Chicken Stock

This is the most used stock at Rockpool. It has a well-balanced and clean flavour; it has body and tastes of chicken. That may sound funny, but it’s not, just an observation that many chicken stocks taste like vegetables or have a cloudy and confused taste. We wanted purity and a clean flavour because in many cases it is used in seafood dishes. It has no added flavourings, not the vegetables and herbs of the French, or the ginger and spring onion (scallion) of the Chinese; I believe it has the right clarity of taste and texture for my cooking, so try it. You can make stock with chicken bones, but if you try it with whole chicken you will taste the difference. It will last for up to four days in the refrigerator.

Method

Wash a 1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) corn-fed chicken and remove the fat from the cavity. Set the chicken on a chopping board and with a large cook s knife or a cleaver cut off the legs at the point where the thigh and drumstick meet. Make a few slashes into the flesh with a sharp knife. Cut the wings off where they meet the breast, then cut down the side of the chicken so the back comes off the breast. Cut the back and breast in half, and again, cut into the flesh slightly.

Put 3 litres (105 fl oz) water in a large saucepan and add the chicken pieces. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to the barest simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 hours. Remove any impurities from the surface during the cooking process. Carefully strain the stock twice through a muslin-lined fine strainer and discard the chicken pieces. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate; remove the layer of fat before using. Makes about 2.5 litres (87 fl oz)

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