A local market has large bone in half chicken breasts for a dollar a pound. I am telling you these half breasts are LARGE. I bought four packs of four half breasts each and the total weight for them all came to over18 pounds. Thats 18 pounds of really beautiful breasts for all of 18 dollars, it also means lots and lots of nice bones to make stock when I get done de-boning them. De-boning takes a while to do but at the price for such a large size breast it is sure worth my time to me. I usually buy this size large boneless breasts at our local warehouse club place and consider myself lucky when they are about $2.18 a pound, that means I am paying over a dollar more per pound than I did for these that I have here now and I get no bones to make my stock. With a little work I have the bonus of all those lovely bones for some great stock that gets used in a lot of my cooking. I like the larger sized breasts because they are nice to stuff and also to split and make all kinds of dishes from, I don’t care for the small boneless frozen breasts that you can also get at the big warehouse clubs. I’ll tell you how I am making the chicken stock here now, I am using these bones plus some bony wing tips and backs that were in the freezer, I have 2 of my 8 quart pressure cookers making it as I type and the smells coming from them is magnificent, it is making me very hungry for some soup on this stormy day.
Enough bones with some meat attached to almost fill the pressure cooker
5 sprigs of parsley
1 large onion washed and cut in half, I don’t peel it as long as all the dirt comes off
2 large stalks of celery, washed and broken in half
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place all of the above into a large oiled roasting pan and place in a 425 degree oven until they are nicely browned, stir once or twice during cooking. When they are a nice brown, remove the pan from the oven and set it on the stovetop. Add the contents of the roasting pan to the pressure cooker and then turn the heat on under the roasting pan, add 1 quart of water and stir and scrape the pan to get all the fond off of it, when the liquid comes to a low boil turn off the stove and carefully pour the contents into the pressure cooker. Close the top to the cooker and set it for 1 hour. When the timer goes off let the pressure release on its own. Pour the stock thru a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth, press on the bones to extract all the broth. Discard all the solids and let the temp come down on the stock and then refridgerate until it is cold. When it is cold and the fat has come to the top, remove the fat layer and put the stock into smaller containers and store in the freezer. I use 1-2 cups air tight containers to store my stock, the smaller size lets the stock defrost quickly when I need it. I use this for soups, gravies, to moisten bread for stuffing/dressing and all kinds of things, thats is why I don’t really season this stock as I make it, I want a pretty nuetral strong chicken taste for my basic stock, I can always add fresh herbs when I actually use it in a dish.