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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Basic Chicken Stock

chicken stock

This is the very definition of a kitchen staple; it's easy; and it really comes in handy. You can use it for soups, gravies, to add flavor to cooked beans or grains, in stuffing, meat pies; there are innumerable ways to use this stock. It's extremely versatile because it only has very basic seasonings. It tastes mostly like chicken and vaguely of vegetables. You add flavor to whatever it is you decide to make with the stock. So save your bones, folks. We're making broth.

Basic Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (that's the nicest way of putting it)
6 cups water (more or less)
½ large onion (roughly chopped)
3 carrots (coarsely sliced)
1 celery heart with leaves (loosely hewn)
2 cloves garlic (perfunctorily minced)
olive oil
black pepper

If you've just cooked a bird, or you brought one home already cooked and you've devoured chicken to your heart's content, you're ready to start. Pull as much meat off the bones as you can and save it to eat later or possibly throw in the soup you eventually make.


Put a large stock pot on the stove. Drizzle some olive oil in and drop in your maimed vegetables (onions, carrot, celery, garlic) and saute for a few minutes. Throw your chicken carcass (and the pan drippings, skin, gizzards, necks, livers and any other bits and gibblets you don't intend to eat) into the pot and pour in just enough water to completely cover the bones. Add a pinch of salt and grind in a little pepper. Crank the heat to high and bring your stock to a boil. Immediately reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook for at least an hour or as many as eight (I prefer the long cook when I have the time).

maimed veggies

After the allotted time, allow the broth to cool then strain it with a wire mesh strainer (lined with cheese cloth if you want clearer broth). Divide into sealed containers and refrigerate. After it's completely cooled you can remove some of the chicken fat from the top of the broth and use it for cooking or just leave it in for extra flavor (like I do). Congratulations! You're now inescapably headed down the path to a lifetime of grand culinary misadventures. Or one can only hope.

stock pot

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