Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

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This weekend LW had the flu (or something foul) so it left me stuck at home with him. Thankfully, Hubs and I traded off who was "on duty" and I was able to get some pretty fun things done!

Saturday afternoon I made mini chocolate chip zucchini muffins, roasted beets (Hubs did these), apple sauce and chicken stock! I also sewed a little bit on Sunday afternoon and made "use as many veggies as possible in this pasta" salad.

Now, how do I make this chicken stock, you ask? Lucky for you, I'm going to share my stocky ways. Really, it's laughably simple. Here's what I do:

  • Start by labeling a freezer bag "STOCK". 
  • As your veggies are flirting with the idea of going bad and you know you won't get to use them in time, pop them in the bag and keep it in the freezer. When you cook chicken, save the bones and fat, put it in the freezer bag with the veggies. The veggies I use are: celery, onions, carrots, green onions. 
  • When the bag is full, make stock by:
    • Placing all bag contents in your pressure cooker and filling cooker with water to the "MAX" line. 
    • Add a few sprigs of thyme and parsley from your garden as well as a few bay leaves. 
    • Bring pot to boil with lid OFF and burner heat on HIGH. 
    • Once water is boiling, put on pressure cooker lid and lock into place. 
    • When pressure is reached, set timer for 60 min and turn burner heat to LOW.
    • At 60min turn burner OFF and release pressure. Let stock cool on stove. 
When my stock is cool, I strain it and put it into bowls and place it in the fridge overnight. 

The following day, I use a slotted spoon and skim the gelatin off the top of the stock. Sometimes, I will also pour the stock through cheese cloth if I have stubborn gelatin that won't follow the spoon. 

Next, I pour my chilled stock into ice cube trays and freeze. 
I do this in batches since I only have four ice cube trays. Once each round of trays is frozen, I pop the stock out and into a freezer bag. For me, approximately 3 cubes equal 1/2C. 
Now, when I need to make quinoa or anything with chicken stock, I have a ton of it waiting for me, and all I used to make it was chicken scraps and nearly spoiled veggies! Things I would have ended up throwing away or composting becomes soups, stews, side dishes and sauces with minimal effort. 

If you don't have a pressure cooker, I own a Fagor 8qt Pressure Cooker and absolutely love it. It's not too early to ask Santa! Happy stock-ing (get it, the pun? Stocking? Santa? Maybe too soon...)

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