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Author Notes: I used to use a large stock pot and following a good culinary education I let the stock simmer, with an occasional bubble rising to the top, slowly letting it reduce for eight hours. Then I found myself filling eight to ten plastic quart containers and stuffing them into the freezer only to have them fall out one morning and break my wife's toe. It was then I realized I needed to do something different. I decided to use a pressure canner/cooker not only to can the stock but to cook it too. What did I have to loose? My only concern was a cloudy stock or worse would the fat emulsify creating a stock that looked like 2% milk. To my surprise it worked beautifully. So the only other things to work out were the specifics. I like my stocks to have certain qualities other than just flavor. I want them to contain gelatin. The stock should jiggle like grandmas green jello and apple salad when the stock is removed from the fridge. I only know of one way to do that and it is by adding feet. Chicken feet, pigs feet or cow will do just fine. Gelatin gives the stock body and mouthfeel. The other thing I like is for it to be neutral, neutral doesn't mean flavorless in this instance. It means if I want to make an Asian, Caribbean or German inspired stock I will do it later using my neutral stock as a base. I don't want to limit the uses of my stock by adding different style cuisine flavors. For that matter if I want a brown stock I can roast a few chicken legs and then I can deglaze with the neutral stock creating an even richer brown stock. You ask why go to all the trouble, well I guess I just don't like limiting myself in the kitchen and it is nice to have home made stock at hand. It is as simple as that. —thirschfeld
Serves 3 quarts
- 2 small or one large chicken carcass, raw or cooked
- 6-8 chicken feet
- 1 onion, quatered, skin left on, it adds a nice golden color to the stock
- 1 leek top, rinsed, lacking that add another onion
- 1 carrot, peeled, cut in half
- 1 celery stalk, cut in half
- 3 sprigs Italian parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 1/2 quarts water
- Place all the ingredients into a 10 quart pressure canner and add the water. (My cooker shouldn't be filled more than two thirds to the top) and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil skim the brown scum from the top. From here since all canners are different I think you should follow your manufacturers instructions. I use 14 lbs pressure for one hour. If you want to can the stock use your manufacturers guidlines.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken Broth