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How to Can Homemade Chicken Broth

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I have been wanting to try to make my own chicken broth for awhile. It always seemed so intimidating, especially since most of the chicken we eat is the frozen chicken tenders. Recently I branched out to try cooking rotisserie style chicken at home. It was so easy! And gives you some great chicken bones to make homemade chicken broth.


I found a number of different recipes for making homemade chicken broth, but decided to follow this one. They also have a lot of great canning advice!

You might wonder what the difference is between chicken broth and chicken stock. The main difference is how it is prepared. Stock is made mostly from cooking chicken bones and results in a darker product. Chicken broth is made from bones as well as the meat of the chicken, resulting in a lighter yellow broth. Either can be prepared with or without added vegetables, depending on your preference.

homemade chicken broth

You would think that chicken broth is hard to make, but it is really just a matter of changing the way you do things. It is really not extra work at all, if you work it into your cooking routine. Many cooks save their vegetable and chicken scraps just for making chicken broth. You can have a ziploc freezer bag set aside just for your broth fixings. Then you can make it at your convenience.

I prepared my rotisserie chicken and then saved the chicken carcass and leftover meat. The next day I put all the leftover chicken and carcass in the largest soup pot I have and added a cut up onion, several cut up carrots, and two stalks of diced celery. (Some people put an uncooked chicken in the pot. After the chicken is cooked, remove the meat from the bones for another recipe and then put the bones back in the pot and continue cooking).

I didn't add any extra seasonings, there were still seasonings on the chicken from the dinner the night before. You don't want to add lots of seasonings to your broth. You can add seasonings when you use the broth to prepare a new meal.

The broth simmered on the stove for about 8 hours. You don't want it to boil...I had mine on medium heat because low heat was barely enough to keep it warm. You can also do this part in a crock pot instead. I didn't use my crock pot because my crock pot isn't large enough to make a big pot of broth.

After the 8 hours I took a big spoon and scooped out all the chicken bones and vegetable pieces. If you want a clear broth, then pour the broth through a sieve. I bought a neat fine mesh sieve last summer to make blueberry vinegar. After the broth went through the sieve, the broth was completely clear. I can't believe all the uses I've found for that little sieve!

Let broth cool. If any fat floats to the top, just skim it off. Mine didn't have any extra fat I needed to remove. At this point you can place the broth in the refrigerator to work with later or you can go ahead and can it or freeze it. I placed mine in the refrigerator and canned it the next day.

My broth yielded about 6 pints or 3 quarts. It depends on how big your soup pot is, that is as much as mine would hold.

The next day I put the broth back on the stove to heat it back up. I put some canning jars and lids in the dishwasher to sterilize and started heating up the water in my pressure canner. You can't use a boiling water canner to process these jars, you need to use a pressure canner.

Process jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 20 minutes for pints or 25 minutes for quarts.

You can also freeze the broth, either in freezer containers or in freezer ziploc bags. This is the preferred method for a lot of people, but I LOVE canning and seeing the products of my labor sitting on my pantry shelf. It also a good idea to not completely rely on your freezer for storing food in case your electricity ever goes off. A portion of a neighboring community recently had their power out for 3 days!!

Anyway, I was very happy with how my chicken broth turned out. It was VERY easy to make and I will definitely be making it again. There is nothing like homemade!

New to pressure canning and want to watch me prepare this recipe? Check out my step-by-step video based canning courses.

Copyright 2013, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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