For the record, let me say that I swear by store-bought stocks. I always try and keep the pantry equipped with cans/boxes of them to add to my dishes for that extra oompf. However, when given the chance, I do prefer to use my homemade stocks. More often than not, the flavor is a bit “cleaner” and I know exactly what’s in it.
Now generally when I make stocks, it’s because I don’t want to waste any of the leftover bones from a different dish we’ve prepared or when I’ve broken down a whole chicken and there’s an entire carcass (I know, kind of an ick word but I don’t know what else to call it) & other parts remaining.
After placing the bones in a large pot, I throw in any fresh herbs hanging out in the produce drawer of my fridge and cover it all with water. The goodies simmer for a few hours before it’s cooled to room temperature and then refrigerated for several hours. The pot is then strained and Voila– homemade stock that can be used right away or stored in the freezer for whenever you need it.
Basic Chicken Stock
Makes approximately 5 quarts
1.5-2 pounds chicken parts (I use the leftover carcass, wings, etc.)
1 large white onion, quartered
3 medium sized carrots, halved
4 stalks of celery, halved
1 whole garlic clove, split in half
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
5-6 sprigs fresh sage
3-4 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 quarts cold water
Place the chicken parts, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and fresh herbs into a large stock pot. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pour in the cold water.
Bring the pot with its contents to a rolling boil and then lower the heat to simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours. Allow the pot to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Remove and discard the larger pieces from the pot. Strain the remaining contents through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. The stock can be used immediately, stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or kept frozen in the freezer for about 3 months.