You'll need a large pot - I used a 12 quart Multi-Pot but any large pot will work. I wouldn't try it in a pot with a capacity smaller than 8 quarts because you'll need enough room for the poultry, vegetables, and water to cover.
Take the remains of a chicken or turkey after it's been carved and break it into pieces so it will fit in your pot. Alternatively, you can use the bones from chicken parts or a pack of chicken wings. To season the stock, wash and rough cut four carrots, four celery ribs, and one onion. Throw these into the stock pot with the poultry and add two peeled garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, about fifteen whole peppercorns, two whole cloves, 1 tsp. ground thyme, and 1 tsp. ground parsley.
Pour in enough drinking water to cover the solids by at least an inch, about 2 gallons. Over high heat, bring the water to a simmer (about 190°F or 88°C) while being careful not to let it come to a full boil. As anyone who has watched Tampopo knows, bringing the stock to a full boil will break up the solids into particulate matter that clouds the liquid. We want to cook the stock slowly and gently. A simmer is almost as hot as a rolling boil, but the liquid is just barely bubbling. The bubbles should be forming slowly and steadily. If no bubbles form, then the water is not hot enough; but if bubbles begin to rise rapidly, the water is too hot. Once the water begins to simmer, fiddle with your heat settings until it maintains the simmer.
Continue to simmer the stock for at least four hours, checking on the water level every thirty minutes or so. If the water level has dropped and solids are beginning to be exposed, boil some water separately and pour it into the stock until the water level has risen beyond the solids again.
When you get tired of simmering (after four or more hours), it's time to drain the solids from the stock. Since I used a multi-pot, I just carefully lifted up the collander and tilted it to drain. If you're not using a multipot, you can pour the stock into another pot with a large collander placed over it. Make sure the other pot is large enough to hold the liquid (about two quarts) or use multiple receiving pots.
To remove smaller particles in the stock, pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve placed over a large pot. I placed my 8-quart pot in the kitchen sink on a layer of ice. This means I won't have to carry around a nearly full container filled with simmering stock.
Add more ice around the pot to help chill the stock quickly. I also recommend a tip from Alton Brown: place a bottle or two of ice in the middle of the stock to chill inside out as well as outside in. To do this, simply take a water bottle and fill it 60-70% full of water and freeze. Update for 2005: For the last year, I've been simply placing the stock pot into a sink filled with enough cold water to allow the pot to almost float (but not quite - depending on your pot shape and water level, your pot could tip over). If I've got ice available, I'll throw that in the water to keep it cool as the slowly sucks the heat from the stock in the pot. Every ten minutes or so, I stir the stock and that works fairly well at dropping the temperature.
Once the stock is chilled to around 50°F (10°C) (about 1-1/2 hour), move the stock to the refrigerator to finish chilling. The stock will last for about a week in the fridge. If two gallons of stock is too much for you to consume in a week (which is probably true for most families), you can freeze the stock and it should maintain taste and quality for about three months.
You might notice that after making stock, the bones have become extremely brittle. That's because the long simmer has extracted most of the collagen from the bones (as well as nutrients like niacin, fiboflavin, and calcium) which reduces the structural integrity of the bone. Some chef's advocate squeezing every last bit of collagen out of the bones, but I find that after four hours of simmering enough flavor (from the vegetables and bones) and thickening agent (the collagen turns into gelatin in the simmering water) has permeated the broth that it is unnecessary to extract all the collagen.}?>
Chicken Stock (makes 2 gallons or 7.6 liters)
|1 chicken carcass||break apart||simmer 4 hours||sieve||chill|
|4 celery ribs|
|15 whole peppercorns|
|2 bay leaves|
|2 whole cloves|
|2 garlic cloves||peel|
|1 tsp. dried thyme|
|1 tsp. dried parsley|
|8 quarts (7.6 liters) drinking water|