Home-made stock has a much better flavor
than bought granules, cubes or tetra packs. This stock can be used as a
soup base, for delicate sauces, and for poaching. Many of the recipes
require stock. So much the better if you use this home-made version, but
the ready-made varieties are fine if you don't have the time to make your
Stock will keep in the
refrigerator for 3-4 days, or can be frozen for up to a month. Freeze it
in plastic containers in usable quantities for 250 ml (1 cup) or 500 ml (2
Makes 3.25 liters
Large thyme spring
Chop the onion, leek, carrot and celery.
Wash the chicken inside and out, then
place it in a large saucepan or stockpot with the remaining ingredients.
Pour in 3.5 liters cold water and slowly bring to the boil.
Skim off any scum that rises to the
surface, using a skimmer or slotted spoon. As soon as the stock comes to
the boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer very gently for 1 1/2 hours.
Don't boil the stock or it will turn cloudy.
Leave the stock to cool slightly before
you strain it through a large colander to separate the chicken and
vegetables from the liquid. Next, strain the liquid through a fine sieve
to remove any bone, vegetable and herb fragments.
The chicken can be eaten while still warm
or cooled completely, then refrigerated for later.
Allow the stock to cool completely before
refrigerating it overnight. The next day, spoon off the layer of fat
that has formed on top, and the stock is ready to use.