When you feel sick, chicken soup is one of the most comforting nourishing dishes you can eat, and a good chicken or turkey bone stock is always the starting point. This recipe uses the chicken carcass. Make it from chicken soup bones bought from your butcher, or from the carcass of the roast chicken you ate for dinner. This recipe can also be made with the remains of the Thanksgiving turkey. If using cooked chicken or turkey, before you start be sure to remove any seasoning you may have used from the carcass, like whole lemons or stuffing — they can overpower the stock. The recommended soup vegetables below will add enough extra taste. .
1. Put the carcass into a large pot and cover with cold water.
2. Stick the cloves into the onion. Cut the carrots in half, and then into quarters lengthwise.
3. Put the onions, carrots, and celery in the pot with the chicken bones. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and 6 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil and add 1 teaspoon sea salt, partially cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1½ – 2 hours or until the bones have fallen apart. If you have a pressure cooker, an hour of cooking in the pressure cooker is equal to 3-4 hours simmering on the stove.
4. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean pot and bring to a boil and reduce by about one quarter. Taste stock for salt, strain again into a container and chill in the fridge.
5. Remove any yellow fat that has formed on the top of the stock. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days or store in the freezer.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
This recipe is incredibly useful, not to mention thrifty. I always freeze my stock in small quantities for easy use and so can you. Pour the stock into quart size re-sealable plastic freezer bags, 2 cups at a time, and freeze flat in your freezer compartment, so that you can easily break off a piece of stock if you only need to use a little in a sauce or stew, or you can fill an ice tray with stock to make frozen stock cubes, excellent for flavoring stir fries and sauces.
You can keep chicken stock for around 3 months in the freezer. When freezing all foods, always mark the bag with the date frozen, the amount, and what it is. Trust me, you won’t remember unless you do.