- 5 pounds chicken bones
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot cut into thirds
- 2 celery stalks cut into thirds
- 2 large or 4 small leeks cut in half lengthwise and well washed
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- Place all the ingredients in an 8-quart stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- As the stock approaches a boil, remove any impurities that rise to the top by skimming with a ladle. Reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 3 to 4 hours, continuing to skim impurities from time to time while the stock cooks. Taste after 3 hours for the strength of stock you want.
- Remove from the heat and let the stock sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then ladle through a fine strainer. Once strained, remove the fat from the stock by skimming with a ladle (see Helpful Hint). Cool by placing the container of strained stock in an ice water bath, then refrigerate.
The stock will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator, or freeze in 1-cup batches.
Another way to defat the stock is to place the cooled stock in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will set on the top and can be easily spooned off. Variation: Use a large (5- to 6-pound) roasting chicken in place of the bones. Use the meat for chicken salad or croquettes.