I never run out of the versatile Better than Bouillon in both beef and chicken flavors. The organic roasted chicken base can be mixed with water for a richer, more robust flavor than ordinary bouillons or soup stocks. I use it in many of my recipes as you may have noticed how often I call it out in the ingredients list.
However, there is another really easy way to make healthy and rich stock with the use of a pressure cooker. Chicken stock is one of the building blocks of good cooking, and in this post I will share how to easily make chicken stock that tastes like it simmered all day.
Traditionally prepared chicken stock and chicken broth is a very time-intensive project, requiring several hours on the stove to thoroughly infuse water with flavor from the chicken bones and vegetables. By using a pressure cooker, you will be able to extract even more flavor and gelatin from those ingredients in a fraction of the time.
In order to get dinner on the table quickly during the work week I will often purchase a rotisserie chicken to help speed things up. After picking the meat off the rotisserie chicken, that beautiful bird can serve another amazing purpose, stock! I covered this topic in both the Reinventing Leftover Turkey post, and also in the Chicken and Dumplings post.
One of my favorite kitchen hacks is to keep a freezer zip top bag that I continually dump vegetable cuttings into. When chopping an onion, any skin, peels or roots leftover go into the freezer bag. Over time that freezer bag will be full of onion, carrot, and garlic scraps, just perfect for making homemade stock.
Pull out the freezer bag full of veggie scraps and add it to a pressure cooker along with any leftover chicken pieces and bones. If you are using just the leftover carcass from a roasted chicken, consider supplementing with a few pieces of raw chicken. The stock made from a roasted chicken carcass can sometimes taste a little lighter than stock made from raw chicken, especially if you’ve removed most of the meat from the bones.
Fill with water to the cooker's max-fill line and season heavily with kosher salt, pepper and any extra fresh herbs you have on hand like thyme, bay and parsley. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much time you have. This is plenty of time to coax flavor and gelatin from your ingredients.
The intense heat of the pressure cooker promotes the extraction of flavor compounds from bones, and encourages the breakdown of proteins into peptides, which produces noticeably rich meatiness.
Once the timer beeps, allow the pressure cooker to release pressure naturally as opposed to using quick release. A natural release ensures the stock maintains its clarity. Using the quick release valve will cause the stock to boil, which may result in some loss of clarity; this should not be an issue unless you're serving it as consommé or in another preparation that requires the broth to be crystal-clear.
Place a colander into a large pot and strain the stock, pressing on the bones and veggies to extract as much juice as possible. You may want to do a second strain through a fine mesh strainer to get a more clear stock. Allow to cool and then transfer to containers to refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to four months.
4 pounds mixed chicken parts, such as wings, backs and bones.
2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 medium celery stalks, chopped
4 medium cloves garlic
herbs like parsley, and thyme
1 bay leaf