Yes, I confess, I use canned or powdered chicken stock. Sometimes. Um...often. Okay, okay...very often. There. The skeleton is now out of the closet. I cheat. I use shortcuts. I don’t make everything from scratch. Yes, yes, the shame of it all...
Now let’s move on.
Every now and then, I do make chicken stock from scratch, which I love, because nothing compares to the taste of a homemade soup that includes homemade stock- the central ingredient. And the recipe below is one of my favourites for preparing some delicious chicken stock.
2 ½ to 3 pounds chicken or turkey (wings, backs and necks)
2 onions, unpeeled, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ¼ quarts cold water
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, with leaves, roughly chopped
A small handful of fresh parsley
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
1 or 2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1) Combine the poultry wings, backs and necks in a stockpot with the onion quarters and the oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the poultry and onions are lightly and evenly browned.
2) Add the water and stir well to mix in the sediment on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and skim off the impurities as they rise to the surface of the stock.
3) Add the chopped carrots and celery, fresh parsley, thyme, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Lower the heat, partly cover the stockpot and simmer the stock for about 3 hours.
4) Strain the stock through a strainer into a bowl and leave to cool. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
5) When cold, carefully remove the layer of fat that will have set on the surface. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or freeze (up to 6 months) until required.
Makes about 2 ¾ quarts.