White Chicken Stock

For a clear stock, bring the stock to a boil quickly, but be present when it first boils, because you have to immediately turn it down to a mere simmer. That initial boiling will release albumin and blood, which rise to the surface of the water. Skim that all off until there is none left and, with the occasional gentle stirring in the first ten minutes and more skimming, the stock will be crystal clear.

Old boiling hens will give the best stock (and meat for salad), but bones, feet (for gelatinous structure in the stock, important for sauces), and chicken parts are the most economical.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds chicken or duck parts (backs, wings, feet, and necks)
  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 large onion, peeled, chopped into1-inch pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, chopped into1-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, washed, chopped into1-inch pieces
  • 1 large herb bundle
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Method

Rinse and wash the poultry parts under cold running water. It is important to wash away any blood so that the stock, free of blood and albumins, stands the best chance of being clear when finished.

Put the poultry parts in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. The moment the water boils, lower the heat to a bare simmer. Skim off all the scum and fat that rise to the surface of the water. Gently disturb the bones to loosen more blood and albumin, then skim again. Keep skimming and stirring until the stock is clear.

When the stock is clear, add the vegetables, herb bundle, and salt, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Strain the stock, cool uncovered as quickly as possible, and refrigerate, covered, until needed.

For a richer stock, simmer the strained stock until reduced by one-third.

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