Chicken Stock
Brodo di Pollo

serves: Makes 4 quarts

Free-range chickens, if you can find them, will make superior stock. I also like the richness that turkey wings add to a chicken stock, so I use them all the time. You can save the chicken parts you need for stock over time, in a sealable bag or container to keep in the freezer, or perhaps your butcher can sell you what you need. Remove the livers from the giblet bag before making stock—livers will add a bitter flavor.

ingredients
3 pounds chicken and/or capon wings, backs,, necks, and giblets (not including liver
1 pound turkey wings
8 quarts water
1 large onion (about 1/2 pound), cut in half
3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
3 stalks celery, cut crosswise into 4 pieces
6 garlic cloves
6 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
6 whole black peppercorns
salt, for seasoning

directions


Wash the chicken parts and turkey wings thoroughly under cold running water, and drain them well. Put them with the water in a large stockpot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, and boil for 1 hour. Skim off the surface foam and fat occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the onion, cut sides down, directly over an open flame, and cook until the cut surface is well browned, about 3 minutes. Move the onion halves with a pair of tongs as necessary to brown all over, evenly. (You may also brown the onion, cut sides down, in a heavy skillet over medium heat.)

Add to the pot all the remaining ingredients except the salt. Bring the pot to a boil again, occasionally skimming the far and foam off the top. Lower the heat until the liquid is “perking”—one or two large bubbles rising to the surface at a time. Partially cover, and cook for 3 hours, adding salt to taste.

Strain the broth through a colander lined with a dampened kitchen towel or cheesecloth. If you want to use the stock immediately, you can remove much of the liquid fat floating on the surface by lightly dragging a folded paper towel over the surface. It will be easier to degrease the stock if you have time to chill it completely in the refrigerator. The fat will then rise to the surface and solidify, and can simply be lifted off. The stock can be refrigerated up to 4 days, or frozen up to 3 months. It will be easier to use if frozen in small (1-to-2-cup) containers. Once frozen, the stock can be removed from the containers and stored in sealable freezer bags, to be taken from the freezer as needed. You can also freeze stock directly in zip-lock plastic bags once it has cooled.