Always handy to have on hand, this chicken stock recipe is easy to make, and pays off in the end when you want to make soups, sauces and stews, or for use when cooking rice or risotto. Once you start making chicken stock yourself, you’ll become comfortable changing up the recipe according to what you have in your fridge.
- 1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts – split)
- 1 medium Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, smashed with the side of a heavy knife
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, trimmed, coarsely chopped and well rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- about 6 quarts water
Put all ingredients except the water in a large heavy pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring just barely to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and cook at a scant simmer for about 3 1/2 hours, skimming any scum that rises to the surface.
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remve and discard the chicken. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool the stock quicly by setting the bowl in a larger bowl filled halfway with ice water and stirring occassionally (do not cool in the refrigerator). Once the stock is cool, skim off any fat on the surface. The stock can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Author’s Note: For a more strongly flavroed stock, slowly reduce the strained stock by about one-quarter, simmering, never boiling. Then cool as instructed and refrigerate or freeze.