This stock recipe is based on the stock I learned to make at Rockpool, a restaurant I worked at in Sydney. Instead of using chicken bones, we used the whole chicken: meat, skin and all. The resulting stock was hearty, full-flavored, and had a lovely texture. At Rockpool we kept it very simple and used only chicken, no aromatics 0r vegetables, then we layered flavor onto it depending upon how it was used in a recipe. At home, I like to add leek for just a hint of sweet, onion essence in the finished product. When you cook the stock, be sure you bring it up to a fairly heavy boil at first and then skim off the scum that comes to the top. After skimming, turn the heat way down to let it gently bubble away. This way your stock will turn out beautifully clear.
Makes about 6 cups (depending on evaporation)
21/2 pound whole chicken, rinsed and cut into 4 pieces (backbone removed)
2 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cleaned well
3 quarts cold water
- Using a sharp knife, make shallow slashes through the meat on the leg and breast of the chicken.
- In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the chicken pieces, leek, and water. Bring to a steady boil and continue boiling for about 20 minutes as you skim the scum that rises to the top.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer very lightly. Continue simmering, watching that it stays at a very light simmer, for another 2 hours, skimming the surface when needed.
- Line a fine strainer with cheesecloth and strain the stock into a bowl. Let cool then package up to refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or keep in the freezer for around 3 months.