Chicken stock is a staple in my kitchen. I use it in many recipes including soups, rice, beans and sauces to name a few. Not only does the stock fortify my recipes with oodles of flavor, it also adds nutrient density. I tend to get a little over zealous in my produce purchasing at times and before I know it, I have a fridge full of veggies that are on the way out. When the time is right, I pull out a batch chicken bones previously stashed in the freezer to make stock. If I am boneless, I make vegetable stock (super handy to have around for your vegetarian friends). The stock can then be frozen, and used when needed. *Tip, store stock in 2 cup portions for easy use.
The base for most stocks calls for a mirepoix, an aromatic combination consisting of 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery. Coined by the French, mirepoix is considered "The holy trinity" in several other countries as well. Feel free to add additional veggies like fennel, leeks, beets, garlic and whichever herbs du jour that you fancy. Here is a simple recipe to start with:
Mirepoix (1/8 of the amount per 2lbs. of bones)
Fresh Thyme, parsley and a bay leaf or two
No salt or pepper...I repeat loudly "NO SALT OR PEPPER" *You never know what you might use your stock for in the future, it could be reduced for a sauce of some sort.
Sweat the veggies and bones in a stock pot. Fill with water just until the bones are covered. Add your herbs, bring to a boil and immeditly reduce to a low simmer. Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours. Do not stir, stirring creates a cloudy stock. When done, remove the stock ladle by ladle and pass through a chinois, china cap,or cheese cloth to remove impurities. Pitch the fiber (what's left from the veggies) or throw it into your compost pile.
Cool in an ice bath and freeze for future use.