optional: some leek, some basil, some bell pepper,some mushrooms, some garlic, some any other vegetable or herb lying around
*Making chicken stock is actually pretty easy, and takes a few
hours, if youre up to it. If youre not, doing part of this recipe
for a little while to canned broth will make it taste tons better.
Ill talk more about that at the end.
*To start take your chicken (for several quarts of broth, in
my big "stock pot" I use 2-3 thighs, or a few breasts, or bits
from a carcass, or a medium amount of leftover chicken from whatever.
Leave the bones in. Put a tiny bit of oil in the pot (I usually
pull the skin off the chicken bits so that theres not so much
grease from the skin), turn the burner to medium high, and brown
your chicken. This is what makes the stock taste good. Keep stirring
the chicken around. Near the end, throw your onion-ey things in
(garlic, leeks, etc) and let them carmelize a bit, too. When youve
done enough of that, deglaze the pan with a little water or wine.
Then add water and your other veggies. For an 8 qt pot I usually
use 2-3 thighs, four or five stalks of celery, a carrot or two,
and at least one onion. The other things are optional, but will
make things taste good. The more good veggie bits you use, the
better the broth will taste. Tops of things you usually throw
away are great in stock . Dont put any salt or pepper in till
the end, and go easy on the dried herbs
. theyll get concentrated
as you cook.
*Get the liquid and veggies to a simmer. Sometimes it helps to
put the pot on the burner a little asymmetrically. Let it simmer.
If you see grey foamy stuff collecting, skim it off. Cook the
stock for a few hours, 1.5 hours minimum, and then strain it.
If youre going to use the stock immediately, skim off the fat.
If not, put it in the fridge or the freezer (depending) and take
the fat off when its hard. Stock will last a week or a week and
a half in the refridgerator, and several months in the freezer.
I try to freeze most of it in ziplocks in about 2-4 cup quantities,
and some of it in ice cubes for sauces.
*always add your salt and pepper when you are cooking WITH the
broth, after you make. Youll have much better control then.
*If youre going to use chicken broth from a can, heres what
to do to make it taste better: chop up an onion, and any other
veggies (especially carros and celery) and sautee them until they
start to carmelize in the bottom of the pot. Then deglaze the
pot with a little broth, and then add the rest in. Simmer it for
20-30 minutes (or however long you have) and then strain it. The
broth will taste so much better.