Makes about 2 quarts
This recipe, based on one from Cook's Illustrated's The Best Recipe, really does make the most incredible chicken stock. It even makes wonderful stock if you screw the recipe up and add the water too early. This is a dynamite base for pho, or add shredded chicken meat and noodles for Mom's penicillin.
- 1T vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into large pieces
- 4 pounds cheap dark chicken meat on the bone: backs, necks, legs and/or wingtips, OR, a whole chicken*, hacked into 2 inch pieces
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 2 t salt
- 2 t fresh ground pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion and cook a couple minutes til it's softer and taking on some color -- pull out.
- Add a third of the chicken pieces and sauce until no longer pink -- about 5 minutes. Put the partially cooked chicken with the onion and repeat until all the chicken is partially cooked.
- Return the chicken and onions to the pot. Heat over low, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, or until the chicken releases its juices.
- Turn up the heat, and add the boiling water, salt and bay leaves. After it boils, bring it to just barely a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes, or until the broth is just incredibly yummy.
- Strain the broth and discard the solids. Refrigerate for a while, then skim the schmaltz. This will be good for 2 days in the fridge or several months in the freezer.
* Dark meat and wings are definitely the most flavorful. If you want to make some chicken to put in your soup, don't use the worn-out chicken that you've sauteed, sweated and simmered, cuz it won't taste like much of anything at all. Add split breasts to the simmer -- in 20 minutes they should be perfectly cooked and still have a little flavor of their own, and then you can shred them.