When you think of trash, what comes to mind? It’s not something most people seek out and for good reason. Yet, there is one form of “trash” which is actually a treasure!
What trash you ask? This kind:
Lovely, isn’t it? Can you tell what it is? It is the typically discarded parts of veggies like carrots (ends and peels)’ onions, orange peppers, etc. I often include celery, but I don’t have any yet.
Well, I pull my trusty discard bag out of my freezer whenever I prep vegetables and save whatever I think will make a good broth. Then, I stick it bag into the freeze until I have enough to make this:
For years, I wanted to make broth, but I didn’t, because I rarely buy bone-in chicken. Then, I made an amazing discovery. You can used cooked bones to make broth! Your broth will be a bit darker in color, but the bones from a roasted chicken or turkey give a lovely flavor.
YAY! Now I save the chicken carcass whenever I buy a roasted chicken from Costco. I put it in a bag and save it in my freezer along with my “garbage” bag of veggies. (I saved my turkey carcass last year and used it to make broth as well.) When I have a few chickens, I stick them in a big stock pot or two with my veggies. I let them stew for at least 24 hours to get out all of the chicken and veggie goodness and into my broth. Then I skim any yuckies off the top of the broth and refrigerate it to make it easier to skim the fat. At this point, the broth is ready to season and use. I prefer to wait to add salt until I’ve cooked my broth, but you can add salt earlier in the process.
Here are a couple of pictures of my broth in process.
(This is one of my pots with chicken bones and veggie trimmings.)
(This is my broth after it cooked for several hours.)
Of course, I made an insane amount of broth at this point, at least 6 gallons. Unless I’m cooking for a crowd, I will never going to use all this broth before it goes bad. This is where my handy dandy pressure canner comes into play. I can my broth, so I don’t have to pay for it at the store. Canning it is not completely free, because I need to pay for the seals, but even with the cost of energy and water I’m using, I’m paying less than 20 cents for a quart of broth. That’s a smokin’ deal!
To can the broth, I simply wash and rinse my jars in not soapy water, then fill them with the hot broth (which I reheated after refrigerating and skimming the fat) and add salt. Then, I wipe the rims with a wet paper towel and place the seals (warmed in a pot of warm water) on the jars. Finally, I screw on the rings until fingertip tight.
The jars go into my canner along with the vinegar and water listed in my canner instructions. I put on the lid and turn on the heat. The water in canner needs to come to a boil and vent for 10 minutes before putting on the weight and allowing the canner to come to full pressure (10 pounds at sea level, but it is 11 pounds where I live). Once it’s at the correct pressure, the jars are processed to 20-25 minutes (20 for pints and 25 for quarts). When the timer goes off, I turn the heat off and let the canner depressurize on its own as it cools. Once it has depressurize done, I remove the jars to a cooling rack where I let them sit for 24 hours before moving them.
And this is the result! This is not all the broth I canned. I ended up with 21 quarts and 9 pints. Not too shabby!
How do you make the most of the things you buy?