1 (4 pound) chicken, whole
1 medium onion, peeled and quarted
2 medium carrots, quarter
2 stalks celery, quarted
1 leek, dark top only
medium parsnip, peeled and quartered, optional
3 generous sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
3 generous sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
About 4 quarts of water
- Combine the chicken, vegetables, herbs, and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Pour in enough water to just cover the chicken completely.
- Heat the water to just under a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer, so that 1 or 2 bubbles break the surface of the broth about once a minute.
- Skim any fat and scum from the surface with a ladle, large spoon, or skimmer. (To prevent losing a lot of stock when skimming, put the skimmed liquid into a degreasing cup, and return any useable broth back to the pot.)
- Cook for about 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through but not dry.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, but continue to summer the broth. Cool the chicken for about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken meat from the bone, and reserve for a chicken salad, soup, or other recipe. Return the bones to the pot and cook for another 1 hour.
- Strain into a non reactive container, like another pot, a large bowl, or plastic or pint containers. Fill the sink with a mixture of ice and cold water so it comes about halfway up the sides of the container.
- Nestle the container with the hot broth in the ice bath. (stirring the broth speeds up the cooling process.)
- Cover and refrigerate or freeze the broth for future use. Broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If the broth is unused after 5 days bring to a boil before using.
I used some of the chicken in a chicken salad and the other half for the chicken soup.