Chicken stock, one of my go to stocks to always have. It is very versatile because of its rich, yet soft flavor. A good chicken stock has good body, rich, full flavor, clarity and may have a light yellow color.
If you want to enjoy flavorful dishes like soups, stews, risotto, then you must know the secret ingredient, which is stock. Stock in general is a clear, thin (not thickened) flavored liquid. This liquid has substances extracted from boiling bones, vegetables and seasonings for several hours.
Below is the classic way to make homemade chicken stock, and I have found it gives the best results. Note that a well made stock will thicken or even solidify when it is chilled. The proportions in this recipe gives me an excellent result, but you can add or subtract from it.
A whole chicken and it parts (2½ kg) (5 lb)
Vegetables (carrots, leeks, celery root) (500 gram) (1 lb)
Cold water (5 liters) (5 qt)
2 small white Onions
Garlic cloves (2)
A thumb size piece of ginger
Seasonings and spices:
2 Sprig of Parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon peppercorn.
Rinse chicken and all vegetables well with cold water (cold water removes some impurities that cloud the stock and prevent an off taste when using old chicken). Cut the carrots in thirds.
Place chicken and it parts in a stock pot, if you have one or use the biggest pot you have. Add cold water to cover ( starting in cold water, speeds the extraction of flavor). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer.
Add vegetables, seasonings and spices. Note that the size you cut the vegetables, depends on how long it is to be cooked. Cutting in small pieces is necessary for releasing flavors in a short time.
The chicken stock should not boil from this point on. It should only simmer and the water level should be above chicken. Skim (remove) the surface as often as needed during cooking. Cook chicken stock 3–4 hours for the best flavor.
When done, strain off the chicken stock using a sieve. Cool the stock by placing the pot in a sink and run cold water into the sink, but the water should not be higher than the level of the stock or pot. You can stir the pot occasionally so that all the stock cools evenly, but I normally just let it sit until it has completely cooled. When the stock is not properly cooled, it can spoil within hours so take note of that.
When cooled, put in covered containers and refrigerate or freeze, which I normally do. I store my chicken stocks in these 32 oz (4 cups) very useful plastic soup storage containers which I highly recommend .
I hope you give this chicken stock recipe a try to let me know in the comment section below, how the result was.