CHICKEN STOCK (about 2 quarts)

soups-broths-and-stocks-chicken-stock-1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1 chicken carcass, cut into pieces that fit your stockpot or, if you prefer raw bones for stock, use 2 quarts packaged chicken backs and necks from the grocery

about 4 quarts water (enough to cover the chicken carcass by 1 inch)

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup each roughly chopped onion, celery, and carrot

1 bay leaf

8 parsley stems

  1. Remove and reserve any meat remaining on the bird and chop the bones and scraps into pieces that will fit into your stock pot.  Put the bones into the pot and add water to cover by 1 inch and the salt.
  1. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. As the simmer is reached, gray scum will rise to the surface for several minutes.  Skim it off           repeatedly until it almost ceases to rise. (It may be replaced by white foam which will disappear of its own accord without skimming.)
  1. Add any optional flavorings you are using: ½ cup each roughly chopped onion, celery and carrot, 1 bay leaf and 8 parsley stems are traditional (flavorings will vary according to the soup you are making — dill, garlic, gingerroot, hot pepper, lime peel, parsnips or other ingredients may be required by individual recipes.)
  1. Partly cover the pan (put the lid on slightly askew) and simmer 1-1/2 hours, adding a little water if the liquid evaporates to expose the ingredients. (Some recipes suggest simmering chicken stock for 3 hours, some suggest all day – unlike seafood stock, which becomes bitter after more than a half hour of simmering, chicken stock improves.)
  1. Strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl. Discard the bones and flavorings and degrease the stock.  (You can try to remove the grease that rises to the surface of the pot by skimming if off with a spoon, or you can put the bowl into the refrigerator overnight.  The grease will congeal on the surface and you will be able to easily lift or spoon it off.)
  1. Stock may be prepared well in advance. Cool it, uncovered, then cover and refrigerate or freeze it.   (Some cooks freeze home-made stock in ice cube trays.      Once frozen, the cubes can be turned out of the trays and stored in the freezer in ziplock bags.  If a recipe calls for a small amount of stock, you have your own at the ready.)


adapted from Julia Child, The Way to Cook

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