Restaurants make and use incredible quantities of chicken stock. In the kitchen at Chanterelle I literally cannot count the number of times a day we dip a ladleful or pour a flavorful stream of it into a pot. A good homemade chicken stock is essential to anyone who likes to cook and enjoys well-prepared food. For the sake of convenience, low-sodium canned chicken broth can be used in most recipes in this book, but the truth is that any dish prepared with your own homemade stock will taste better.
The simple flavorings in this chicken stock are my version of mirepoix. In the French cooking tradition this is a mixture of coarsely chopped aromatic vegetables, usually carrots, onions or leeks, and celery; turnips or parsnips are sometimes included as well. The vegetables enhance and provide flavor but are not intended to become part of the final dish. I don’t add celery here because I dislike it. Feel free to add a rib or two if you like.
- 10 pounds chicken necks, backs, and trimmings
- 3 large carrots, unpeeled, very roughly chopped
- 2 large onions, unpeeled, very roughly chopped
- 2 heads garlic, loose outer skins removed, cut crosswise in half
- 9 to 10 quarts cold water, or enough to cover
1. Combine all the ingredients in a stockpot that’s big enough to hold everything comfortably; the water should cover the bones and vegetables by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming the surface as the foam rises to the top, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 3 hours (4 is better). Add water if the stock seems to be reducing too much, and skim occasionally.
2. Remove the pot from the heat, let it cool, then strain the stock through a finemesh sieve into one or more storage containers. The stock will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Skim the fat off the top before proceeding with a recipe.
Nutritional information is based on 36 servings.