Chicken stock has a mellow quality that makes it particularly versatile in soups and sauces. This is a “white” stock, since it’s made with raw chicken bones. You can substitute the carcass from a roast chicken, like our Simplest Roast Chicken. This stock is purposely unsalted, since you will use it as an ingredient in other dishes–as a base for soups and sauces, for example, or to cook rice and other grains. Simmering the chicken bones extracts tons of flavor of a stock that's a far cry from store-bought chicken broth.
1 large onion, halved
1 raw chicken carcass, including neck bone
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4-5 peppercorns, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, crushed
1-2 parsley sprigs
1 thyme sprig
Place the onion cut side down in a stock pot over medium heat and char for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and fill pot with cold water to cover. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours (do not boil, or your stock will be cloudy). Skim impurities that rise to the surface frequently, using a spoon.
Remove from heat. Use a pair of tongs to fish out and discard the carcass and other bones. Strain stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Fill a larger bowl with ice. Place stock-filled bowl into ice-filled bowl; cool to room temperature. Cover stock and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim fat from surface of stock with spoon and discard.
To store, decant stock into a large clean jar and refrigerate up to 5 days. You also can divide stock in muffin tins or ice cube trays with 1/2-cup capacity and freeze. If space is tight, try this trick: Return defatted stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. This intensifies the flavor, which is especially nice if you plan to use the stock in sauces.
Yields about 2-1/2 quarts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours