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Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
This is one of the most versatile stocks you can make. It is excellent served on its own, ladled over steamed rice or noodles. If you're not using all of it right away, freeze the unused stock in small containers. Stewing chicken parts make a particularly flavorful stock and are less costly than fryer or broiler parts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leek, trimmed and carefully washed
  • 6 lb. stewing chicken parts
  • 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled, root trimmed
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 quarts water
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

Cut the white portion of the leek into 1-inch chunks and place in a large stockpot; reserve the green tops. Add the chicken pieces, onion, carrot and celery to the pot. Sandwich the parsley, thyme and bay leaf between the reserved leek tops and securely tie with kitchen string. Add to the pot along with the water.

Over low to medium heat, slowly bring the liquid to a simmer, regularly skimming off the scum that rises to the surface until no more forms. Add the peppercorns, cover partially and continue simmering gently for about 2 hours, skimming occasionally.

Line a strainer with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth and set it inside a large bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the strainer. Discard the solids. Season with salt and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. A layer of fat will solidify on the surface of the stock; lift or spoon it off and discard. Stock may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to several days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Makes about 4 quarts.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Soups, by Norman Kolpas (Time-Life Books, 1993).