Homemade chicken stock is so much better than store bought. I save all of my chicken bones in a bag in the freezer and then pull them out when I've collected enough to make chicken stock, which I then freeze and stick back in the freezer in smaller batches so that I can take a bit out whenever I need. I've also started freezing the tops and leaves of celery that I cut off when making celery sticks, etc to use in the stock.
The problem with making stock is that you have to let it simmer for hours and I'm just not that patient. Plus, when you only notice that you're out of frozen chicken stock the morning of Thanksgiving and already have a million other things to do, you don't have time to wait hours for the chicken bones to release their goodness into the stock. That's when I'm especially glad that I have a pressure cooker.
This is my entry for Joelen's Tasty Tools event which features stock/soup pots. I love soups, so check out her blog to see what other tasty dishes others have made!
- Chicken bones
- Salt (optional)
- other herbs (optional)
- Put the chicken bones in your pressure cooker and cover it with cold water until the bones are just covered. Be sure not to fill it over the recommended limit for your pressure cooker (pressure cookers should NOT ever be filled to the brim).
- Rough chop some carrots, celery and onions and dump them in. There's no need to peel the carrots or chop them finely, etc since it's only there for the flavor, not to be eaten. Just be sure to wash them.
- Add salt, herbs, or other flavorings that you might want. I tend not to add any of things since I don't always know what I'm going to be using the stock for in the future and can add those things later.
- Close the pressure cooker according to the manufacturers instructions and put it over high heat until the maximum pressure is reached. Then turn down the heat just enough to maintain the pressure for about half an hour.
- Turn off the heat and let the pressure dissipate naturally.
- Carefully open the pressure cooker. Make sure you've gotten all the goodness out of the bones by breaking them. They should be so weak that they just fall apart with minimal effort. If they haven't reached this stage yet, go ahead and put the lid back on and turn up the heat again for another 10 minutes and let the pressure come down on its own again.
- Strain out all the bones and veggies.
- Now, you can either use a fat separator to get rid of the excess fat or chill in the fridge and remove the fat that solidifies on top.
- You can use the stock immediately or store it in the fridge for about a week, or freeze it practically for ever. Use it in your favorite soups, sauces, etc.