I was at our Classical Conversations homeschool group, from 8:40-3:30, including travel time. My family likes to eat at 5 p.m., so I needed a solution. Before I left for our group, from the freezer I took homemade, frozen stuffed red bell peppers. When I got home, I threw the peppers in the oven, made a quick salad. Then I got in the mood to be industrious, so I decided to make stock, since it only takes 30 minutes to cook. Yes, 30 minutes using raw, frozen chicken, and vegetables.
I used to make stock in a regular pot, which took up to 4 hours. My pressure cooker can do the same job in 30 minutes. Afraid of a pressure cooker? Don’t let the stories from your grandmother worry you. Today’s pressure cookers are safe, and extremely easy to use. I have a Presto 23 quart pressure cooker/canner.
I took 5 pounds of chicken quarters from the freezer, that I had purchased for for 49 cents a pound. I then pulled out a running bag of vegetable scraps from the freezer as well (1/2 gallon bag full). I tossed them into the pressure cooker, covered the ingredients with water, leaving the ingredients one inch above the water. I added two tablespoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of bouquet garni, a garlic head cut in half (not a clove, a whole head) and black pepper.
I brought the pot up to 15 pounds of pressure, and let cook for 30 minutes. I let the cooker come down to pressure, took of the gauge, and waited 10 minutes to take off the lid. This made about 4 quarts of stock, and I kept the chicken meat – – all for $2.50!
I don’t reuse the vegetables with this method, but I certainly use the chicken. Employ the broth for soup, chicken and dumplings, or even can the stock. Even after a long day, this long-cooked style stock takes no time, just pressure — in a good way.