The chilly days of fall have arrived and with it my desire to spend rainy Sunday afternoons making a large pot of soup. Some of my favorite fall meals consist of soup alongside a loaf of freshly baked bread, served family style. After reading Michael Ruhlman’s The Making of a Chef: Mastering the Heat at the Culinary Institute and browsing through Bon Appétit‘s September 2011 Issue, I was inspired to make my own homemade chicken stock. There are a some basic things all good chefs should know how to prepare and I’ve learned that stock is one of them.
And so it was that I spent last Sunday afternoon, stock simmering away on the stove, as I busied myself in the other room organizing notes, folding laundry and lazily lying around while our house filled with a wonderful aroma. Unfortunately, all this simmering and whetting of the appetite did not yield a large pot of soup but many, many cups of stock that were refrigerated, skimmed of fat and poured into large ziploc bags for storage in the freezer. As such, I cannot tell you how my stock turned out, only that I hope it is a solid beginning to what will be months of excellent soup ahead.
I’ve posted the barefoot contessa recipe below which is loosely what I followed when making my stock. I divided everything by three as I only had one chicken, which wasn’t even a whole chicken but the leftovers from roasting, and enjoying, a chicken the night before. I’ve posted the original recipe because I don’t trust mine quite yet. Rest assured, if mine turns out well, I will edit this post to include my version. So, stay tuned for that. For now, please enjoy the “Printer-Friendly” application that I finally figured out how to incorporate into my posts.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Yield: 6 Quarts
3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
20 parsley sprigs
15 fresh thyme sprigs
20 fresh dill sprigs
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that comes to the surface. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours.
Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the solids. Pour in large tupperware containers and refrigerate. When the stock is cold, remove the surface fat and refigerate up to 5 days. Alternatively, once stock is cool and skimmed of fat, pour into large freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months.
Source: Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten