Makes about 800ml chicken stock.
- Roughly chop the peeled vegetables to small chunks of similar size.
- Trim excess skin and fat from the chicken carcass, and check that the body cavity is empty. Wash the chicken carcass and place in a saucepan just slightly wider than it is.
- Just cover the carcass with cold water – 1.5 litres should be plenty.
- Bring to the boil, then immediately turn heat down to a gentle simmer. Quickly skim all scum and impurities from the surface of the stock with a large spoon.
- Add the vegetables, thyme, parsley stalks, peppercorns and bay leaf to the pan. Continue to gently simmer for between 2 and 4 hours. Add more boiling water if needed to keep the chicken covered.
- Occasionally check and skim any impurities or scum that forms on the surface of the stock.
- Remove chicken carcass from the pan, and then strain the vegetables and herbs out of the stock with a fine-mesh sieve. Cool chicken stock down before placing in one or two storage container.
- Once cool enough, cover the stock with a lid or cling film and place in the fridge or freezer. It will last a good few days in the fridge and much longer in the freezer.
- Try not to let the chicken stock boil again once you have turned it down to a simmer as this will affect the flavour.
- If you need >800ml of chicken stock double the recipe rather than diluting the stock with water as that reduces the flavour.
- If you only use small quantities, try freezing some in an ice cube tray – so you can use as many/few as you want.
- Chicken stock is a great base for all kinds of (non-vegetarian!) soups and casseroles. You could also use your home-made chicken stock to poach chicken breasts for the fabulous Poached chicken, avocado and orange salad.