Lets make Chicken Stock. This is definitely worth your time and effort, and really, it’s no trouble at all. Simply add all ingredients to a large stock pot, add water, let it simmer, cool down and freeze…easy. You get the most flavorful and aromatic stock you can imagine and even better, you get to control the amount of salt, not to mention, no chemicals in your stock. You can vary the flavor of your stock by adding different veggies and herbs, this time I added Rutabaga and it was wonderful. But if you can’t find Rutabaga you could use Turnips, Parsnips or whatever you like.
A note about fat, I like to separate it out from the stock by using my fancy fat separator thing-a-ma-jing, but it is not necessary at all. If you freeze it with the fat, the fat will actually help create a seal and after thawing it in the refrigerator you simply just lift the fat off the surface before using the stock. No need for a fancy fat separator…but I like mine 🙂
1 whole chicken, pre-cut into breasts, thighs and wings. Giblets discharged.
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
2 large onions, quartered
1 large parsnips, cut into large chunks
1/2 rutabaga, cut into large chunks
a small bunch fresh thyme (10-12 sprigs)
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place chicken, vegetables and all herbs in a large stock pot. Pour in only enough cold water to cover, about 3 quarts. Bring it to a slow boil and then lower heat to medium-low. Cover partially and simmer for 1 1/2 hour or until chicken is done. As the chicken cooks, skim away impurities that rise to the surface. Add a little more water, if necessary to keep chicken covered while simmering.
When done, remove chicken pieces to a large Tupperware. Let cool slightly and then cover and place in refrigerator. Once completely cooled, discard skin and bones and place meat back into storage container.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove vegetables. Use stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, let it cool down and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze 2-3 months.
Source: adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Soup