A good stock is one of the most important building blocks of my kitchen. I use it for soups, for braised dishes, and for sauces. A little chicken stock goes a long way in rice or vegetable dishes, adding depth of flavour that water simply can’t match. A well seasoned broth is excellent homemade medicine when you’re feeling run down. It is made very simply, with few inexpensive ingredients, and can last for months in your freezer (assuming you keep it that long).
Here is a basic recipe for a roasted chicken stock, one of the most versatile stocks you can have in your kitchen. This recipe is adapted from my book “Cooking Meat”, where I use it in many other recipes. Like I said, it’s a building block!
Makes 5 liters
5 pounds chicken bones, preferably carcass or back bones
5 tsp salt
5 garlic cloves
4 carrots, cut in half
3 onions, cut in half widthwise
3 celery stalks, cut in half
1 leek, cut in half
6 thyme sprigs
5 bay leaves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the chicken bones with the salt, arrange them in a single layer in a roasting pan, and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- While the bones are roasting, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, cut side down, and sear until they’re dark brown. Remove them from the pan and chop.
- Place the roasted bones and onions in a stockpot with the garlic, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add just enough water to cover the bones and bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to low, use a spoon to skim off any scum that’s risen to the top of the stock, and simmer for another 2 hours.
- Remove the stock from the heat and allow to cool for 1 hour before straining through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, like a mason jar. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.