chicken stock (makes about 3 quarts)
5 lbs of chicken parts*, cut in half to expose the marrow
1 large onion, peeled and cut in chunks
4 carrots, washed and cut in chunks
4 ribs celery, washed and cut in chunks
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
about 10 sprigs fresh thyme
about 10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
about 2 gallons cold water
saute all the vegetables and herbs in a large stockpot in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes. add the chicken parts and continue to saute for 5 more minutes. cover with the cold water and cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. turn heat down to medium-low so that stock maintains a low, gentle simmer. skim the scum from the stock with a spoon every 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking. simmer uncovered for 4 to 6 hours.
strain stock through a fine mesh strainer, lined with cheese cloth, into another large stockpot or heatproof container, discarding the solids. at this point, you can put the stock in quart sized containers and cool. it will keep in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. all the fat will rise to the top when the stock is cooled. you can discard it or use it like butter to roast potatoes or other veggies.
now you know how to make one of my favorite culinary treasures. my next 2 posts will showcase chicken stock in all its delicious glory!