Monday, January 23, 2012

Thrifty Satisfaction: 10 FREE Quarts of Poultry Stock

I'm an avid canner, but it's been awhile since I've actually had/taken the time to do some serous canning--the kind that saves us time and/or money.  That's partly due to the holidays, partly because we're beyond the bounty of summer, and partly because of the new addition to our family that's kept me quite busy.

Anyway, I finally got a chance to do some canning the other day and I'm pretty proud of the output.  If there's one thing that's worth making and canning around this time of year, it's chicken stock.  Think about it.  All those turkey carcasses are available from Thanksgiving and Christmas (you did remember to toss them into the freezer, right?) and let's not forget all those chickens you've been roasting-up for finger-licking comfort meals (you saved those bones too, right?).

Anyway, even though I didn't actually do a lot of cooking myself during the holidays, I somehow found myself with two turkey carcasses and a chicken carcass taking up space in my freezer.  What can I say?  My family loves me enough to give me their old bones and skin.

On a recent Sunday morning, I tossed all the frozen poultry bones I could find into my humongous 96-quart pressure canner along with some celery, onions, garlic, and carrots, and bay leaves.  I topped it off with water, lidded it up and set it on the stove.  After about 35-40 minutes to come to pressure (that's a LOT of cold water to heat) and another 45 minutes of cooking, I had freshly made chicken stock.  No need to simmer all day when you have a pressure cooker.  I then poured the majority of it into quart jars, lidded them with Tattler reusable lids, popped them back into the canner, and processed them for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

The result was 7 beautiful jars of homemade stock and another 3 quarts in the freezer:

By my calculations, this equates to roughly $30-35 worth of store-bought stock that cost me absolutely nothing other than time and a little electricity to make.  I didn't even waste metal flat lids on the jars!  We'll definitely have no shortage of homemade soup and gravy for the rest of the winter.  Yum!

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