Today's tip

Fresh vegetables are essential when making chicken stock.

There is always chicken stock at our house, whether perking on the stove or stashed in the freezer, waiting to be used. Fresh vegetables are essential when making chicken soup. Carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips, and leeks are the ones I use, and of course free-range chicken will always make a superior stock. Do not use the breast and legs for the soup, save them for another meal. Use the bones, wings, neck, and, yes, if you have the feet, throw them in the pot too. You can accumulate the chicken parts you need for stock in a resealable bag or container in the freezer. Or perhaps your butcher can sell you those lesser parts, which make the best soup and are cheaper. Make sure to remove the livers from the giblet bag before making stock – livers will add a bitter flavor – but use all the other giblets.