Chicken stock

I make extravagant chicken stock.   The resulting broth has a wonderful full-bodied flavour that is far removed from ready-made stocks.   It will add caramel and vegetables notes, along with a rich umami taste.   I always make a large amount, divide it into 500ml portions and freeze it.   You can adapt the recipe to other meats.

Makes 3 litres

1 large good quality chicken

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 leeks, trimmed white part only

3 large carrots, peeled

3 outer sticks celery

2 onions, peeled and halved

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 bay leaf

a few parsley stalks

3 peppercorns


Remove the legs from the chicken and cut each leg in half at the joint. Remove the breasts.   Remove the wings from the breasts and cut the wings in half at the joint. The breasts can be set aside or frozen for another recipe.   Slice off and discard the parson’s nose from the carcass. Cut the carcass in half by going in under the ribs and snapping the spine in two.


Place a large deep saucepan over a medium heat.  Mine holds 7 litres water if filled to the brim.  Add the oil and once hot, start adding the chicken pieces as dismember the chicken. Brown these on all sides while you prepare the vegetables.


Cut each leek, carrot and celery into 3 or 4 pieces.   Mix into the chicken with the onions and garlic.   Colour lightly and then add enough cold water to come up to the top of the saucepan.   Turn the heat to high and skim off the fat as it floats up to the surface.   It is crucial to keep skimming during this period.   As the water heats up and comes up to the boil it will throw up some scum and more fat. Skim regularly. You may need to top up with more water, depending on how much fat you have to remove.   The stock takes about 20 minutes to come up to the boil.   As soon as it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a trembling simmer and add the bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns.   You shouldn’t need to skim once it reaches this stage.  Cook very gently for 3 hours.   If you let the liquid boil briskly it will turn cloudy. The stock is ready when it tastes good.


Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl.  Ladle it into clean freezer containers and once cool, chill and then freeze.   If possible, set your fridge to quick chill and freezer to fast freeze mode to ensure that the stock cools quickly without warming the fridge or freezer too much.



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