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BASIC CHICKEN STOCK

I always keep this tasty, rich stock in my freezer. Use it to flavor the cooking water for rice, for steaming vegetables, and as the base for soups, stews, etc.

If you do not plan to use all the stock within two days, freeze it. You might find it convenient, as I do, to use an ice cube tray for just this purpose. Cover the tray with plastic wrap until frozen.  Remove the cubes to a plastic bag and store them in the freezer.


             3 pounds chicken, cut up, or large cooked carcass
             4
quarts fresh cold water
             2 large carrots, peeled or scrubbed
             2 ribs celery
             3 medium onions, peeled
             2 bay leaves
             1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
            
teaspoon dried marjoram
            
teaspoon dried thyme
             Salt, if desired

Wash the chicken parts and place them in a large pan and cover with the cold water. Coarsely cut up the vegetables and add to the pot. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, marjoram, thyme, and salt if desired.

Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Occasionally skim off any foam residue. Continue to cook at a slow simmer, covered, for about 2
to 3 hours. Remove the cover and simmer an additional hour to concentrate all the flavors. Add boiling water if the stock level gets too low.

Strain the stock and defat. Remove the tenderest chicken meat, discard the skin and bones. Freeze the meat for use in other recipes. Makes 2 quarts.

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Page last updated: Thursday, January 10, 2002 10:26 AM ET