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How to make homemade chicken stock

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the next three episodes of Culinary Nunnsense, together, you and I will go step by step through the exciting and flavorful journey of homemade chicken stock. Yes, I said it HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK!

I know what you are thinking. Why? Because your Thanksgiving dinner and your family is worth the time and effort that's why. Well, that and you can control the salt and bring BIG flavor to your gravy, stuffing or dressing, mashed potatoes and rice dishes.

Here is what you will need:

1 4 lb. whole chicken, including neck, innards and back
1 large onion (white or yellow) quartered
4 carrots, peeled and large rough chop
4 celery ribs, large rough chop
1 leek, with one large piece reserved for the Bouquet Garni
2 bay leaves
4-6 sprigs of sage
10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
10-12 sprigs fresh parsley
10-12 whole peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic
1 gallon of water, room temperature
1 gallon of water, just shy of boiling

If you do not know how to break down a chicken you can watch the video a couple of times and give it a shot or have your butcher do it.

Place all the rough cut veggies in a stock pot or large pot. Add chicken pieces. Add peppercorns and garlic. With the reserved piece of leek, place bay leaves, thyme, sage, parsley stems (yes just the stems) in the center of the leek and roll to create a package. Secure with butchers twine or any 100% cotton twine. If you are not sure if it is 100% cotton, do not use it. You can just let the herbs float and skim them off later.

Add cool water to cover the chicken, herbs and veggies by about an inch or two. Cover with a steamer basket or a round piece of parchment paper. This helps to reduce the scum bubble and makes it easier to skim the stuff off on the top.

Bring mix to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Allow to simmer uncovered for 6-8 hours. During this time do not stir the mix, just skim the stuff that comes to the top and add water when necessary.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer or remove all of the chicken and veggies, bouquet garni too. Then using a colander and cheese cloth strain the remaining liquid to remove any big pieces that remain.

Pour your stock into smaller vessels and place them in the sink surrounded by ice and water to cool. Once cool place in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. The fat will rise to the top and congeal. Remove fat cap before use.

Note that I do not add salt at anytime during the cooking process. I do that so I can season the dishes as I work with the broth.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but when you allow the yard bird and veggies to spend 6 - 8 hours in the hot tub and for those flavors to mingle and meld together you are creating the foundation of goodness. Go ahead, step away from the cans and cartons just once and I promise you and your dinner guests will be saying, when it comes to the best stock for your prized side dishes and gravy there is Nunn better! 


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