Classic Chicken Stock

Makes about 4 quarts of stock

I certainly don’t claim to have the secret to the world’s best chicken stock. I do believe, however, that you can’t skimp on the quality of the chicken you use. For this dish but generally for any chicken you eat. If I want to end up with good stock AND juicy meat, I follow Cook’s Illustrated recommendation and remove the chicken breast, adding it back in for the last eight to ten minutes. Any chicken meat that has cooked for more than half an hour will not be as tender and juicy as we’d like it. Also, if you want to stick to chicken pieces, make sure that some dark meat and bones are included as they provide for more nutrition in the form of calcium and other trace minerals that are very good for us. The last conundrum is the length of cooking time, which has to be at least 45 minutes but can be as long as up to four hours to get the maximum nutritional release from the bones.

Ingredients
1 whole chicken, breast meat removed and set aside in the fridge.
1 medium-sized yellow onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1/2 celeriac root
1′ piece of ginger root
1/4 teaspoon pepper corns
About ten sprigs each of parsley and thyme
2 bay leaves

Instructions
Using a large stock pot, place all ingredients into the pot and cover with water.
Set over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes and up to four hours to get the optimal nutritional release from the chicken bones.
Strain stock, discard solids and let stock cool to room temperature.
If you want to remove some of the fat, refrigerate the stock and skim off the hardened fat at the top of the stock before reusing it for your favorite chicken stock recipe, such as avgolemono.

For a chicken soup, add chopped onions, carrots and celery stalks to the stock along with the diced breast meat and some rice, orzo or other small-sized pasta and simmer until through, about ten to fifteen minutes.

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