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Making Chicken and Vegetable Broth in the Pressure Cooker

Jackfruit Pozole uses vegetable stock 

 So many dishes start with stock or broth so having a freezer stash of 1/2 cup pucks of stock is a life saver, especially if you are pressure cooking because you can just throw those frozen pucks in without worrying about defrosting or measuring.

There is no magic formula to making broths and stock in the pressure cooker and I am not going to talk to you about "bone broth" which is kind of just the hipster term for a super long cooked meat stock that turns to gelatin when it's cooled down. I am just talking about the good, old, dependable workhorse of the kitchen.

I am also not going to get into the semantics of whether this is broth or stock because we are not kitchen scientists (okay, I do play one on TV) and we are just looking for flavourful liquid to use in most of our recipes that is homemade, not full of additives and fake flavourings and, because of the pressure cooker, take a fraction of the time as a stock simmered in a pot on the stove.

Starting with frozen ingredients? No problem with a pressure cooker but keep in mind that when you start with frozen, it will take a longer time to come to pressure but, once it does, it's all the same

You can't make a great soup without a great stock as the base and then, you can add almost anything - let your imagination and your fridge inspire you

I found some silicone muffin trays that hold 1/2 cup of liquid and the silicone makes it easier to pop them out after they are frozen. I have also used my traditional metal muffin trays but you have to let them sit out for a few minutes to be able to pop out the pucks without warping your muffin tin as you twist it, swear, bang it on the counter and then throw it against the wall in an effort to pop the frozen pucks out quickly.

I vacuum seal packs of four for 2 cups of stock for use when I am making things like risotto or soup but I pop the rest of the stock pucks into a normal freezer bag so that I can just grab one at a time for recipes that only require 1/2 cup or 1 cup of stock. Just freeze the stock in the muffin trays, pop them out when they are rock hard and pop them into freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible and keep them in the freezer. If you make more than one type of stock, make sure to label the bag with a sharpie. As I make more stock, I just keep adding to the same bag so I don't really go through that many freezer bags at the end of the day.

Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup  needs a good stock base - vegetable stock works just as well as chicken

Lemony Chicken Risotto - the two most important elements to any risotto are the type of rice and the stock you use

This Chicken and Beluga Lentil Stew is a snap when you have frozen chicken stock at the ready

Turkey Scotch Broth  uses turkey broth - just replace your chicken bones with turkey - don't ever throw out your turkey carcass again!

Avgolemono Soup absolutely depends on a rich, lemony chicken broth

Vegetable Broth

Fill your pot 1/2 way with vegetables and vegetable scraps
make sure you have:
onion, halved and unpeeled
a clove or two of garlic, unpeeled and smashed lightly
a bay leaf
kosher salt
fresh herbs like a sprig of thyme
some black peppercorns

It's nice to add:
potato peels
mushrooms (dried are great too - throw in a couple dried chinese mushrooms)
fresh parsely

avoid strongly flavoured vegetables like:

brussels sprouts

Cover the vegetables with water (don't fill more than 2/3 full) and a good pinch of kosher salt, close the valve and cook on HP for about 20 to 30 minutes - the longer you cook, the more flavourful the broth. Let it NPR for about 10 minutes afterwards, strain through a fine, mesh strainer into a bowl and discard solids.

(it takes my cooker about 15 to 18 minutes to come to pressure but you can speed that up by adding boiling water if you are in a hurry)

Chicken Broth (sub in turkey bones/carcass if you want)

about 2-3 lbs of chicken carcass, wings, drumsticks, chicken feet or a whole, small bird
an onion, halved
a couple cloves garlic
bay leaves
black peppercorns,
kosher salt
a lemon is often nice

Put everything but water in the pot and then fill with cool water until everything is covered (don't let it get past the 4L mark inside). Close the lid, make sure the valve is on the sealing position and program it on manual for at least 20 minutes. If you have the time, cook it for longer - the longer you cook it, the more intense the broth will be. I like to cook it for between 45 minutes and an hour if I can.
When it's done, you can quick release but, again, if you have the time, let the pressure come down naturally. Pour the broth into a big bowl, using a strainer. When the contents of the strainer cool down enough to handle, pick through them and get all of the meat off of the bones and put aside to use in a soup and then discard the solids. If not using it right away, freeze the chicken for another time.

Put the cooled stock in the fridge for a few hours or overnight and scrape off most of the excess fat.

* Feel free to cater your broths to the finished product so, for Asian dishes, throw in ginger, scallion, fish sauce etc
For Italian dishes, throw in oregano, basil, some tomato, a dried up old rind of parmesan

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