Many people (me included) use the terms homemade chicken broth and stock interchangeably. Some folks say they are different, some say they are the same. From what I have read..... they are different.
My understanding of the differences.
Both homemade chicken broth and stock benefit from adding vegetables to the stock when you cook it. It is not required but since I've started adding those veggies my broth is soooo much nicer! I highly recommend giving it a try.
Gather your supplies
Chicken pieces. Any chicken parts will do. I prefer to skin my pieces but again it is not necessary. Approximately 6 pounds (this is with meat on, if you have bones you won't need as much) will be enough for a batch in my large stock pot. I usually get at least 7 quarts out of this.
Vegetables and seasonings are optional. This could include 2-3 Stalks of celery - chopped in large chunks. 2 onions - quartered, 2-3 Carrots - chopped in large chunks. OR if you have leftovers collected use a large baggy full of veggie leftovers, onion skins, celery hearts, carrot ends and peelings, etc.
Place chicken pieces in your stock pot. Fill with water. Bring to a boil. Add vegetables and seasonings if you are going to use them. Simmer until chicken is done. About 1 hour.
Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove chicken pieces. Let the chicken pieces cool until you can handle it well enough to remove the meat. Remove the meat from the bones and save for other uses. Great for chicken enchiladas, chicken casseroles etc.
Cut or break any large bones into shorter pieces if at all possible. This might not be the case That's ok. Be careful not to burn yourself. Return the bones to the stock pot. Don't be too fanatical about this step. If you are handling a thigh bone that won't easily break it is not a big deal. Just toss it back into the pot. The purpose is to allow the water more access to the nutritious marrow in the bones.
Next you have 2 options to cook the carcass and bones.
Remove chicken pieces and vegetables. Discard. Strain broth to remove any small bones and pieces left in the broth. I have a colander that I use. You can use cheesecloth if you want a very clear broth. I don't mind little bits so the colander is good for me.
Now you have a nice nutritious homemade chicken broth for use in recipes. This can be frozen or canned.
Many people who are cutting back on fat will allow the broth to cool and remove the fat. I don't bother with this step... but it is an option. Allow the broth to cool, and then place in the fridge to cool completely. The next morning there will be a layer of fat floating on top. It is easy then to remove that fat with a slotted spoon then store your broth.
Save left over chicken bones or carcass, and vegetables in your freezer until you have enough to make your broth or stock. Keep a couple of freezer baggies reserved just for this. One for onion skins, carrot peelings or celery stems. The other for chicken bones.
Melissa writes in with some extra tips... "I save the scraps from veggies and use those instead of using fresh, whole veggies. So carrot peels and ends, onion skins and ends, the small pieces of garlic that are too difficult to peel to use, the ends of celery or the leaves when I'm making recipes where those aren't really practical to use, the stems from thyme and rosemary (I grow both in my garden and basement year round, so I'm always using fresh).
I keep them in a freezer bag in my freezer and when I make beef/chicken/lamb stock I use the scraps. Then I don't feel bad about throwing them away b/c they would have been thrown away anyway.
For vegetable stock I save all of the above and mushroom stems, leek tops, spinach that's no longer edible, small pieces of ginger, broccoli and cauliflower ends and asparagus ends. Again, when it's all done, I would have thrown them away anyway but this way they add a great flavor to my stocks before they get thrown away!"
Thank you Melissa, I'd not thought of saving herbs and some of the other veggies you mention.
Gather your supplies
Start by preparing jars ,and get water in your canner heating. If you are not familiar with how a pressure canner works check this page.
Pour hot broth into hot jars. Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place on your lid and rings. Leave 1 inch head space. Process using pressure canning instructions.
Process - Always adjust for your altitude.
pints - process for 20 minutes,
quarts - process for 25 minutes
|Adjustments for Pressure Canner|
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