold day, or I am bored, I can pull it out and make stock.  I had three bags full of chicken bones, and I put them in my big 15 quart stock pot.  I filled it up to about two thirds, and added a handful of black peppercorns, and about 5 small bay leaves.  Because the chicken was seasoned before being roasted, this will have a slightly different flavor than the stock I made in the previous post. It is made from roasted meat, so it will have a darker color than stock made from poached chicken.
I clamp a lid on the pot, and put it on my simmer burner to cook there all day.  It takes all day to get it to that fall apart stage, where the meat and gelatin have all been gleaned from the bones and skin.  After it is done to that stage, I pour it through a colander into another huge stock pot.  All of the bones and skin and little bits of meat have given their all to the stock, and along with the peppercorns and bay leaves, it goes in the trash.  Now I have a huge pot of stock at my disposal.  I usually put it into canning jars, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inch headspace, and just freeze it using a plastic lid made to fit canning jars.  I am at a limit to my freezer space, so this time I will can it.
When canning any low acid food, such as meat stock, you need to use a pressure canner.  Be sure to follow the directions from the manufacturer of your canner, and use the recipe guidelines from a reliable source, such as Ball Blue Book, or Kerr Canning Guides.  You can get recipes online, but be aware that not all sources are reliable.
So, I used the parts that would have gotten thrown away normally, and made seven glorious jars of stock.  It is more flavorful than the stock in a box, and if you figure in the cost of the seasoning, and the jar lid, it still costs only pennies to make!

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