Chicken stock is really very easy to make, and the flavor will be richer than purchased broth or stock.
Use this chicken stock in soups, sauces, stews, or other recipes using chicken broth or chicken stock.
- Put the chicken in a large stockpot or Dutch oven with the onion, carrot, and celery. Add the cold water to the pot.
- In a bouquet garni bag combine the parsley, peppercorns, thyme leaves, and bay leaf. Tie securely and add to the pot.
- Bring the chicken mixture to a full boil. Skim off any scum which rises to the top. Reduce heat to low, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 2 hours. Keep it at a simmer or gentle boil. If boiled, the stock will become cloudy. Note: The stock can also be cooked, uncovered, in a 200° F oven for about 6 hours. This is a good option if your burners won't cooperate with the low simmer. An induction burner is a good option as well.
- The stock should be slightly reduced and flavorful.
- Strain the stock, pressing as much of the liquid out of the solids as possible. Skim off fat or put in a gravy separator. Or refrigerate for several hours. The fat will rise to the surface and harden, making it very easy to remove. Discard the fat and season the stock with salt, to taste.
- The stock may be boiled at this point if a more concentrated stock is desired.
- Ladle the stock into 1 or 2-cup wide-mouth canning jars or freezer containers, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace.* Label with the date. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or freeze for 3 to 4 months.
*The stock will expand as it freezes, so if using glass jars it's especially important to leave plenty of headspace. Use a wide mouth jar and leave about 1 inch for headspace. To be safe, leave the tops resting on the jars until the stock is frozen, then screw them on, but not too tight.