HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK

Although we all purchase and use the conveniently pre-made chicken stock in a box at our local grocery store, I really prefer making my own homemade chicken stock when I have the extra time. You can really taste the difference between pre-made and homemade stock, especially when you make an authentic homemade chicken soup. The taste just does not compare. I know it does take a bit of time but it's really well worth it at the end. If you're not in need of such a big batch like this, freeze the rest and you can use it for another use.

Adapted and modified from the "Canadian Living: Cooks Step by Step" cookbook (1999) Written by: Daphna Rabinovitch

Yields about 4 L (16 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb roasting chicken or 4-5 large bone-in chicken breasts
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 large sprigs of parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly cracked black pepper

1. Place in the roasting chicken or the 4 large chicken breasts in a large stockpot and cover the chicken with 4 litres of water. Bring it up to a boil and skim off the froth. Then add in the carrots, celery, onion, parsley, bay leaf, salt, dried thyme and the freshly cracked black pepper. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for a good 1 hour or so.

2. Remove the chicken and let it cool completely or place it in the fridge so you can use it to make soups or sandwiches later on. Strain the stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large bowl and disgard the cooked vegetables. All of the flavour has been extracted out of the veggies. Refrigerate the stock for a good 4-6 hours. You will notice the fat come up to the surface, make sure to carefully skim that off. Now the stock is ready to use.

Cook's note: You can refrigerate the stock for up to 3 days in an airtight container or you can freeze the stock for up to 4 months.


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