Home-made chicken stock
2 kilos (4 lb) chicken bones
5½ litres (5.8 quarts) water
2 leeks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 celery sticks, leaves included, chopped
12 whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
10 parsley stalks
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 2½ hours, uncovered.
Strain with a colander into a large pan. Discard vegetables and chicken bones. Strain again with a fine sieve. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Skim and discard solid fat from top of stock.
Makes 3–4 litres (3–4 quarts).
- Stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- For Asian-style chicken stock, see this post.
- For lamb stock, see this post.
- When using parsley for other recipes, freeze the stalks instead of tossing them. They’re excellent in stock, and can also be used in sweet tomato pasta sauce.
- Leftover stalks/stems from silverbeet (Swiss chard) and kale can be used in place of celery sticks.
- Poach a couple of chicken breasts in the stock to shred for sandwiches during the week. Add the chicken breasts to the stock in the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Turn off the heat and allow them to sit in the stock as it cools, for about 2 hours. Remove the chicken breasts, shred, and refrigerate for up to 2 days; or freeze in a tightly-sealed container for up to 3 months.