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Chicken Stock

I've always loved stocks and sauces. They add an inexpensive explosion of flavors to most any meal, spicing them up a little or a lot depending on your recipe and on the amount you use. The first sauce I came to love as a child was catsup and I still do! In fact, I make my own catsup, I mean table sauce now. And the asian style Plum Sauce I make with plums from my plum trees...out of this world!

Stocks, reduction sauces, and soups are a normal part of life on the homestead. My wood cook stove is always running and many times you'll find a pot of something cooking away. Chicken stock is so versatile. You can use it to cook your rice in for a savory rice dish or boil your potatoes in for some extra flavor. Use it as a broth for someone who's ill or as a base for soup or other sauces. Be creative.

On with the show...

Remember all the extra pieces? Here's how I use some of them.

I'm using the backbones, necks and feet in this stock.

I grow alot of my vegetables in raised beds—it works great in Vermont.
I always leave carrots, parsnips and beets in one of them to harvest throughout the winter.
Here I dug up some carrots for my stock and they were delicious.
I'll can the rest of the bed sometime soon.

Chicken, Celery, Onions, Carrots

Pack it all on there, it'll roast down.

Roast at 300° or so until nice and brown.

Just about right.

It looks good enough to munch on already.

Into the stock pot.
I never seem to have enough stock pots, do you?

And let it boil for hours, adding water as necessary.
I cook on a wood fired cook stove that we also use for heat, it's always hot.
What a great place to keep a pot cooking.

My stock has cooked for a little over 24 hours.
It has a gelatinous consistency and is as flavorful as it looks!
Time to strain all the chunks out.

I'll run this through my meat grinder and feed it to my dogs.

Cool down your stock so the fat hardens on top. I usually chill it overnight.
I've removed half of the fat layer.

After chilling my stock down this is the gelatinous consistency of my stock.

Reheat and can at 10 pounds for 20 minutes for pints; 25 minutes for quarts.
All canned and ready to rock 'n roll!