Chicken stock is a workhorse in the Cuban culinary repertoire. During our home cooking sessions it seemed to be on hand in every kitchen, especially with the one-pot meals that are so prevalent in Cuba. This recipe calls for aromatics such as bay leaves, garlic, tomatoes, and bell peppers, fundamental ingredients in the Cuban pantry. Be sure to roast the chicken bones to a deep golden brown before adding them to the stock to impart a refined flavor that wouldn't otherwise be achieved. Skim the surface of the pot frequently during the simmering process to remove unwanted residue and to reduce cloudiness once the stock is done.
Type of DishSoup
- 2 chicken carcasses or 4 pounds chicken parts, such as wings, necks, and backs
- 4 quarts water
- 2 unpeeled yellow onions, halved
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled, halved horizontally
- Handful of fresh parsley stems
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the chicken carcasses on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown.
Place the roasted bones, along with all of the remaining ingredients except the salt, in a large stockpot.
Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Ladle a little hot liquid onto the baking sheet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits, then pour it back into the pot.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 6 hours and up to 12. Occasionally skim off the foam and scum that rises to the surface and discard it.
Remove the largest pieces of bone and vegetable with tongs and discard.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in salt to taste. Allow the stock to cool slightly, then refrigerate or freeze until needed.