Homemade Chicken Stock

Well I finally needed to free up some freezer space.  Over some time I have been collecting chicken backs to make some stock.  I ended up having 2 gallon freezer bags filled; about 8lbs of chicken carcass.  I have only made chicken stock one time before this, but was very pleased with how it turned out.  The recipe that I used was out of Ball Blue Book: Guide to Preserving book.  If you do not have this book in your collection, I will post the recipe below.  Wasn’t sure if I was ready to pull out the canner quite yet, but I did it regardless.  It needed to be done and sooner is better than later.

Ready?  Set?  Let’s get to it…

Chicken Stock (page 63)
Yield: about 8pints or 4 quarts

1 (3-4#) chicken, cut into pieces4qt water
2 celery stalks
2 medium onions; quartered
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1T salt


*First of all, sorry for poor pics – my Mom still has my camera and my cellphone is not for picture taking 🙂

Now I don’t use a whole chicken.  As I said before, I save my chicken backs and use them.  Once thawed out, I measure the chicken – I had just under 8# – so I doubled the above recipe and of course, changed it up a bit.

stockYou’ll want to combine the chicken and water in a large saucepot; bring to boil.  I used a 12qt stockpot and a tad over 7qts of water.  Even at that, it was filled to the top!  Once brought to a boil, I had to skim the top off with a spoon and then add remaining ingredients.

stockReduce heat; simmer 2 hours or until chicken is tender.  I had excess veggies to use up so I ended up using 7 celery stalks, 2 carrots 4 medium onions, 4 bay leaves, pepper, and small dash of salt…. we didn’t have peppercorns and we rarely use salt.

stock stockAlthough this is pretty much an all day event – at least it smells good while cooking!

When your time is up, or chicken is tender, remove from heat; skim off foam.  You’ll want to remove the chicken (reserve it for something else if using a whole chicken).  Strain stock through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth.  Now if your skimmer, like mine, was taken by mistake by your kids as a sword and in return lost forever, here’s another option…  I personally scooped out what all I could with a slotted spoon and then strained the rest of the stock thru a splash guard.  The spoon got all the big stuff while the splash guard caught all the small stuff and left over fat.

Now you have stock – but you’re not done yet!

stockAllow stock to cool until fat solidifies; skim off fat.  Bring stock back to a boil in large saucepot.  Ladle hot stock into hot jars, leaving 1″ headspace.  Adjust two piece caps and process pints 20min/quarts 25min at 10 pounds in a steam pressure canner.

stock stock chickenstock

Now you’re done with several jars of delicious homemade chicken stock to use!

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  1. Good post!!! I really need to get over my fears of using a canner! I have been freezing my stock but
    my freezers are too full!

  2. Thank you for your post! You have inspired me to finally give this a try. I will be saving carrot and celery scraps along with chicken pieces.

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