I post a lot about cooking with boned chicken and fish. It’s great presentation and easier to eat (why else would markets sell filets and breasts?). It’s also the way cooking used to be done, because bones have all the goodness of marrow and texture of gelatin, and who wants the yummy firm stuff going to waste? So use the bones for stock.
Making stock requires a bit more organization in the kitchen. After a few times it becomes habit. And there’s no comparison between the tepid stuff you bring home from the market and a quart of fresh stock waiting in the back of the fridge. This is a basic recipe, so add whatever herbs you like, or a full bouquet garni if you want to get fancy.
Chicken Stock (yields 4-6 cups)
- Bones from a 4 lb chicken
- 1 onion, halved
- 2 carrots, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Cheese cloth
Preheat oven to 350F. Place bones, veg and herbs on a baking sheet lined with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Baking before stewing results in a clearer, more distinctive flavor and a greater yield of gelatin.
Add ten cups of water, more if the pouch is not covered, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover, leaving a crack in the lid, and simmer for 3 hours. Check occasionally. The level of liquid will expose the pouch, but it should not reduce by more than the half way mark.
Let cool for half an hour. Disgard the pouch. Then place the liquid in a container for the fridge or freezer.