Canned Chicken Broth

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hooray - it worked!!!  ;)  And have I mentioned recently that I love having a pressure canner?  I do - I love it!  I miss being able to use my big Presto canner (I have an induction stove and the Presto is aluminum which doesn't work with induction), but I have a smaller Fagor Duo pressure cooker/canner that is working quite nicely until I can find some way to resolve the induction vs. aluminum dilemma.  But it's small, so it means I have to run more batches.

This is nearly 2 full gallons of chicken broth.  I used quart and pint bottles so I would have a variety of sizes - the pints are equivalent to the 14.5oz cans you buy at the store, and the quarts are equivalent to the 32oz cartons.  I mostly use the smaller cans in recipes, but for chicken noodle soup I need the carton size, so hence a few quart jars will come in handy.

I did manage to get this all into two batches with my Fagor Duo.  The first batch was the 4 quart jars, and the second batch was all 7 of the regular mouth pint jars.

This all came from the scraps and leftovers from the 80 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts I froze or canned this last week.  40 lbs of it was divided and sealed in Foodsaver bags and put into the freezer, and the other 40 lbs was pressure canned.  The big 40 lb boxes come with the breasts split by not separated, and the fat is not fully trimmed off.  So after separating each half of the breast and trimming the remaining fat, I ended up with about 6-7 lbs of scraps.

To make the broth, I used the recipe for chicken stock in the Blue Bible (Ball Blue Book of Preserving) and doubled it:

3-4 lbs chicken, cut into pieces (in my case, I used the scraps)
4 quarts water
2 stalks celery (I skipped this - didn't have any on hand, so used a couple handfuls of baby carrots instead)
2 medium onions, quartered
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt

Bring it all to a boil and then let simmer for 2 hours (or more like 3 if you happen to forget to watch the clock).  Then remove from heat and strain out all the stuff, leaving just the liquid.  Let the stock cool until the fat solidifies (I put it in plastic containers in the fridge overnight).  Remove or skim off fat.  Strain through a sieve or cheesecloth.  Bring stock to a boil in a large stockpot.  Ladle hot stock into hot jars, leaving 1-in headspace.  Place lids and rings on jars and process in pressure canner - 20 min for pints, 25 for quarts.

Since I doubled the recipe, this made the equivalent of 15 cans of chicken broth.  I didn't pay anything extra for the chicken, it was scraps and was just going to be thrown out anyway.  I threw in some carrots that were on their way out anyway, and tossed in the four onions from my pantry.  The peppercorns and bay leaves are just from my regular pantry supplies.  I already had the jars, and only had to "pay" for new lids. 

15 cans of broth will run you usually about 7.50 or more (assuming .50/ea, which is a good sale price).  The only things I really had to "pay" for were the new lids, and those were about 1.50 for a dozen.  So in this case, much cheaper to can my own broth/stock with my leftover scraps!