In this post I’m going to give you my recipe for chicken stock.
But first, here’s a short video to introduce you to the method I use to make the stock, which is the most important part of making any soup. The stock in the foundation of all soup making. If you make good stock, you’re soup will be great. Stock on it’s own is delicious. So here’s my little video of stock making:
And here’s the recipe…
How To Make The Perfect Chicken Soup
There are two distinctive parts to making chicken soup: the stock and the soup. Special care must be taken with the stock. Most people don’t pay any attention and just throw the chicken in some water and boil it (and then they have the audacity to add store bought chicken stock to flavor it up). What a waste of a perfect chicken!
The stock is made with all the unwanted parts of the vegetables that you chop off before cutting them up. Don’t worry about the stems and rough looking parts of the vegetables–just throw them in. Chop off the leafy part of the celery and the root, the butt and end of the carrots, quarter the onions with the skins still on, the whole peppercorns and all the herbs (not the dry ones that have been sitting in your cupboard for years) and put them in with the chicken.
Cut the chicken up into it’s parts: legs, wings and breast without the liver and put them in with all the veggies and herbs. It’s very important that you cut up the chicken because you are going to remove the parts after they boil for an hour. After you remove them, cut off the chicken and put the bones back into the stock for hours of flavoring. Make sure you remove the skin and throw it away. I use tongs and a big fork to get all the meat off the hot chicken parts.
Use your imagination and experiment. If you have some vegetables around, add them to your stock. I’ve put in peppers, tomatoes, turnips and a bunch of others I can’t remember. Experiment once you’ve got this procedure down pat.
OK, I think you’re ready to start making your stock. Don’t deviate. Don’t cheapen the beauty of this soup by adding store bought stock or by using dried spices. Go through the steps of making this soup properly and you’ll be the talk of the town.
It’s best to make the stock the day before you’re going to need it so that you can skim all the fat off the top. Chicken stock is good for three days in the fridge or six months in the freezer. If you boil it every three days, you can keep it in the fridge for a long, long time.
Ingredients for the stock:
- Chicken-cut the legs, wings and back from breast
- Onions – 3 small quartered
- Carrots – butts and ends
- Celery – butt and leafy end
- Parsley stems ONLY – the leaves are bitter
- Peppercorns – 30 or so
- Bay leaves – 2 or 3
I like to take all the vegetables and the herbs and put them into the bottom of my All-Clad 20 quart stock pot. Then I cut up the chicken and place in on top of the veggies and herbs. Put the stock pot under the water spicket and run cold (not hot or even warm) water till you cover everything by two or three inches.
Let’s recap: you’ve got all your fresh veggie parts, herbs, peppercorns, bay leafs (I don’t know what these do by every cook on earth suggests you use them) and your chicken cut up soaking in cold water.
I’m sure you noticed that I don’t have many measurements. I never use them for cooking. I’ve heard that baking is another story. I’m not a baker, so I don’t have to worry. This is part of your creativity training. If you’re one of those people who just have to measure, you’re out of luck. Let yourself go and be free. Take a chance that your soup will come out great. I know you can do it!
Once your stock gets up to a boil, I want you to set it to simmer and time it for 45-60 minutes. Why? Because I then want you to remove the chicken parts and take the meat and skin off. Put the meat aside and throw out the skin. Put the bones back in and let it simmer for 1 to 2 hours more. There is no exact time here, just let it go until you feel you should take it off. Can you do that?