Like many home cooks, I use the leftover chicken carcass to make stock. Every now and then, though, you need stock and have no leftover roast chicken. The secret to quick, flavorful stock was so easy, yet I needed Jenny Linford, author of From My Mother’s Kitchen, to point it out: brown the chicken first to add a depth of flavor. I used her base technique with a few changes. The two major ones being I used chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken for more flavor and less money at the market, and went one step further and also sauteed the vegetables to coax more flavor than simply simmering them in water would. Linford used thyme in her stock, but I prefer the more traditional tastes of parsley and bay leaf, and while I love leeks, regular yellow onions are less expensive. Guess you can say this is a thrifty woman’s version of her recipe, but you’d ever know from the rich flavor.
60-Minute Chicken Stock
Makes about 6 cups
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered
4 carrots, peeled & sliced
3 garlic cloves
handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in small batches, being careful not to overcrowd pan. Transfer browned chicken to a deep bowl or dish.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute over medium-high heat, until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot, along with the parsley and bay leaf. Pour in 6 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for one hour.
Skim fat from surface of stock. Using tongs or a large slotted spoon, remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Pour stock through a fine strainer, and discard vegetables and herbs. Let chicken cool, then remove meat from bones to use for soup or chicken salad if using stock for a later use; store chicken in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Divide stock in to smaller containers and let cool completely before covering and storing in refrigerator or freezer.