How to make it

  • Chop chicken into 3-4" inch pieces, making sure to cut through and expose the bones. Brown the chicken parts and bones in a skilliet with oil, or in a 450°F oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Put the chicken in the stockpot with the water and bring slowly to a simmer. Periodically skim off any scum that forms, and if you wish use a skimmer to skim off the fat. Let this simmer for at least three, and preferably four hours. It is this long simmering process that extracts the maximum flavor from the chicken meat and bones, as well as the natural gelatin from the bones.
  • Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Place the peppercorns, parsley sprigs and dried herbs into a 4-inch square piece of cheesecloth or large tea ball and tie it into a little sack; add the sack to the stock) Simmer for two more hours.
  • Remember that during the simmering process, it's best not to stir the stock. The end result will be much clearer if it is not agitated while simmering.
  • Strain thoroughly; the best way to do this is to ladle the stock out and pour it through a strainer which has been lined with a couple of layers of damp cheesecloth. If you're using the stock immediately, skim off as much fat as you can with a fat skimmer or a piece of paper towel, otherwise cool the stock right away by placing the container into an ice-water-filled sink, stirring to bring the hot liquid from the center to the sides of the container. Don't just put hot stock in the refrigerator; it won't cool enough to prevent possible multiplication of harmful bacteria. To defat the stock easily, refrigerate so that the fat solidifies on the surface, then skim off.

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