BASIC CHICKEN STOCK
by Michele Anna Jordan
When it comes to home cooking, chicken stock is the best all-purpose stock (professional chefs rely on veal stock). Chicken stock is easy and inexpensive to prepare, and chicken is available virtually everywhere. Keep in mind, though, that your stock cannot be more flavorful than the ingredients that make it; try to use free-range chickens, which have much more flavor than commercial, "factory-raised" chickens. You will use this stock in a wide range of recipes, including some of the pastas in this book.
Yield: 6 to 7 cups.
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Ready to serve: 3 hours.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 Ibs. chicken backs and necks
• Kosher (coarse) salt to taste
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1 yellow onion, quartered
• 1 carrot, cut into chunks
• 1 rib celery, cut into chunks
• 1 bouquet garni
1. In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot; add chicken and brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper; add onion, carrot, celery and garni, saute 15 minutes. Add 3 quarts water.
2. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, 2 1/2 hours. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Strain through fine sieve; discard solids and pour liquid back into stockpot.
3. Reheat liquid over high heat until boiling; reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until stock is reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.
4. Before using stock, lift off and discard hard layer of fat that will form on top as stock chills. Chicken stock can be frozen up to 3 months.
Per serving: 35 calories, 2 g total fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 830 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.