- 10 white peppercorns
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 fresh parsley stems
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 pounds chicken bones
- Coarse salt
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 carrot, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 1 celery rib, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 1 leek, trimmed, split in half lengthwise, and well washed
1. Combine the peppercorns, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth about 6 inches square. Gather up the ends and, using kitchen twine, tie the bag closed. Set the sachet aside.
2. Place the chicken bones and 6 quarts cold water in a medium stockpot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil. Remove from the heat and drain well through a colander, discarding the liquid. Leaving the bones in the colander, place under cold running water to rinse off any impurities that cling to the bones.
3. Place the chicken bones back in the stockpot with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil for 3 minutes, constantly skimming off the foam and particles that rise to the top.
4. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and add a pinch of salt. Simmer, skimming constantly, for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is quite clear.
5. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and leek along with the sachet and bring to a simmer. Cook at a bare simmer, skimming constantly, for about 6 hours, or until the stock is rich and flavorful.
6. Remove from the heat. Place a coneshaped sieve into a container and carefully ladle the broth through the sieve into the container, one ladle at a time, taking care not to push on the solids. This step is very important as you do not want to upset the stock and reintroduce solid matter into the clear liquid. Discard the solids.
7. Place the clear liquid into an ice bath to cool quickly and allow any remaining fat to solidify on top. Place the stock in a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. The fat will solidify over the top and form a protective seal, which can be removed easily when the stock is used.
8. Store in a nonreactive container, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
FORTIFIED CHICKEN STOCK: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add 3 sliced shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until nicely caramelized but not burned. Add 1 cup dry white wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the pan is almost dry. Stir in 4 pounds roasted chicken bones. Add 1 gallon chicken stock and bring to a simmer, skimming frequently to remove any impurities that rise to the top. Add the sachet (as for basic Chicken Stock) and simmer for about 1 hour, or until you have a rich, flavorful stock. Strain and store as directed.