There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of soup. I am going to teach you how to make homemade chicken stock with little to no effort.
As far as I’m concerned the “king” of soups is homemade chicken soup. I know what you’re thinking, “Are you crazy? I don’t have time to make chicken soup it takes all day” or “my soup never has any flavor” (we used to call that chicken shadow soup when only the shadow of chicken passed through the water).
Well, I’m here to help. My blog is not called Crocked Under Pressure for nothing. One of my objectives is to teach you to cook with two appliances that will really help with your time in the kitchen. One of them is the slow cooker and the other one is the Pressure Cooker. I don’t use an “Instapot”, I use a good old fashioned Pressure Cooker with a pressure valve and everything. Here is a picture of my Fagor 6 qt. I got this for a Christmas gift from my mom quite a few years ago and it has been one of my go-to pots.
The stock can be made in 45 minutes instead of the normal 3-6 hours (Depending on how long you like it to cook on your stove). Because of the pressure, you don’t lose any of the flavors of the stock, it is intensified. In order to have control over the amount of sodium, I don’t add any salt until I’m ready to use the stock. I may not use the stock for just soup, I also use it to build and flavor sauces.
There are so many benefits to cooking the stock yourself, regardless if you are using a Pressure Cooker or making it on top of the stove. Richer flavor, less sodium, you know what your ingredients are and how it’s made.
Ok, my base is started with 1-2 rotisserie chickens from Costco, (you know those wonderfully stinky chickens). They are a nice size and nothing will go to waste because you will end up using the entire chicken. If you are getting the chicken from your local grocery store, depending on the size of the chicken, you may want to consider using two chickens because they tend to be smaller.
One good thing about making stock, you don’t have to worry about chopping. You may have to cut some of the vegetables in half, but most of the time you’re just going to throw the vegetables whole into the pot. As matter of fact, as long as the veggies are washed thoroughly, you don’t even have to peel them. Even the onions! The onion skins will actually provide a deep rich color to your stock. Don’t forget, you’re not going to eat these veggies, their sole job is flavor and flavor only. Just make sure you wash them.
OH about those veggies, most supermarkets have soup greens already packaged and ready to go in their produce department. Grab a couple of those packages. Even if you don’t use all the veggies up, you can snack on them while you are waiting for your stock to finish or use them in a different recipe. Just a small warning, most will come with dill. I remove and save the dill for other recipes. I don’t like to use dill in my stock because it will cause it to sour, especially if you don’t plan on using the stock right away. If you like you can add a small sprinkling at serving time.
All I can say is you need to make this or you will be missing out. If you like greens, this makes an awesome Escarole and Bean soup, but that’s a recipe for another time. I hope you enjoy this and when you do make it let me know how you made out and if you used it for anything other than soup.
Just an aside, the recipe below is a suggestion on the amount of vegetables to put into the stock. As you make this you can always adjust as needed. Keep in mind, all recipes are like road maps, they give you the initial route to follow, but as you get more familiar with traveling you adjust your new route to short cuts or a longer more scenic route in order to make the journey yours.
So your journey now starts. Enjoy it!
The Ultimate Chicken Stock
- 2 Large Rotisserie Chickens
- 3 large Carrots Washed and cut in half
- 1 Medium Onion Cut in half
- 1 Large Leek Cut in half lenghtwise and washed thoroughly
- 2 Medium Celery stalk Cut in half
- 1/2 Bunch Parsley
- 2 large Bay leaves Dried or fresh
- 1 Medium turnip Cut in half
- 1 Large Parsnip Cut in half
- Pull apart the chicken meat from the bones. Keep the bones separate from the meat. You can use some of the skin, throw it away or give it to the dog. The bones are going to provide the flavor
- Divide and store the meat in small containers or zip top bags and store in the freezer until ready to use. The meat can be added later when ready to make the stock into a soup or make chicken salad.
- Put the bones into the pressure cooker or a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the vegetables by tucking them in with the bones and on top.
- Add enough COLD water to cover by an inch above your ingredients.
- Pressure Cooker: Put the lid on and make sure it you hear that it set into place and lock the lid or the pot will not come up to pressure. Turn burner on high and allow to come to high pressure. The pressure pin will pop up and you will hear hissing noise when the pressure has reached high. Reduce the heat as low as you can, maintaining the pin to stay up and the hissing continues. This is called low pressure. Cook on low pressure for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, shut the heat off to ***reduce the pressure (see below about reducing the pressure)
- Stove top: Cover the pot and turn the heat on high until it comes to a boil. Reduce to the heat to a bare simmer and let cook for about 2 hours. Shut off and allow to cool. Do not remove lid.
- Unlock and remove the lid from the pressure cooker or the pot. Remove ALL the solids from the stock (bones, vegetable, bay leaves) and discard. To make sure there are no other bones or vegetables, strain the remain stock through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a large bowl or another pot.
- Divide into quart containers. At this point you can refrigerate for two days or freeze. When you decide to use, the fat will rise to the top and it can be spooned off and discarded
- You can now use the stock for whatever soup bases or recipes you choose. It up to your recipe imagination.
- Serve with noodles or pasta of your choice and top with grated Romano/Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
- 3 ways of reducing the Pressure: 1) Natural reduction of pressure: Shut off the heat and let the pot rest for about an hour. Turn the pressure release valve to allow any remaining pressure to release. 2) Cold water method: Put the pot in sink and run cold water over the lid for about 10-15 minutes. Turn the pressure release valve to allow any remaining pressure to release. 3) Quick release - Turn the pressure release valve and allow steam to release fully. ALWAYS ALLOW PRESSURE TO RELEASE FULLY IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO UNLOCK LID. IF THE LID DOES NOT UNLOCK, THE PRESSURE STILL NEEDS TO BE RELEASED.
Pour two quarts of your stock to a pot and add the cut vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to your taste, add 1 cup of the reserved chicken and heat through until vegetables are tender.