Easy Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is so easy to make at home. It may take some work, and some time, but you can make a much better chicken stock at home than you can buy from the store. When you make it yourself, you control what goes into it.
Home made chicken stock can be used as a starting point for many soups, or you can use it as a base for gravy. There are a lot of uses for chicken stock, and if you don't use it all up for a soup, you can just freeze it and use it later.
1 Whole Chicken, about 3 pounds
8 cups water
2 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-3 sprigs of parsley
1-2 sprigs of sage
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tsp. salt
Remove the packet of giblets from the inside of the chicken. Cut the chicken up into pieces, or leave it whole if your stock pot is large enough.
Tie the herbs together with a piece of string, to make them easy to remove later. Put the chicken, and the rest of the ingredients into a large stock pot, and bring to a boil. If 8 cups of water is not enough to cover the chicken, add some more water.
Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 3 hours. Skim the foam off of the surface from time to time with a spoon or a strainer.
Remove the chicken, and place in a bowl to cool.
Pour the stock through a colander lined with cheesecloth, and chill.
When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin and the bones, and freeze or refrigerate the chicken for another use.
Skim the fat off of the stock, and refrigerate, freeze, or use immediately.
Yield: About 6 cups of stock, about 4 cups of chicken.
When you cook chicken for dinner, or if you are deboning a raw chicken, set the bones aside in your freezer. When you make chicken stock, you can simply add the bones in place of, or in addition to the whole chickens. There won't be as much meat, but the bones will still add flavor to the stock.