This broth is delicate yet full-bodied, with a touch of sweetness from the fennel stalks.
In lieu of a whole chicken, you can substitute 5 pounds chicken parts, including backs, necks, wings and 1 chicken half.
Servings: 8 - 10 cups
- 1 whole clove, halved
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 1 4- to 4 1/2-pound chicken
- 2 carrots, trimmed and halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, leafy tops included, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb (stalks and fronds only, reserving bulb for another use)
- 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 4 medium sprigs thyme
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 4 to 5 quarts water
- Kosher or sea salt
Have ready a colander lined with damp cheesecloth.
Stick the clove halves into 2 of the pieces of onion. Place all of the ingredients except for the water and salt into a large stockpot, then add just enough water to cover the ingredients by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 hours. (Keep skimming surface foam occasionally during the first hour of cooking.) Add salt to taste during the last hour of cooking.
Strain the broth through the lined colander into a clean container, saving the chicken meat for another use. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Discard the congealed layer of fat on the surface before reheating the broth. Use within 3 days or freeze.
Adapted from "The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy," by Domenica Marchetti (Chronicle Books, 2006).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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