There are few other smells that I find as inviting as chicken stock simmering away on the stove. My husband often accuses me of making more chicken stock than I can use (and he is probably right), but if we are going to be home for the day I love to have a stock pot going filling the house with the smell of hot soup and cold weather all day long.
I know that my plan is not to share recipes on this blog, but I thought that I would share this one since it is one of my favorites...
1 3.5-4 pound chicken
2 stalks celery, cut in half
3 carrots, cut in half
1 onion, quartered (skin on)
1 head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally, skin on
2 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 handful parsley
Place the chicken into a large stockpot and cover with water. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, peppercorns, salt, and parsley. Bring to a simmer. When the water begins bubbling, skim the foam and discard. Turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 4 hours. DO NOT let the stock boil...if you boil it, you spoil it. When 4 hours have passed, remove the pot from the stove and strain the contents through a large colander discarding everything but the liquid. Then strain the liquid into a clean bowl through a fine sieve. Let cool and skim the fat, divide into containers for use within 3 days or freeze in 1-4 cup portions for up to 6 months.
Tip: To skim the fat more easily, divide into containers first and place in the refrigerator for several hours until a white layer forms at the top of the container. Remove the white top layer (fat) from each container and discard. At this point, you can either use the stock within 3 days or place it in the freezer.
I sincerely hope that you become a stock addict too...