If you have never made chicken stock before, you don’t know what you are missing. I love making stock on a day I know that we will be home, since it does take several hours to make. But it’s well worth the waiting time. I make a huge pot and freeze the stock for when I need it. I’ll freeze it in 1 cup portions and up to 4 cups. That way if a recipe calls for a small amount of stock, I don’t have to thaw out 4 cups and have the rest go to waste.
There are so many ways to make stock and you really can’t screw it up. I’ve even taken this recipe and made it without the chicken so I have vegetable stock. When I do that, I add mushrooms to give the veggie stock another dimension. The original recipe calls for 3 whole chickens, but a lot of us don’t have an enormous stock pot to hold that many chickens. I will add the chicken and veggies to the pot and add enough water to fill almost to the top. I usually get about 16-18 cups of stock. You don’t have to defat the stock right away. I found that when you freeze the stock and thaw it in the fridge, the layer of fat will stay on top and can be easily removed before using.
This weekend my mother and Aunt will be visiting. I’m planning on making them a big meal that includes butternut squash risotto. In order to make a great risotto, you need to have great stock. So this past weekend I got the chicken and veggies together and made stock since I was out.
- 1 (5-pound) roasting chicken
- 1 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 2 carrots, unpeeled and halved
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
- 2 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half, optional
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
- 1 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- Place the chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a stockpot.
- Add enough water to cover and come to 1 inch below the top and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours.
- Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids.
- Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten