There’s nothing more healing after the craziness of the holidays than a big bowl of homemade soup, especially when it’s made with Homemade Chicken Stock. When it’s freezing cold outside and I’m spending the day at home, I fill a huge pot with chickens, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, and water and let the stock simmer away for four hours. Not only does the house smell wonderful but I end up with six or seven quarts of delicious stock (it’s so good we call it “liquid gold!”) to use in soups and stews for the next few months. It’s so easy to make, and you won't believe how flavorful it is compared to store-bought stock.
Chicken Stock (Makes 6 quarts)
Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten,
Photo: James Merrell
3 5-pound roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half (optional)
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.