1) For a basic and simple chicken stock, you will need to have the bones from 2 whole chickens, water, 1 medium-sized onion, 1 medium-sized carrot, 2 stalks of celery, 15 coarsely ground peppercorns, and ½ of a bay leaf.
2) You must first take off as much fat from the chicken bones as possible; this can be done easily and quickly by cutting off excess meat and fat with a sharp kitchen meat knife. Even if you cannot get all the fat off the bones, there is no need to worry; you will be able to skim it off the stock later on.
3) Put the chicken bones into a large stockpot, and cover them completely with water. Turn the heat on very high, but watch the stock carefully; if it comes to a boil, it will keep the fat within the water as opposed to bringing it to the top, where you will be able to remove it. Turn down the temperature to low and let simmer when it looks as if the stock will come to a boil.
4) You now have time to prepare the vegetables while the water is heating; remember to keep the vegetables in medium sized chunks. This is a good thing to remember, because they will be in the pot for about 45 minutes, and pieces that are too small will be diminished of flavor rapidly. First, peel the onion and cut in half; discard the bottom, top and skin, and slice into large chunks.
5) Peel the carrots and chop them into large chunks.
6) When cutting the celery, first remove all of the leaves; these will provide your stock with a very bitter taste. After removing leaves, proceed to slice the celery into large pieces.
7) Mix these vegetables in a bowl, adding in the rest of the ingredients (peppercorn and bay leaf).
8) By this time, you should notice a yellow layer of fat on top of the stock; you can use a spoon or ladle to skim this off.
9) The total simmering time for the stock is 2 hours; after 1 hour and 15 minutes has elapsed, you can add in the chopped vegetables. During the simmering time, fat will repeatedly appear on the surface of the stock; remove this as the time passes.
10) Strain the stock using a fine colander (or a simple cheesecloth on top of a colander will suffice).
11) The final end-result stock should be a light tan color, translucent, and there should be no traces of fat on the top. An easy and clean way to store your stock for later use is to pour it into an ice tray and freeze it; this keeps it fresh and accessible. They can also be used in either small amounts (1 or 2 cubes) or all at the same time. Using chicken stock as a base for soup recipes, you can incorporate it into any of these flavorful recipes:
Chinese Chicken Recipes
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