There is no substitute for homemade stock

During the Fall/Winter seasons it is our family’s tradition to prepare stocks and a special Italian sauce (to be  given in a later post). Since both take at least 8 hours we try to prepare at least one type of stock and sauce on the same day. I remember when Sydney needed to stand on a stool to help; now she can run the show. This is one of the culinary projects the entire family works on; we laugh, talk and joke around the entire day. I wouldn’t trade this tradition for anything in the world, there are no words  to describe the positive bonding impact this one day holds. We would like to share this very special recipe for chicken stock with you.

This chicken stock is the base to a plethora of recipes


Chicken Stock:

  • 2 (5-pound) roasting chickens, with innards removed
  • 2-3 bone on & skin on chicken breasts
  • 3 to 4 pound chicken wings
  • 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut in half, optional
  • 3 leeks, washed and halved lengthwise
  • 20 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 15-20 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons/handfulls kosher salt
  • 15-20 count whole black peppercorns
  • 117grams/ 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.9 kilo grams/ 8-cups water
**For tips see below.

Prepare your mise en place,

Mise en place

prepare a bouquet garni,  and wash the leeks.

Bouquet Garni

Place the chicken wings in the bottom of a large stockpot, place whole chicken and breasts (on top of the wings in the pot). Circulate the aromatics around the chicken and pour on the wine.

This is mild playing around, wait a few hours

Add cold water to cover the chicken generously, by about 3 inches. Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat, then skim any foam that may have accumulated on the surface with a skimmer or ladle and reduce the heat to low.

Leave about 1.25 cm/ 1/2-inch space from the top and add the salt

Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a kiss of a simmer. Cook at a kiss of simmer for 2 1/2  hours, skimming foam and fat frequently( about every 15 minutes) and watching the heat carefully  so the stock remains simmering.

After 2 1/2 hours, remove all the chicken and using two forks in order to handle the hot chicken.Pull apart the chicken and remove the meat; reserve for another use. Dispose as much of the skin as possible and return the bones to the still simmering stockpot. You will need to add more cold water leaving the 1.5 cm/ 1/2-inch space form the rim of the pot. The stock will need to come  to a boil again, and then brought down to a simmer. Continue to barely simmer the stock for 5 ½ hours skimming the foam that develops about every 1/2 hour. Strain through a medium sieve into a large bowl and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. There will be a layer of that fat that will form on the top of the stock, after the chill remove and discard.

Cover and store up to 2 days before either using or reducing and freezing.


This is a layer of fat...sometimes it is thicker, depending how diligent you are with the stock while it simmers

 Skimming the fat.

Discard the fat

**Making excellent stock requires paying attention to a few simple rules. To ensure clear stock, use cold water, skim frequently, and after bringing the stock to an original boil do not allow the stock to go above a little or kiss of a simmer. Use plenty of aromatic vegetables to give the stock a good flavor base, and use organic chickens and plenty of wings (they are the gold of flavor).

The most important ingredient is FUN, have fun with your family!


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