Homemade Chicken Stock
- 3 pounds bony chicken pieces (wings, backs and/or necks)
- 3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
- 2 unpeeled carrots, chopped
- 1 large unpeeled onion, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves unpeeled garlic, halved
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, sage or basil, crushed
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns or ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 cups cold water
- If using wings, cut each wing at joints to make three pieces. Place chicken pieces in a 6-quart pot. Add celery, carrots, onion, parsley, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, salt and peppercorns. Add the water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2½ hours. Remove chicken pieces from pot.
- Line a colander with two layers of 100%-cotton cheesecloth; set in a large bowl. Pour stock into colander, straining stock into the bowl. Discard vegetables and seasonings. If desired, clarify stock (see Tip).
- If using the stock while hot, skim off fat. (Or, chill stock for 6 hours; lift off fat.) If desired, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, discarding bones; reserve chicken for another use. Place stock and reserved chicken in separate airtight storage containers; seal. Chill up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months before using.