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Food & Entertaining

Homemade Chicken Stock

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: February, 2014, Page 52

Stocking Up - Nothing warms the heart and soul like a pot of soup, and the best ones start with homemade stock. Whether you are making clam chowder, Italian wedding, French onion, creamy tomato or just good ol’ chicken noodle soup, a well-made stock is a must.

Follow the recipe (right) to make the “liquid gold” that is perhaps better known as chicken stock. I tend to make stock on a day when my family is home, so everyone can enjoy the comforting smell of chicken and vegetables simmering on the stove. While stock is easy to make, success lies in the “low and slow” cooking method: low heat, slow process. 

This recipe calls for produce that is abundant in the low-desert winter garden or your local farmers’ market.

Makes about 64 ounces

Homemade Chicken Stock
Note: For vegetable stock, omit the chicken.

1 whole roasting chicken, cavity emptied, washed and patted dry
1 yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
1-2 shallots, unpeeled and halved
4 carrots, unpeeled and quartered
4 celery stalks, quartered (use center stalks with leaves, if available)
1/2 bunch fresh parley sprigs with stems attached
8 fresh thyme sprigs, including stems
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 head garlic, unpeeled; cut off top third to expose the cloves
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons black peppercorns

Photo by Garrett Cook
PLACE chicken and all remaining ingredients in a large stockpot.

FILL pot with just enough water to cover ingredients; bring mixture to a boil over high heat.

SKIM off any foam that rises to the surface; lower heat and simmer uncovered for 4 hours.

REMOVE chicken carcass and discard. 

STRAIN remaining contents through a colander and discard all vegetables and herbs.

BRING stock to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

REMOVE any formed fat layer before freezing; place in quart containers, label and freeze.

Chef’s Notes:
• Do not bother peeling the garlic or onions before placing them in the stockpot. The skins contain a natural dye that gives the finished stock a rich golden hue.
• Do not try to use the chicken meat after draining the stock; due to the long cooking time, it will be stringy and flavorless.
• To avoid bacteria growth, it is important to let the stock come to room temperature before refrigerating. Place the strained stock in a container and then in an ice bath to lower the temperature quickly.

Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale.

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