Things with crab apples: jelly, three ways

Once we got our crab apple cider vinegar made up and set aside to ferment, it was time to turn to the rest of the crab apples!

The apples had been cleaned and left to soak in cold water with vinegar overnight. The extra time allows for any damage and bruising to the apples to be easier to see.

The next steps were to remove the stems, then cut the apples. These crab apples are small enough that I just cut them in half.

This was the time to cut out any damaged bits – or remove some apples completely.

There were quite a few that looked fine on the outside, only to be bad in the middles. The above photo is what I removed from the apples, including the small batch I used for the apple cider vinegar.

Just a little something for the compost pile. 🙂

As I have some of our choke cherries and sour cherries in the freezer, I decided to make several small batches, including spiced jelly. Some of the recipes I saw said to cook and strain the apples first, cook the juices with the other additions, strain them again, then make the jelly.

I had no interest in cooking and straining these twice, and saw no reason to. Instead, I divided the cut up apples into three pots. I had two medium sized pots plus my smaller stock pot, so after I filled the two smaller ones, any left over apples went into the bigger pot. My smaller pots each held about 6 cups of chopped apples, and the bigger pot had about 7 cups of apples.

I then made my additions.

The spiced batch got a couple of cinnamon sticks, 2 pieces of star anise and about a tablespoon of whole cloves. The others got about 1 cup of frozen fruit added.

Next, water was added until the fruit was just covered. They were then brought to a boil, covered and left to simmer until soft.

The pot the choke cherries were in turned out to be just a touch too small, and I had to transfer it to my other stock pot to prevent it from over flowing.

After about 20 minutes or so, I stirred them down to break up the fruit a bit; I had to use a potato masher on the spiced apples, as the pot was too full to stir properly!

I continued to cook them until the fruit was quite soft.

This is the sour cherry batch on the left, choke cherry batch on the right. I forgot to get a picture of the spiced batch before I put it up to strain.

While the apples were cooking, I prepped for straining.

I currently have only one jelly bag, so I lined colanders set over large bowls with cheese cloth.

I used the jelly bag for the spiced mixture and hung it up in my usual spot. By then, I already had over a litre of juice strained out!

I had to get creative to hang the other two. I used one of those wire frames made to hold bags open, like for leaf bags. Thoroughly cleaned, of course. I set it up on the dining table and hung the tied off cheese cloth bags of apple pulp on the frame, with their bowls of juice set up under them and the colanders removed. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the set up, though.

I then left the bags to drain overnight, though we did cover the various bowls with whatever we had on hand. One got a piece of cheese cloth stretched over it, another bowl was the perfect size for our mesh frying pan splash screen, and the big measuring cup got covered by a large mesh sieve. These all allowed the juices to keep dripping in, while keeping out any dust, cat hair, insects or whatever else might be floating about.

Note: they don’t need to be left overnight, but the pulp should be given at least a couple of hours to drain. Some recipes suggest to squeeze the pulp to extract more juice. This will result in a cloudy jelly, so that’s up to you! 😉

That was all done yesterday. Today, it was time to cook things down!

I did each batch one at a time, rather than all at once, starting with the juice that was already in the measuring cup.

This is the spiced apple pulp from the jelly bag. The pulp all went to the compost pile.

I ended up with almost exactly 5 cups of juice from the spiced apple and the choke cherry batches, and almost exactly 8 cups of the sour cherry batch. For each cup of juice, I added a 3/4 cup of sugar.

Which felt like an insane amount of sugar, but that’s how it works!

Each batch was boiled to the gel stage.

Before I started cooking any of them, though, I started sanitizing my canning jars. With how much juice I ended up with, I knew my dozen 250ml (1 cup) sized jars would not be enough. I decided to use one 500ml (2 cup) for each batch, then use however many of the smaller jars I needed to empty the pot. The larger jars will be for our own use, and the smaller jars can be given out as gifts, if we want.

I also made a discovery.

We have not been able to replace our damaged hot water tank yet, which means it’s still heating the water to extremely high temperatures. I figured I would take advantage of that and use it to sanitize my jars and implements.

I was able to set up all the jars in a large container on the counter near the stove. I was also going to use my candy thermometer, so I dug that out, washed it, then put it into one of the jars to scald. Shortly after, I pulled the candy thermometer out. The whole set up with the water had been sitting for about 5-7 minutes since I added the hot tap water, so I had to do a double take when I saw the thermometer.

It was at almost 100C.

That’s 212F.

The instructions I was following said to cook the juice and sugar mixture to 210F to reach gel state. My tap water was already hotter than that!!

The juices reached beyond 210F very quickly, so there was no way temperature alone was enough to reach gel stage, so I kept boiling it. After the first testing, I went to wash the thermometer and discovered there was water in it.

???

Looking closer, I discovered that the glass covering the bulb of the thermometer was gone! For all I know, this is damage from our move. I very rarely use the candy thermometer.

So I threw that out.

Which meant I was checking for the gel state using the *spoon test.

Each batch took me at least half an hour of boiling before it reached the gel stage.

Once each batch was ready, I filled some jars – I added cinnamon sticks to the jars with the spiced jelly – covered them, then set them aside to cool while I washed everything before starting the next batch.

My 8 cups of sour cherry juice mix, and 5 cups of spiced juice mix, each gave me the same number of cups of jelly, but for some reason the 5 cups of chokecherry juice mix resulted in only 4 cups of jelly!

I still don’t have the tools to do a hot water bath, so these are not shelf stable, and will need to be stored in the fridge.

I absolutely love the colours in these!

After they had a chance to cool, my daughters used some when making supper this evening. They made grilled cheese sandwiches with some of the sour cherry jelly spread in with the cheese. It was really good!

The Re-Farmer

Homemade Crab apple jelly, with flavour variations

Items needed:

  • cheese cloth or jelly bag
  • bowl to drain juices into
  • if using cheese cloth, a colander that fits in the bowl
  • canning jars, jar funnel and lids, sanitized
  • place to hang pulp bag over the bowl
  • large saucepan or stock pot with lid

Ingredients:

  • crab apples, washed, stemmed and chopped. (no need to peel or core)
  • sugar

Optional flavour additions

  • about a cup of fruit or berries per 6 cups of chopped crab apples.
  • any combination of whole, not ground, spices, including cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, star anise, etc. to taste.
  1. Place cleaned and chopped apple pieces into a large pot.
  2. Add any flavour options desired.
  3. Add enough water to just cover the fruit. Bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until apples are very soft. Stir the fruit every few minutes.
  5. Mash the mixture with a large spoon or potato masher. Cook for a few more minutes.
  6. While the mixture is cooking, dampen a jelly bag and ready a bowl to catch juices, or line a colander placed in a bowl with cheese cloth (in 4 layers) and prepare a place to hang the pulp over the bowl.
  7. When the fruit is cooked until completely soft, spoon the mixture into the jelly bag over a bowl, or into the prepared cheese cloth. Tie off the bag and hang over the bowl to drain for at least a few hours, or overnight. (After draining, pulp can be composted.)
  8. Prepare canning jars and sterilize implements.
  9. Measure the juice extracted and place into a large saucepan or stock pot. Add 3/4 cup sugar per 1 cup of juice.
  10. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring often, until mixture reaches gel stage*. This will take about 20-40 minutes, depending on how much juice there is.
  11. Pour hot jelly into heated canning jars. Skim off foam, seal and set aside to cool.
  12. Process in hot water bath or store in refrigerator.

* Sheet test for gel
Dip a cold metal spoon into the boiling soft spread.  Lift the spoon and hold it horizontally, edge down, and watch how the mixture drops.  When the mixture reaches the gel stage, it will begin to “sheet”, with the jelly breaking off the spoon in a sheet or flake, rather than pouring or dripping.

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas

Here is a really easy recipe for a healthy snack to satisfy those cravings for something crunchy!

Roasted chickpeas.

Roasted, Seasoned Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • canned chick peas
  • olive oil
  • seasonings to taste

I have found that a 9×13 baking tray fits 2 cans of chickpeas in a single layer very well.

Instructions:

  1. Turn oven to 400F.
  2. Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse well. Spread the wet chickpeas onto a baking tray and let the water dry off for a while.
  3. Put the dried chickpeas into a bowl large enough to toss them. Add olive oil and seasonings. (In our last batch, we used Scarborough Fair Garlic Salt and freshly ground pepper. You can use ordinary course salt and pepper, if you wish. It would be great with Rosemary Lemon Salt as well, or if you want to stay away from salt, use your favourite Mrs. Dash mix. )
  4. Toss the chick peas until well coated with olive oil and seasonings.
  5. Return the chick peas to the baking tray and spread into a single layer. Place on centre rack in pre-heated oven.
  6. Roast for about 20 minutes. Take the pan out and give it a shake to turn the chick peas. Return to oven and continue roasting to desired crunchiness, giving the pan another shake every now and then. (We like them extra crisp. With our oven, that takes more than an hour of roasting time. Our oven also has some cold spots, so when we give the chick peas a shake, we also turn the pan, to ensure even roasting. )
  7. When done, remove the pan and allow the chick peas to cool.
  8. Once cool, store in an air tight container.

These make a really excellent and healthy snack, and are downright addictive!

Enjoy!

The Re-Farmer

Cracker Toffee with Bacon Salt

A super easy and quick recipe to share with you today. Warning: these are amazingly addictive! 😀

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This recipe takes something I don’t normally like – chewy toffee – and turns it into a delectable treat (that doesn’t stick to my teeth!). Using semi-sweet dark chocolate chips and unsalted crackers helps keep the sweet and salty flavours from becoming overwhelming.

Cracker Toffee with Bacon Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • unsalted saltine crackers (about 35-40)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate chips
  • Bacon Salt for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Spread a layer of crackers on the tray. Lift the edges of the aluminum foil around the crackers to keep them snug and in place. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter and sugar together. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After 5 minutes, pour the toffee over the crackers and spread evenly, making sure all the crackers are completely covered.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven, then spread the chocolate chips evenly over the crackers and toffee. Let sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate (if necessary, place the tray back into the still-warm oven to soften the chocolate), then spread the chocolate to cover the entire surface.
  6. Sprinkle a small amount (a little goes a long way!!) of bacon salt over the top, ensuring that each cracker gets a bit. (Note: you can substitute coarse Himalayan Sea Salt, or any other sea salt, in place of the bacon salt.)
  7. Let cool completely. Can be refrigerated to harden faster.
  8. Once completely cold, peel away the foil, then cut or break apart into pieces.
  9. Can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Not that they will last that long. 😉 Can also be frozen.
  10. Enjoy!! 🙂
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A thought occurred to me as I was resizing the above photo, noting my very grungy looking baking pan. A 9×13 jelly roll pan, I’ve had this for many years. In fact, when I moved off the farm at age 18, it was among the items I took with me, along with cutlery I still use today, and a few other necessities. I have had this pan for 32 years and 18 moves. My mother had this pan for longer than I can remember.

It’s entirely possible that this pan is older than I am!

Flavored Salts: Raspberry Wine

Though I made five different flavored salts at once, I will be doing a post for each flavor separately.

flavoured.salts.five.mixes

Using wet ingredients to flavor salt requires a fair bit more time.  The typical recommended ratio for a red wine salt was 3 cups wine to 1 cup salt.  I chose to use a locally made raspberry wine I found, instead.  Most bottles are about 3 cups, but we had to taste it, too!  Which means the actual amount of wine we used as about 2 1/2 cups total.  Of course, feel free to adjust quantities to your taste!

Also, the raspberry wine tasted much like the raspberry wine my father used to make!  I’m not a big wine person, but I think we have a winner, here!

The wine will be reduced to a syrup, which means 3 cups of wine works out to roughly 3 Tbsp syrup.

Raspberry Wine Salt

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raspberry wine
  • 2 cups Kosher salt

Also needed:

  • baking tray lined with parchment paper
  • saucepan large enough to allow roam for foaming
  • very strong stirring spoon
  • food processor or coffee/spice grinder
  • jar with lid
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Step 1: pour the win into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a gentle boil.  Continue cooking until the wine is reduced to a thick syrup.

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For the raspberry wine we used, it took about 45 minutes to reduce to a syrup.  Near the end, it began to really bubble and foam.

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Once reduced to a thick syrup, remove from heat and let cool briefly.

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Step 2: stir in the salt and mix to thoroughly coat the salt with the syrup.  This is where I had to switch to the stronger mixing spoon!

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Step 3: spread the salt and wine mixture onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread evenly.  Place into the oven with the light on and the temperature at the lowest setting.  After an hour or so, turn off the oven but leave the light on.  Leave overnight to dry. 

Note: you can take the baking sheet out every now and then and turn the salt – this can be made easier by using the parchment paper to fold the salt over itself, then spreading it evenly again.  After doing this, reheat the oven to the lowest setting again, then shut it off, leaving the light to help maintain the heat.

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Step 4: once thoroughly dry, remove the baking sheet from the oven.  Break apart the salt and crumble it with your hands as much as possible.  There will still be some clumps.

Step 5: using a food processor or spice grinder, pulse the salt in batches, just enough to break up the clumps.

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Step 6: after processing the salt mixture, transfer it to a jar, or divide among small gift jars, and seal.

Links for all five flavors made:

Rosemary Lemon
Scarborough Fair Garlic
Mushroom
Raspberry Wine
Bacon


Flavored Salts: Bacon

Though I made five different flavored salts at once, I will be doing a post for each flavor separately.

flavoured.salts.five.mixes

Bacon Salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 package thin cut bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
  • 2 cups Kosher salt
flavoured.salts.bacon.1

Also needed:

  • food processor, coffee/spice grinder
  • small rubber spatula
  • jar with lid, large enough to have room to shake the salt, or a mixing bowl
  • a larger funnel or canning funnel would also be handy

Note: the bacon needs to be cooked until very crisp, then drained of as much fat as possible.  I find the easier way to do this is to cook the bacon in the oven.  Line a baking tray (a 13×9 inch jelly roll pan works well for this) with aluminum foil and top with an oven safe cooling rack.  Lay your bacon slices out on the rack.  It may take some finagling to get them all to fit!  Cook the bacon in a 350F oven until dark and crisp, flipping the slices about half way through.  Once cooked, place the bacon on paper towels to get rid of any surface fat.  Go ahead and crumble it up with the paper towel in the process.  Leave the bacon on paper towel to cool completely – I left it overnight.

Step 1: using grinder or processor, pulse the bacon pieces in batches until they are quite fine. 

Note: the bacon may quickly become paste-like, and stick to the sides.  Use the rubber spatula to scrape it off in between batches.

Step 2: measure 2 cups Kosher salt into a jar.

Step 3: add the bacon bits to the salt and shake.

flavoured.salts.bacon.2
I should have used a bigger jar!

Note: it may be necessary to use a mixing bowl to combine the salt and bacon.  Use your hands to rub the bacon into the salt and break up any clumps, then transfer to a jar, or divide into small gift jars.

Due to the fat content that may still be on the bacon, this salt is best stored in the refrigerator.  

Links for all five flavors made:
Rosemary Lemon
Scarborough Fair Garlic
Mushroom
Raspberry Wine
Bacon

Flavored Salts: Mushroom

Though I made five different flavored salts at once, I will be doing a post for each flavor separately.

flavoured.salts.five.mixes

Dry salts are made with a basic ratio of 1 tsp flavors to 1/4 cup coarse salt.  Feel free to adjust to your own personal tastes!  For the salt, you can use Kosher salt, pickling salt, sea salt, or any coarse salt you prefer.  I used Kosher salt, which is fine enough to not need further grinding, but coarse enough to maintain a nice texture.

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Note: you can use any dried mushroom you prefer for this mix.  I used a gourmet blend from Costco. 

Mushroom Salt

Ingredients:

  • dried mushrooms
  • Kosher salt

Also needed:

  • food processor, coffee/spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  • jar with lid, large enough to have room to shake the salt
  • a larger funnel or canning funnel would also be handy

Note: you will need about 4 tsp powdered mushroom for 1 cup of salt.  I used quite a bit more dried mushroom than needed for my 2 cups of salt.  After grinding it down to a powder, I measured out what I needed for the amount of salt I had, then put the rest into a sealed jar to use as flavoring during cooking.

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Step 1: grind the drive mushrooms to a powder. 

flavoured.salts.kosher.salt

Step 2: measure the Kosher salt into a jar.

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Step 3: measure our your mushroom powder and add it to the salt.  Cover and shake thoroughly.

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Step 4: Label your jar and set aside for about a week, out of direct sunlight, to give the flavors time to meld, giving the jar a thorough shake on a regular basis.

If desired, measure out portions of the combined mixture into gifting jars.

Links for all five flavors made:
Rosemary Lemon
Scarborough Fair Garlic
Mushroom
Raspberry Wine
Bacon

Flavored Salts: Rosemary Lemon


Though I made five different flavored salts at once, I will be doing a post for each flavor separately.

flavoured.salts.five.mixes

Dry salts are made with a basic ratio of 1 tsp flavors to 1/4 cup coarse salt.  Feel free to adjust to your own personal tastes!  For the salt, you can use Kosher salt, pickling salt, sea salt, or any coarse salt you prefer.  I used Kosher salt, which is fine enough to not need further grinding, but coarse enough to maintain a nice texture.

Rosemary Lemon Salt

Ingredients:

  • lemon zest
  • dried rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt

Also needed:

  • food processor, coffee/spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  • jar with lid, large enough to have room to shake the salt
  • a larger funnel or canning funnel would also be handy

Step 1: measure out the lemon zest and rosemary leaves (see note below).

flavoured.salts.rosemarylemon.1
Dehydrated lemon zest and rosemary leaves.

Note: For 1 cup of salt, you will want about 4 tsp ground rosemary/lemon mixture.  I made mine using 2 cups of salt, so I used about 3 rounded tablespoons total (1 Tbsp = 3 tsp) of the lemon zest and rosemary leaves, to get approximately 8 tsp after grinding.

flavoured.salts.rosemarylemon.2
Lemon zest and rosemary leaves, ground together.

Step 2: grind the rosemary leaves and lemon zest together, to a fairly fine powder.

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Two cups Kosher salt.

Step 3: measure out your salt into a jar.

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Kosher salt with rosemary, lemon zest powder.

Step 4: add ground rosemary and lemon zest to the salt.  Close the jar and shake thoroughly.

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Step 5: Label your jar and set aside for about a week, out of direct sunlight, to give the flavors time to meld, giving the jar a thorough shake on a regular basis.

If desired, measure out portions of the combined mixture into gifting jars.

Links for all five flavors made:
Rosemary Lemon
Scarborough Fair Garlic
Mushroom
Raspberry Wine
Bacon

Nutty Seedy Brittle

I decided to try something new tonight; making a brittle.  While I’ve certainly had brittle before, I’ve never made it until now.

When I started looking up recipes, I thought I might not be able to, since they all included corn syrup.  This is something I don’t normally have in the pantry.  However, I did find some without corn syrup, so it worked out in the end.

Before I share the photos and recipe, here are some important notes.

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First, make sure you premeasure all your ingredients, first.  Once the sugar starts to caramelize, you will have to work quickly, so have them all ready and on hand.

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Second, make sure you have a baking sheet or pan oiled/buttered and ready before you start.  If it’s not well oiled first, it will be next to impossible to get the brittle off once it hardens.

It would also be preferable to use a heavy bottomed saucepan, if you have one, for even heating, as sugar can burn easily.

And finally, have a trivet or pot holder near the pan.  When the sugar caramelizes, you will need to work quickly to remove it from the heat and add the final ingredients, so make sure to have a safe place where you can put your hot pot, stir things in, then immediately pour it onto your prepared pan.

For this brittle, I used a mix of pecan pieces and roasted, salted sunflower seeds, because that’s what I had on hand.  Since the sunflower seeds and butter were both salted, I was lighter on the added salt.  I also used kosher salt; being a coarse salt, there’s a bit less in the measuring spoon than when using table salt.  If I were using table salt, I would reduce the amount by about half, unless I were using unsalted butter and none of the nuts/seeds were salted.

Nutty Seedy Brittle Ingredients (makes about 2 – 2 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 cups nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp baking soda

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1. Combine sugar, water and salt into a saucepan over medium/medium-high heat.

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2. Bring the syrup mixture to a gentle boil, then set timer for 10 minutes.

3 . Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, watching for the colour to change.

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This is after 10 minutes. 

4. Continue to boil until the colour changes from clear to a light amber colour.  This may take another 10 minutes, depending on your stove.

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5. As soon as the colour changes (or the temperature reaches 300F on a candy thermometer), remove from heat.

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6. Quickly add the butter, vanilla and baking soda, while stirring constantly.  The mixture will foam up.  Continue stirring until the foam subsides and the mixture begins to look glossy.

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7. Quickly stir in the nuts and seeds, then pour the mixture onto the prepared pan.

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8. Flatten the mixture, as needed, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes, or until brittle.

That’s it!

It’s a simple recipe, using some pretty basic ingredients.  It’s just a bit finicky on technique.  Well worth it!

Enjoy!

The Re-Farmer

Home Made Chicken Stock

The following is a “use watcha got” recipe to use up the carcasses of your cooked chicken (or turkey).  This stock is cooked down to be more concentrated, and should result in a rather firm, gel-like consistency when cool.

Decide ahead of time how you will store your stock, and prepare in advance as needed.  I used pint sized canning jars and sterilized the canning funnel, jars, lids and rings during the last hour or so of cooking.  You could also pour the stock into ice cube trays for freezing, or use freezer bags.

You will also need a colander and bowl large enough to hold your stock, plus a sieve and cheesecloth for straining.  Having a giant measuring cup is also very handy to stain into, making it easier to pour the stock into jars.

Ingredients:

bones and skin from roasted chickens (or turkey)
pan drippings
onion and/or leeks
garlic cloves
vegetables such as carrots, celery (including leaves), celeriac, parsnips
herbs such as rosemary, thyme, savory, sage, bay leaves, ginger, parsley or dill
peppercorns
salt; optional
cold water
optional additions: lemon or orange zest, a splash of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

homemade.chicken.stockNote: Quantities will depend on how many carcasses you are using.   For 3 carcasses, I used 1 large onion, a whole head of garlic, 4 carrots, and whatever herbs I had handy in my cupboard.

Seasonings will also depend on how the chickens were seasoned when cooked.  When I roasted ours, I first rubbed them with lemon juice and put the lemon pieces, with some bay leaves, into the cavities.  I also rubbed lemon salt, paprika, pepper and oil into the skin.  Because of this, I was able to be light on the salt and pepper when making the stock.  What salt I did use was lemon salt.

  1. Place your chicken bones and skin into a large stock pot.  Scrape pan drippings in (cooled pan drippings may be gelled, which is awesome).
  2. Add onions, cut into large pieces (skin can be left on, if you wish), or leeks cut into 2 inch or so chunks.
  3. Crush garlic cloves with the side of a large knife (skins can be left on, but I like to remove them) and add to the pot.
    Note: If you don’t have fresh onions or garlic, dried can be used.
  4. Vegetables do not need to be peeled.  Just scrub them, and remove the root ends.  Chop them into about 2 inch pieces, then add to the pot.
  5. Add fresh or dried herbs and other seasonings of your choice.
  6. Add peppercorns (or ground pepper, if that’s what you have) and salt.  If you’re not sure about the salt, leave it for later, after tasting.
  7. Add enough cold water to cover everything by about 1 or 2 inches.
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.  Do not stir, as that will make your stock cloudy.
  9. Simmer for about 3-4 hours.
  10. Place a colander over a large bowl.  Carefully pour everything in the stock pot, into the colander.  Gently lift out the colander, allowing to drain, and set aside.  Colander contents can be discarded.
  11. Wash the stock pot out and place back on the stove.  Pour the stock, through a sieve, back into the stock pot.
  12. Taste for seasonings.  Adjust as desired.
  13. Bring the stock to a boil.  Reduce heat and continue to simmer the stock down until reduced by 1/3rd.
  14. Line a sieve with several layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl or large measuring cup.
  15. Gently ladle the stock into the lined sieve.
  16. Fill prepared containers with strained stock (in batches, if need be) and seal.
  17. Refrigerate or freeze, as desired.

 

Using the carcasses of 3 chickens, I was able to fill 11 pint sized canning jars (all the ones I had available), plus have 3 cups of stock left over.

The second cooking down of the stock concentrates it a bit; if you wanted to, you could continue to cook it down more, for an even more concentrated stock.  Keep this in mind when you use it, as you may need to water it down a bit.

Enjoy!

The Re-Farmer