Most of this recipe I learned from my mom, and it’s something you can do after you make a roasted chicken or turkey dinner, or even if you bring home a rotisserie from the grocery store. I learned a great tip from my Aunt Barb that gives really rich flavor and great color to stock, and that’s to re-roast the carcass after you’ve carved all the meat off. Put the carcass, bones, and any skin that you peeled off back in the roasting vessel and put into the oven at 425 until everything is nice and brown, sizzling, and roasty smelling. Sometimes I’ll freeze the bones until I have enough time to spend a day making stock. It takes the pressure off and frees up fridge space for important things like apples and unpasteurized cider from Boyer’s Orchard (Monkton, VT) and fresh produce from Russo’s (Watertown, MA).
This is the base for most of the soups I make, which most of the time I make up. Such is life. What you’ll need is:
1 or 2 chicken carcasses (or a turkey carcass)
1 large yellow onion
Several medium carrots or 1 gigantic carrot (like the size of your forearm gigantic)
Several stalks of celery
Any bits that were inside the chicken that was roasted (garlic, lemon, herbs, whatever)
A big ol pot with a lid that fits and as much water as the amount of stock you want to make. I usually use the biggest pot we have.
Some salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients in the pot, cover, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally just for fun. Have something to do in the meantime. I tend to not use a ton of salt or pepper in the stock just because when you make whatever kind of soup the seasonings will change based on ingredients required.
It’s best to leave the lid on the pot while it simmers. I learned this because one time I used the pot in our kitchen that has no lid, and I ended up with ½ a cup of really, really, really concentrated stock. Oops/science is cool?
Once the liquid has simmered remove all the bones, cooked veggies, and other debris and discard. Some people will say to pick the meat off the bones to save for soup, but I find it to be really tough and not enjoyable to eat. I like to do a final strain through a fine mesh sieve because there are all kinds of tiny bits that you don’t want to bite down on later.
Refrigerate the stock for a few hours and then skim off the fat that comes to the top. Or don’t, it’s really a personal preference thing. Sometimes I get lazy and just leave it as long as it’s not a really gross amount.
You can either use the stock you make the same day, or you can freeze it for later use. I like to freeze it in 1 or 2 cup increments so it thaws quickly and I know exactly how much I’m adding to recipes. Ta da? I’m not sure how to finish this off. Happy souping? Yeah that’s better. Happy souping/thinning out spaghetti sauce/stewing/de-glazing/all the other fun stuff you can do with stock .