(about 2 quarts)
My grandmother used to make her soup from scratch. Her stock had a depth of flavour that nothing in a can or package can rival. She frequently began with chicken bones and vegetables which she simmered very slowly over the span of several hours.
Chicken stock is not very difficult to make. Whenever I have enough rotisserie chicken carcasses stashed in my freezer or I come across free range chicken on sale as I did this week, I try to recreate what I enjoyed so much as a child.
6 large drumsticks, about 3 lbs
2 large carrots
4 celery sticks
1 large yellow onion
1 clove garlic
5 sprigs fresh parsley, washed
peel from 1/2 a lemon or lime cutting away as much pith as possible
10-12 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
8 cups water, (2 quarts)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
Wash the chicken and place into a large heavy pot with a tight fitting lid.
Wash and scrub the carrots, then cut them into several large pieces. Wash the celery and cut each stalk into 3 or 4 pieces. Peel the onions and roughly cut into 4-6 pieces. Place all of these into the pot with the chicken.
Remove the peel from the garlic, cut the clove in half and add to the pot. Add the parsley, lemon or lime peel, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf.
Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pot tightly and cook for about 1 1/2 hours.
Carefully remove the drumsticks from the pot. Replace the lid and continue to cook the broth over the lowest setting.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and set aside.
Return the bones and chicken skin back to the pot. Add the additional one and a half cups of water and salt, cover the pot and cook another 3 hours (on the lowest setting).
Strain the broth through a fine sieve or colander and discard the solids. Refrigerate at least 6 hours and remove the fat which has solidified on the surface. If you prefer to use your broth right away then skim off as much fat from the surface as you can before using it.