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Chicken Stock

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

If there were just one stock I’d encourage you to make, this is it. Why? Because it is the foundation of more soups and sauces than any other stock I use.

For this recipe, you’ll need a large stockpot, a colander, and a fine-mesh strainer (or a colander lined with cheesecloth).

Toasting and Grinding Spices, Nuts, and Seeds When Columbus went looking for Asia and bumped into the Americas, he was on a voyage financed by Spain with the understanding that he would find a better route to the spice markets of India—an illustration of how central spices have always been to cuisine. But spices, like other comestibles, are subject to loss of flavor if not properly prepared. Toasting whole spices, and, usually, grinding them, is the way to get maximum flavor from them. This is extremely easy to do: Gently warm the seeds or other whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat. Once they become aromatic, they are toasted. When they have cooled a bit, grind them in a spice mill (or a clean coffee grinder) or with a mortar and pestle. Toasting and grinding awakens the oils and aromatics within them. With spices like pepper and cumin, for example, which are staples of my cooking, you can prepare a batch of the toasted ground spice and keep it around for up to 2 weeks.

The same principles apply to toasting nuts: the heat maximizes their flavor. Grinding makes them the proper consistency for cooking in soups and stews.

Makes7 cups

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb, low-fat

Taste and Textureherby, savory

Type of Dishstock

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cut horizontally in half
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, toasted
  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken bones, wings, backs, and/or necks
  • 10 to 12 cups water, or enough to cover

Instructions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the white wine and stir, then add the herbs, peppercorns, chicken bones, and water and bring just to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, skim off any impurities that have risen to the surface (don’t stir, or the stock will be cloudy), and simmer, uncovered, for 2½ hours.

Strain the stock first through a colander, then through a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth-lined colander) into a stainless steel bowl or container.

Chill the stock in an ice-water bath. (This not only kills harmful bacteria, it prevents you from having to put steaming-hot stock into your refrigerator—and inadvertently heating it and its contents.) Then refrigerate until chilled, or, preferably, overnight.

Skim any fat from the top of the stock, and transfer to airtight containers. The stock will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

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