When we first opened one of our customers, Edie, explained to us the importance of using a homemade chicken stock and just how easy it is to prepare. Homemade stock makes a real difference to the depth of flavour in any recipe compared to using a shop bought one.
With a big smile she took us over to the Ginger Pig, our favourite Borough Market butcher, and pointed out the £1 carcasses. We grabbed two and asked them to cut each one into 4 pieces. It's not essential but does make the bones easier to work with. We now prepare the stock in advance and keep it in our freezer; Edie freezes hers in giant ice cube trays so she has portioned ready stock “cubes” for her recipes. Instead of carcasses you can also use the leftovers from a roast chicken or buy raw chicken thighs or wings (with the skin on).
- 2 raw chicken carcasses (each cut into 4 pieces)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 celery sticks
- 2 medium onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp freshly cracked pepper
- 4L water
Making the Stock:
- Chop the celery, onions and carrots and crush the garlic. Put into a deep cocotte or stock pot, add 20ml of olive oil and sauté over a medium heat until translucent (Italians call this a soffritto and it's a basic for many sauces).
- Take the soffritto out of the pan and add the chicken carcasses. Brown over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Put the soffritto back into the pot and add the herbs and pepper corns. Stir well and add the water.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 2 hours over a low heat (add more water if it reduces by more than two thirds)
- Strain and use straight away or freeze.