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Chicken Bone Soup Stock Recipe

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Chicken Bone Soup Stock Recipe

Jars of stock cooling after they came out of the pressure canner

Leda Meredith

After you've dined on a whole roasted chicken, or even just a few bone-in parts, don't waste the bones! Chicken stock is a delicious foundation for soups and sauces, and you can freeze or pressure can it for future use. If you're short on time, you can stockpile chicken bones in a freezer container and keep them frozen until you get around to making the stock.

Besides the chicken bones, all you need is water, a few aromatic veggies, and optional seasonings. For the bones from one chicken, add:

  • 1 medium onion, peeled, halved and studded with 1 whole clove
  • 1 celery stalk, cut in half
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 bay leaves (optional)
  • 4 black peppercorns (optional)
  • 1 sprigs thyme (optional)

Instead of the veggies and herbs above, you could make use of odds and ends that are leftover after you've cooked. Any of these scraps are good additions to chicken stock:

  • Celery leaves
  • Carrot leaves and root ends
  • Parsley stems
  • The green parts of leeks
  • Onion ends and skins
  • Thyme and oregano stems leftover after you've stripped the leaves (avoid strong herbs such as rosemary, sage and cilantro, which can overpower the flavor of the other ingredients).

There are two basic ways to make chicken bone stock - stovetop or slow cooker:

Making Chicken Bone Stock - Stovetop Method

Put the vegetables, optional herbs and chicken bones into a large pot. Cover with water.

Bring to a simmer. Do not let the stock boil or it will be cloudy. Reduce heat so that there are just a few bubbles appearing on the surface of the stock as it cooks.

Cook, uncovered, topping up with boiling hot water if necessary for 6 - 8 hours.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Blot the top of the chicken bone stock with a clean paper or cloth towel to remove excess fat, or refrigerate and remove the layer of fat that will congeal on top of the chilled stock.

Making Chicken Bone Stock - Slow-cooker Method

Place the vegetables and herbs (if using) into the slow cooker. Put the chicken bones on top of the aromatics. Cover with water. Cook, covered, on high for 1/2 hour. Change the setting to low and cook, still covered, for 6 - 8 hours.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Blot the top of the chicken bone stock with a clean paper or cloth towel to remove excess fat, or refrigerate and remove the layer of fat that will congeal on top of the chilled stock.

  • Chicken bone stock can be refrigerated for up to one week. For longer storage, freeze or can your stock.

Freezing Chicken Bone Stock

Let the stock cool slightly (no longer than 1/2 hour) before transferring to freezer containers.

A good space-saving method is to pour your stock into plastic freezer bags and lay these flat in the freezer.

If using upright freezer containers, be sure to leave 1 inch of head space since the stock will expand as it freezes.

Chicken bone stock will keep in the freezer for 4 months. It is still safe to eat after that, but may develop an "off" taste.

Canning Chicken Bone Stock

For long term storage at room temperature, you need to pressure can your soup stocks. Important: soup stocks must be pressure canned. You cannot safely process soup stocks in a boiling water bath.

Pressure can pint jars of soup stock at 10 lbs. pressure for 20 minutes (adjust for your altitude if necessary).

Tip:

When making bone-based stocks, add a splash of vinegar to the water. You won't taste the vinegar in the final product. It helps to release the calcium from the bones resulting in a more nutritious stock.

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