Makes about 8 cups
If you need to, you can make the following substitutions for the roaster: 1 stewing hen or spent fowl (5-7 pounds); 2 fresh young chickens (2-4 pounds); or 6 pounds fresh chicken parts, preferably dark meat portions. (As I mentioned earlier, young chickens will not provide as rich a flavor as the older birds but the taste will still be good.) Cooking times for meat will vary from 3 hours for stewing hens or spent fowl, to 1-1/2 hours for 2 smaller birds to slightly less time for parts. In each case, time from beginning of simmer and return bones to stock for an additional 1/2 hour after you’ve removed the meat.
Chicken stock is delicious served as a simple broth with herbs, shredded or julienne vegetables, slivers of meat, or rice. It also is the base from which countless other soups are made.
1 roaster (5-7 pounds)
chicken giblets, except liver
1 large bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 quarts water or enough to cover chicken generously
1 cup dry white wine, optional
2 medium onions, quartered
2 large carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced, optional
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems only
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Remove giblets from roaster and discard bird-watcher thermometer, if it has one. Place roaster along with giblets in a large stockpot (8 to 10 quarts) or other large sauce pot. Wrap bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and thyme in cheesecloth as bouquet garni; tie closed with string. Add to stockpot along with remaining ingredients. Cover pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Carefully skim stock from time to time with a ladle or spoon to remove fat particles and foam.
To check roaster for doneness, pull back a leg or cut into meat close to bone; it is cooked when no pink color remains in meat. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon. Cut away meat from bones and return bones to stock; simmer 30 minutes longer. (See Chapter 10: Cooking with Leftovers for uses for the cooked meat.)
Strain stock through a fine sieve. If you want, prepare in advance to this point and refrigerate or freeze. Skim off top fat before using.
To make a soup, bring as much stock as needed to a simmer. Then follow the soup recipe, adding chicken, vegetables, thickeners, seasonings, and garnishes.
Chicken Recipes – The Perdue Chicken Cookbook
Copyright (C) by Mitzi Perdue – Used with Permission