Free-range chickens, if you can find them, will make a superior stock. I also like the richness that turkey wings add to a chicken stock, so I use them all the time. You can accumulate the chicken parts you need for stock in a sealable bag or container in the freezer, or perhaps your butcher can sell you what you need. Be sure to remove the livers from the giblet bag before making stock— livers will add a bitter flavor.
- 3 pounds chicken and/or capon wings, backs, necks and giblets (not including the liver), preferably from free-range or organically raised birds
- 1 pound turkey wings
- 1 large onion (about ½ pound), cut in half
- 3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
- 3 celery stalks, cut crosswise into four pieces
- 6 garlic cloves
- 6 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
- 6 whole black peppercorns
Wash the chicken parts and turkey wings thoroughly under cold running water and drain them well. Combine them with the water in a large (at least 10-quart) stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the level of heat to medium and continue boiling 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 the onion evenly. (Alternatively, the onion may be browned cut side down in a heavy skillet over medium heat.) Add the remaining ingredients except the salt to the pot. Bring to a boil again, skimming occasionally. Lower the heat until the liquid is “perking” — one or two large bubbles rise to the surface at a time. Cook, partially covered, 3 hours. Add 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 be easily lifted off. The stock can be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months. The stock 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 and taken from the freezer as needed.