Nothing compares to homemade stock. It’s a cinch to prepare and makes the house smell irresistibly cozy. Although this recipe calls for a whole bird, you can also make a great stock with leftover carcasses.
|18||cups (4 1/2 quarts)||cold water|
|1||4–5 pound||chicken, whole|
1. Pour the cold water into a large stockpot and add the chicken.
2. Halve the onion and garlic, leaving the skin on, and add them to the pot.
3. Cut the celery and carrot into three or four large pieces and add to the pot.
4. Toss in the cloves and peppercorns.
5. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the stock to a lively simmer. Do not boil it, however, or it will become cloudy.
6. Notice that scum floats to the surface as the stock begins to simmer. Remove these proteins with a slotted spoon.
7. After skimming the stock, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 ½–4 hours. The stock is ready when the chicken tears away from the bones and the broth is intensely flavorful.
8. Remove the chicken and set aside or freeze for another use.
9. Cool the stock to room temperature, then strain through a large sieve.
10. Refrigerate overnight, then remove and discard the fat that has risen and solidified on the surface.
11. For convenient storage, freeze stock in small portions in ice cube trays or zip-lock bags, then thaw just what you need for everyday use.