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Chicken Stock

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Capon soup is an Italian holiday tradition, but I like to use at least a little capon every time I make stock. I buy a capon, cut it in pieces, and freeze the pieces separately. When I make chicken stock, I add a piece or two of the frozen capon. I also add some turkey wings when I make chicken stock, I think it adds richness of flavor. The tomato (or paste) adds a little color and balances the sweetness of the carrot.

About4 quarts

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Type of Dishstock

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken and/or capon wings, backs, necks, and giblets (not including the liver)
  • 1 pound turkey wings
  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 large onion (about ½ pound), cut in half
  • 3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 10 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the poultry pieces in a colander under cold running water and drain them well. Place them in an 8- to 10-quart stockpot. Pour in the cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for a minute or two and you will see foam rising to the surface. Skim off and discard the foam, lower the heat to a strong simmer, and cook 1 hour, occasionally skimming the foam and fat from the surface.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients except the salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to simmering. Cook, partially covered, 2 to 3 hours, skimming the foam and fat from the surface occasionally.

  3. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve, or a colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Season lightly with salt. To use the stock right away, wait a minute or two and spoon off the fat that rises to the surface. The last little traces of fat can be “swept” off the surface with a folded piece of paper towel. It is much easier, however, to remove the fat from chilled stock–the fat will rise to the top and solidify, where it can be easily removed.

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I thought keeping the fat is one of the things that added richness to the broth. Do you still get that buttery taste as if you used the fat? I love that flavor, but I never use the innards to get the taste. I simply cook chicken breasts. I have never used capon. Is there something you can compare it to?

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