30th September 2015
Once all the meat has been picked off a chicken carcass out comes my stockpot. The resulting stock can be made into a delicious broth or soup or reduced down to make homemade stock cubes that can be kept in the freezer. Onion, carrot and celery are staples and add to the background flavour but if I fancy an Asian style soup I’ll add a couple of star anise, some chopped ginger and a couple of bruised lemon grass to the stockpot. When the stock has been cooked and strained all you need to do is throw in some noodles, beansprouts, shitake mushrooms and a dash of Thai fish sauce for a light and nutritious meal.
There is no hard and fast rule to making stock- occasionally I’ll throw in a tomato, leek or some fennel trimmings. I aim to simmer the stock for at least 3 hours but if you run out of time an hour or two is better than nothing.
Basic chicken stock
1 chicken carcass
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 carrot, washed and roughly chopped
1 large stick celery, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
Place all the ingredients in a stockpot or the largest saucepan you have and pour in about 2.5 litres water. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 3 hours. Leave to cool and strain. Cover and refrigerate. The next day you can skim off any solidified fat on the surface.