Basic Chicken Stock
This stock has three distinct advantages: One, it takes less than an hour to make. Two, it has clear, clean flavor—not especially complex, but very good. And three, it gives you a whole cooked, but not overcooked, chicken for salad or any other use.
- 1 whole (3-4 lb) chicken, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
- 1 cup roughly chopped onion (don't bother to peel)
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or pinch dried thyme
- 1/2 bay leaf
- Several sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 tsp salt, plus more if necessary
- 3 1/2 About 3 1/2 qts (14 cups) water
Cut the chicken up if you like; it will speed cooking.
Combine all ingredients except the water in a stockpot; add the water.
Bring just about to a boil, then partially cover and adjust the heat so the mixture sends up a few bubbles at a time. Cook just until the chicken is done, 30-60 minutes.
Strain, pressing on the vegetables and meat to extract as much juice as possible. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Refrigerate, then skim any hardened fat from the surface. Refrigerate for 4-5 days (longer if you boil it every third day, which will prevent spoiling, or freeze.