The following is an excerpt from "The Locavore's Kitchen" by Marilou K. Suszko. The excerpt is from Chapter 3: Fall. To find out more about the recipes in "The Locavore's Kitchen" and the importance of eating local, read this interview with author Marilou Suszko.
Rich Chicken Stock
Makes about 12 cups
The difference between great and mediocre stock has a lot to do with what goes into it. If you’ve already made friends with a farmer who raises pastured poultry, you’re one step closer to a great stock. Ask him or her for necks, backs, wings, or bones saved from butchered chickens or save the bones from recipes calling for the bones to be removed or the carcass from a whole roasted chicken. “Stockpile” smaller amounts in freezer bags in the freezer until you have enough for making stock. Chicken bones are full of flavor and body and create a rich, almost creamy, stock.
5 pounds chicken parts (bones, wings, necks, and backs preferred)
3 carrots, scraped, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 stalks celery, leaves attached, bottoms trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 bunch fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, lightly crushed
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place the chicken parts, carrots, onion, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and turning the ingredients once or twice until everything is nicely browned.
3. Place the celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the roasted ingredients into the stockpot. Drain off any fat and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the stockpot. Add cold water to cover.
4. Bring the contents of the stockpot to a boil, then partially cover and adjust the heat so the liquid is at a very slow simmer, sending up only a few bubbles at a time. Remove any impurities that rise to the surface. Simmer for 2 hours.
5. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Press on the vegetables and chicken pieces to extract as much liquid as possible. Taste and season with salt. (For a more concentrated flavor, bring the stock to a full boil and let it reduce until the flavor is to your liking, tasting at frequent intervals, then salt to taste.)
6. Cool the stock to room temperature. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. The fat from the stock will rise and congeal at the surface. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and discard. Use stock immediately or within 5 days, storing it in the refrigerator; or freeze for up to 6 months.
For more homemade stock recipes, read the original article, "How to Make Homemade Stock."