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You’ll need a 6 to 8-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid (I use a 6-quart pot for a 4 or 5-pound chicken). Be sure to check the inside of the chicken and remove the paper pouch that contains the organs. Discard the paper and the organs if desired. You can also add the organs to the pot—if you’re new to stock this might sound strange, but there is a lot of good nutrition in there. I still often discard them out of habit.This method uses a whole chicken. You can also use this recipe with just the bones & skin (and whole carcass) of an already roasted bird. Just use whatever is left from the whole chicken after you remove the meat-include bones, skin, juices—all of it.
Add all ingredients to the pot and cover with filtered water to about an inch below the top of the pot. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pot, then set it on the stove and bring to a boil (this takes about 10-20 minutes) then reduce to a simmer. Simmer at least 4 and up to 24 hours. (Longer simmer = better flavor). If you use a whole chicken, be sure to remove the meat from the chicken about 2 hours in to prevent overcooking it then put the bones back in the pot.To remove the meat, carefully remove the whole chicken from the pot and set it on a large cutting board. It will be very hot, let it cool a bit so you can handle it. Use two forks or a knife to remove as much meat as possible. The meat will be nicely poached and you can shred it or just cut it up. Put the meat in an airtight glass container, then let it come to room temperature before you store it in the refrigerator, where you can store it for up to three days. Or, use it immediately.
Then put all of the bones, skin, and the whole body back into the pot and let it simmer for at least another two or more hours. You can simmer your stock for 4-24 hours. The longer you simmer it the more flavorful and more nutritious it will be.
Keep the pot covered to prevent your stock from evaporating, if you notice the liquid reducing too much you can add a few cups more of water at any time during the process.
After simmering at least 4 hours, strain your stock through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl or pot.
Discard everything that was in the pot except the liquid you just strained, it’s all served a very useful purpose and by now, the veggies have been boiled to the point that they will fall apart.
Use your stock right away to make homemade chicken soup, use it in any soup. It’s also great to sip plain in a mug with a big pinch of sea salt.
To store, let it come to room temperature and store in quart containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or the freezer up to 6 months.
If freezing, freeze in portions that will be useful to use in recipes, like 2-cup or 4-cup (quart) containers.