- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 1 Time
Can be made ahead of time.
If I go to the trouble of making homemade stock--and I do because it is well worth the effort--I want to get some poached chicken for salads and sandwiches out of the deal. That’s why I always start with a whole chicken rather than necks and backs, as some people do. Use the cooked chicken meat in chicken salad for lunch, or add it to a pan of sautéed vegetables to go over pasta or rice for a quick dinner.
1. Wash the chicken and place in a large stockpot. Add all remaining ingredients and fill with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches, Bring a boil over high heat then reduce to a bare simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, skimming off the foam that rises to the top.
2. Remove the chicken by placing a large spoon in the cavity and carefully lifting it up. Drain any liquid over the pot before transferring chicken to a plate. Let the chicken cool slightly, then carve off all white and dark meat, holding the chicken in place with a fork. Salt chicken meat, cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate. Return the carcass and bones, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate, to stockpot. Continue to simmer the stock for at least 1 hour more.
3. Strain the stock through a colander into a large bowl, and discard solids. Strain again through a fine mesh sieve (lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter if you have it) into another large bowl. Divide into small containers and let cool, then refrigerate until cold, Remove discard the fat from the top, and freeze if not using right away. (If using immediately, skim off the fat using a wide flat spoon or use a fat separator.) Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
To make a clear, golden-hued stock, follow these simple guidelines:
• Use as many yellow onion skins as you have around, and don’t bother peeling the ones for the stock, Their natural color will help tint the stock.
• Avoid anything that’s dark green, like parsley leaves (stems are okay) and the dark green tops of leeks. These will contribute to turning the stock a murky color.
• Stock should be simmered over the lowest possible flame; you may not even see a bubble, only steam.
• Resist the urge to stir the stock and break up the bones; the less you touch it, the clearer it will be.
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings