I just finished up making and canning chicken stock.
The day before I found out I was heading out…again…I cooked a whole chicken. While in the car on the way to the airport, I asked my wife to save the bones and carcass so I could make stock.
This is one of those 3 day long recipes that needs about an hour of attention.
The only things one really needs are the carcass and water, but I do add some onion and garlic.
I put the chicken carcass into a stockpot, cover the carcass with water and add a couple of cloves of garlic and about 1/2 a chopped onion. I then let it simmer for 24 hours. Why 24 hours? It’s just convenience…start it in the morning, let it simmer until the next morning. There is no other reason.
When I get around to it the next morning, I pour the liquid through a strainer and into another container. After the stock has cooled to nearly room temperature, I put it in the refrigerator so the fat will harden.
I skim the fat off and reheat the stock.
While the stock is being reheated, I get the canning jars, lids, screw bands and the canner itself ready for use.
I use 12 ounce jars for canning the stock. With the required space left in the jars, it works out that the jar holds slightly more than a cup of stock. Since most of my recipes need 1 cup or 2 cups, etc. of stock, this works out perfectly.
Fill the jars, wipe the jar rims, place the lids, tighten the screw bands, put the jars into the canner, secure the canner lid, wait for the needed pressure reading, start timing and then let it cool down.
I got started doing this when my father was still alive. He had congestive heart failure and his physician said he should eat a low fat, law salt diet. This kind of diet is difficult because commercially prepared low fat foods typically have a high salt content while commercially prepared low salt foods have a high fat content.
My father and mother loved soups, so I’d make the stock, add some vegetables and preserve it in 12 ounce jars. With no added salt and the fat skimmed, the soup was both low at and low salt.
After my father died, I continued this for my mother.
After my mother died, I quit making the soup, but I continued with the stock and use it when I’m cooking rice. I just added another six jars of stock to the pantry. After the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll stock up (sorry for the pun) even more.