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Nothing brings me greater joy in my kitchen than making my own chicken stock. European chicken are about half the size of American chickens, so we typically roast two at a time so we eat one at dinner and then have chicken for the rest of the weeks meals (example: Crustless Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Noodle Soup), and then the bones get used to make stock.
Roasted Chicken, bones only
2 Yellow Onions
1 head of Garlic
2-6 Celery stalks
Remove all of the skin and as much of the meat as possible from the roasted chicken carcass(es) and place in a 3 gallon pot.
Leave the skin and leafy bits on the other ingredients you will put in the stock. And only cut in half or quarters depending on size and shape:
Onion - skin on, cut in half across the"equator" - You want the tops and bottoms whole so that it helps keep the onion together
Garlic - skin on, and cut in half across the "equator"
Carrots - skin on, depending on the size and thickness you want to cut them to be about the size and thickness of your pointer finger
Celery - leafy bits are perfect for this, cut them the same length as the carrots
Fennel - cut in quarters
Fill the pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients, about 2-2.5 gallons.
Bring the pot up to a slow boil and then drop the temperature so that it is simmering.
Every 20 minutes, rotate the pot clockwise 1 quarter turn, and skim away all of the bubbles, fat, gunk, etc that builds up on top.
If the water is simmering too strongly the gunk that should form on the top (and you skim away) will stay in the stock and alter the taste and clearness.
Cooking time depends greatly on a number of factors, but it will take at a bare minimum 1 hour per gallon of water you use - but usually longer than that. At the 2 hour mark I typically start tasting the stock. The liquid will have reduced my about half.
Let the stock cool enough so that you can handle with out burning yourself.
Place a colander over an 1 gallon pot and line the colander with cheese cloth.
Remove all of the big pieces from the stock pot and then pour the liquid into the cheese cloth lined colander.
At this point I then fill glass jars to freeze the stock. Be sure not to overfill or the glass will explode.