>My Sunday Chicken Stock


 I have found myself, recently, purchasing large quantities of stock.  In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s not inexpensive.  A whole chicken, on the other hand, is quite economical.  And from a whole chicken, you can get 6-8 quarts of stock and all the meat that comes along with it to use in soup, chicken salad, tacos, etc.  So, making stock seemed to be just the thing to do this past Sunday.

1 whole chicken, trimmed of excess fat and innards removed
2 stalks celery, leaves included
1 carrot
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
 8-10 peppercorns
water to fill stock pot

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring water level to 2 inches below top.

Bring to a slow simmer and allow to cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, until chicken falls apart when you try to take it out.  DO NOT BOIL – it will cause your stock to become cloudy (it doesn’t affect the flavor, just isn’t as aesthetically pleasing).
Remove solids from the pot and allow stock to come to a slow boil.  Let cook for another hour or so, or until it has reduced by about 1/4 and the flavor has concentrated. 
Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and reserve for future use (like chicken noodle soup or Brunswick Stew).  Discard bones.

Remove from heat and allow to cool before placing in the fridge overnight.
The next day, skim fat from the top and strain any remaining scum and solids from the liquid.
Use immediately or freeze. 

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