A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rich Chicken Stock and Soup

For the richest and most flavorful chicken stock, full of body, use chicken backs.  They are higher in gelatin for a thick, gelationous stock.  The stock is also higher in bone minerals because the many, small bones expose more surface area to the stock.  The backs are usually sold for a minimal cost from farmers who sell packaged chicken pieces at farmer's markets.  If you don't see them for sale, just ask the farmer.  I take as many as I can get from my chicken farmer, make batches of soup and stock, and can it.  It can also be frozen.  My method is below the picture.
   Mmmm, a cup of warm, homemade stock.
 Sooooo comforting and healthy too! 
Chicken Stock
Thaw 4-6 chicken backs.  Rub with oil on all sides.  Roast backs on sheet pan in oven at 400 for 20-30 min, until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and put in large pot.  Scrape cooking pan and add with drippings to pot.  Add 2 quarts of water for each back.  Bring to boil, then turn down the heat so the water remains at a "slow bubble".  Simmer for 6+ hours, until water is half in volume and stock is flavorful to the taste.  Color should be similar to above jars and consistency should be slightly gelatinous when cooled.
To Can:  Pour hot stock into hot jars.  Process in pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
To Freeze:  Cool stock completely.  Put in freezer containers and freeze. 

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