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This is a winter staple. A dark, rich variation on tradition. A bowl of this with a loaf of bread, and you've got a wonderful, hearty meal.

Ingredients (21 qts)
  • 12+ Carrots
  • 8+ Onions
  • 4 quarts Tomato (or ~16 fresh tomatoes)
  • 2+ pounds Green Beans
  • 4+ bunches Celery
  • 2+ bunches Parsley
  • 4+ cobs Corn
  • 6 heads Garlic
  • A good handful each of fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and fresh sage.
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Pepper corns
  • Bay leaves
  • 2 Chickens

Instructions

    Day 1
  1. Heat the oven to 325°
  2. Remove giblets and neck from chickens and set aside
  3. Roast the chickens until done, depending on size between 1 and 1½ hours.
  4. Remove the chickens and let cool.
  5. Once the chickens are cool enough, remove the meat. Save everything else remaining. Break apart the meat and refrigerate.
  6. Take the carcasses, skins, giblets and any old carcasses or chicken parts that you've saved throughout the year and roast them. You want the carcasses to be very, very dark but not burnt!
  7. Into 5 gallons of cold water, add the roasted carcasses, make sure to deglaze the roasting pan to get everything.
  8. Peel 2 onions and add them whole. Scrub, but do not peel, 4 carrots, cut into large chunks and add to the pot. Trim the leaves off of 1 bunch of celery, bag up and refrigerate the leaves, chop the celery into large chunks and add to the pot.
  9. Make a cheescloth bag of one head of garlic unpeeled, a good handful of fresh thyme, a good handful of fresh rosemary, a handful of fresh sage leaves, one bunch of flat leaf parsley, 6-8 bay leaves and a palmful of pepper corns. Add the bag to the water.
  10. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for several hours skimming as needed. After an hour or so, uncover the pot and continue to cook until you have 3 - 4 gallons or broth remaining. The longer the stock cooks, the darker and richer it will become.
  11. Strain the solids out of the broth pressing to get all the juices. Strain again through cheesecloth. Let the broth cool overnight.
    Day 2
  1. The next day, remove any fat that has risen to the top and begin to reheat the broth.
  2. Turn on your oven's broiler. In succession add the vegetables allowing them to char a bit, stirring or turning over as needed. This is not to cook the vegetables, but only to brown them. Once each is done, set aside and keep warm.
    • For the carrots, scrub them but do not peel. Cut them into largish discs, ~1" thick.
    • For the onions, peel them and cut them into large chunks.
    • If you are beginning with fresh tomatoes, you can roast them but you'll want to peel them afterwards. I use whole tomatoes I have canned and do not roast them.
    • Wash and trim the green beans and cut into 1" lengths.
    • Trim the leaves off the celery and set aside as we will use them. Cut the stalks into 1" lengths.
    • Roast the corn cobs whole. Once cool, remove the kernels.
    • Peel the garlic and roast the cloves whole.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables to the broth. Add the tomatoes (if not roasted), chop and add the remaining bunch of parsley and saved celery leaves. Add the cooked chicken.
  4. Once everything is added, bring it all to a boil. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.
  5. Fill your jars leaving a 1" headspace.
  6. Pressure can at 11 lbs for 1½ hours (90 minutes).

Notes

    You can skip making the broth (Steps 4 through 10) and use store-boughten if you wish.

    We add a handful or two of egg noodles when we heat this up.