Chicken Stock

Homemade chicken stock is an indispensable base for soups and sauces; its richness and freshness put it head and shoulders above canned. Refrigerate it if you’re using it within a few days, or stash it in the freezer—frozen assets of the very best kind.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vegetable cooking oil
  • 3 pounds (more or less) chicken necks and backs
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups chopped peeled carrots
  • Small handful of parsley sprigs
  • 2 cans (1 quart, 14 ounces each) chicken broth
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves

Method

  1. Pour the oil into a large heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Pat the chicken parts dry with paper towels and drop into the hot oil. Toss and turn them until well browned, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped onions and carrots and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are beginning to brown lightly and are losing their crunch.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, using enough water to cover the solids by 2 inches, and bring the stock to a boil. Boil vigorously for 15 minutes, skimming off all the scum. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer briskly for 2 hours, skimming occasionally if necessary.
  4. Cool the stock slightly, then pour it through a strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the vegetables and chicken parts with the back of a spoon to extract as much flavor as possible.
  5. Cover the stock and refrigerate overnight. Skim any congealed fat from the stock before using. Transfer the defatted stock to storage containers, label, and freeze.

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