We'll be getting this year's shipment of chickens in earlier - around May - and I need to free up freezer space for them. So, as time permits I'm clearing out my stash of bones and cooking up stock. This week's project was turkey stock.
I only had three turkey carcasses saved, but they took up plenty of freezer space!
What I call turkey carcasses are the bones that remain after we roasted turkeys. Our chicken bones and turkey bones are usually already roasted. Once in a while I'll have some frozen but unroasted chicken bones from when the Hubster trims the chickens down into parts instead of freezing them as whole fryers. Those I then need to roast before cooking the stock, but roasted bones can go straight into the stock pot with vegetables and water.
Since I only had the three carcasses I only needed our larger stockpot and didn't need to run two pots.
I combined two large onions, two carrots, a bunch of celery, and the turkey bones in the large stockpot. I filled it with water and set it to simmer.
All ingredients combined and heating up
Because of timing this batch simmered longer than usual because the simmering was split over two days. Typically four hours is enough, though.
Like the beef stock I brought the ingredients up to a full boil and then reduced the heat to let the mixture simmer.
After the very generous simmering time, I strained the mixture using a colander.
Straining #1 - the Hubster pouring the stock through a colander
Then we placed cheesecloth into our colander and secured it with clips and did a second straining.
Colander with several layers of cheesecloth clipped to it
The Hubster pouring the strained stock through the cheesecloth clipped to the colander
The Hubster lifting out the cheesecloth and squeezing the last bits of stock out
After that we cooled down the stock and refrigerated it.
Our stock looked like this after refrigeration:
Cooled stock with grease layer still on
All the grease rises to the top and is easily skimmed off.
Here you see the cooled stock sans grease:
Cooled stock sans grease
Then I heated the stock up to boiling. While the stock was heating I got out my equipment - canning funnel, magnetic lid lifter, jar lifting tongs, rings, and a damp cloth to wipe the edge of the jars.
All my equipment laid out - funnel, magnetic lid lifter, jar lifting tongs, rings, damp clean cloth to wipe the rims of the jars
I also began heating up my lids. I just filled a small saucepan with water and turned the heat on low. Remember that you only need to warm the lids, not boil them.
Lids warming in a saucepan full of water
Then I filled my pressure canner with about an inch and a half of water and placed the jars filled with warm water into the canner. I turned the heat up to high and began to warm up the jars. Warm jars are important to prevent cracking and breaking during the processing.
Jars filled with water and warming in the pressure canner
When the jars were warmed and the stock was hot I then began filling the jars. I used a canning funnel to help prevent spills.
Using a funnel, stock is poured into the warmed jar
After filling a jar, I used the magnetic lid lifter to get a warmed lid out of the saucepan. I placed it on the jar and then tightened it down with a ring.
Jar is filled and has a lid and ring on it - ready to go into the canner
I filled the jars one by one to prevent them from cooling down unnecessarily. When a jar is filled it went back into the canner and I took out the next empty jar. For this batch I ended up filling nine pints and two twelve ounce jelly jars with stock. My primary pressure canner is the All-American 921 Pressure Canner and I can fit 19 narrow mouth pints in it.
All the jars in the pressure canner - here you see the jars on the top rack
Once all my jars were in the canner I put the lid on and tightened down the screws. I turned the heat up to high and I waited until I saw a steady stream of steam coming out of the vent. Then I waited seven minutes - this time period is commonly called venting your pressure canner. After that seven minute venting period I put on my weight at the 10 pound mark and waited for the canner to reach 10 pounds of pressure. At my altitude clear stock processes at 10 pounds of pressure for twenty minutes.
We needed to adjust our heat down lower a few times during the processing to keep the pressure at 10 pounds. Once twenty minutes passed we turned the heat off on the burner and waited for the pressure to return to zero. I waited an extra five minutes after my gauge read zero just to be sure the pressure was completely down.
Then I unscrewed the lid and removed it. I waited another five minutes with the jars in the canner before using my jar lifting tongs to remove the jars.
We let them cool on a piece of cardboard on our hoosier countertop.
Here you see the batch cooling:
Nine pints and two twelve ounce jars of turkey stock
After they completely cooled I checked to make sure the lids sealed properly and then removed the rings. I washed the jars down with warm soapy water and marked the lids with the month, year, and contents. These jars will read 03/2010 Turkey Stock.
- A 40 something mama meandering through life with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy), an 8 year old girl (big girl) who is a ball of lightening, and a 4 year old girl (baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days.
I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!
I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)
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