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Basic Chicken Stock

Dishes
Haikuman’s dish drainer. circa 2009

We double this recipe and prepare it in a large stock pot, but you can also use a turkey roaster. We use leg quarters because it makes a richer, more hearty stock and the cooked chicken meat that we pull off of the bones is useful for so many things - like chicken soup, chicken salad, or lightly browned in olive oil with a little greek seasoning and folded into an omelet or pita, ground up for stuffed shells, etc.


Ingredients:

5 pounds leg quarters - or - One 4-pound or larger roasting chicken (neck and giblets are fine, but skip the liver - it tends to make the stock cloudy and gray. You can also use just bones - whole carcass or necks, backs and wing tips if you wish - but reduce water level until it just barely covers the bones. Much of the rich flavor is in the meat.)

4 carrots Rinse the carrots and trim off the ends. Do not peel. Snap or cut each one into 3 or 4 pieces.

4 large and green celery ribs We save up the really green, stringy, cracked ribs and all celery tops just for stock.

2 medium yellow onions, or 3 med. white onions
Wipe clean, trim off stem end and cut halfway through. (if they are clean enough, I also add any and all dark outer onion skins including any that might have fallen off in the bag. They add a little color and flavor)

1 small clove of minced garlic. About a teaspoon of store bought minced garlic - (the roasted type works great)

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves

1 Tablespoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon of celery seed (or more, depending how ancient your celery seed is)

Salt to taste (2 teaspoons or more, typically)


Procedure:

Put everything in the turkey roaster, crockpot, or stockpot - except the salt. Add 1 gallon of spring water or more. Enough to cover the contents of the pot, cover and bring to a simmer quickly over medium heat, or about 250°F. As soon as it starts to show signs of bubbling, reduce heat to a low simmer, about 180° - 190°F. Keep at this temperature until chicken just reaches the point where it can be pulled easily away from the leg bone with a fork. should take a couple of hours. Do not allow to boil. Boiling changes the taste dramatically and destroys richness and many nutrients.

Remove chicken from pot, allow to cool to the point where you can handle it. Bone chicken and return bones to pot and discard the skin. Refrigerate the boned chicken immediately in a ziplock bag with the excess air squeezed out. Continue to cook stock at a low simmer for at least 4 more hours.

You can add salt to taste at any point after the chicken meat has been removed. If the stock is salted before the meat is removed, too much moisture and taste is pulled out of the meat, making the meat mealy and bland and not as useful for other dishes.

Allow the stock to cool in the pot to the point where you can handle it easily without getting scalded - under 140°. Remove larger pieces of vegetables and strain the stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into another pot, cover and refrigerate overnight. The fat will rise to the top and solidify into a solid layer and some impurities will settle to the bottom. Discard fat and pour or scoop out stock gently to avoid stirring up the dregs at the bottom. If making soup, reheat gently and slowly to avoid boiling. Boiling will skew the taste and destroy many of the nutritional benefits of this traditional slow-cooked chicken stock.

Freeze excess stock in 1 quart or 1 gallon freezer bags within 4 days and use within 6 months.

A Low-Carb World Tour™ Recipe.


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