Chicken stock is one of our most important bases. It’s used for most soups and many cream sauces. It’s also very simple to make. I’m sure your local butcher will help you out with some chicken bones. If not, then cook a boiling fowl with vegetables in water and you will have an instant tasty stock and the bird to eat as well. If you do not have a large stock pot, you can easily reduce the quantities. (For information on ready-made alternatives.)

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Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • A few black peppercorns
  • 1.8 kg (4 lb) chicken carcasses, chopped
  • 3.4 litres (6 pints) water

Method

In a large stock pot (about 8.5 litres (15 pint) capacity), lightly soften the vegetables in the butter without colouring. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and chopped carcasses. Cover with the cold water and bring to the simmer, skimming all the time. Allow the stock to simmer for 2–3 hours, then drain through a sieve. The stock is now ready to use and will keep well chilled or frozen.

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