Chicken stock is a fundamental ingredient in many grain and vegetable dishes of the Rhodesli (the Jews who live on the island of Rhodes, Greece).
It should be delicate in flavor: not thin, but tasting of chicken. No single herb or spice should dominate.
Yield: Makes about 14 cups (and 4 cups of shredded meat)
- One whole 3-pound chicken
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 medium leek
- 2 ribs celery, with leaves
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed
- Cold water
Trim and discard any fat deposits and excess skin from the bird. Salt it liberally inside and out. Place the salted bird on a cutting board, then position the board at a steep angle in the kitchen sink; let it rest for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, rinse the bird well in cold running water; drain and place on a plate.
Clean the leek, trimming and discarding the root end and any dry ends on the tougher green leaves. Cut the leek crosswise into 4-inch lengths. Cut these lengthwise in half and place in a bowl; rinse very well in two or three changes of cold water, as needed, to remove any grit.
Trim off the tough ends and any blemishes from the celery ribs, leaving any leaves intact. Cut the peeled carrots crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Combine the celery, carrots and leek in a large stockpot, and place the drained chicken on top. Add cold water to cover (about 14 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam or scum that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for 1 hour, skimming any remaining foam from the surface.
After one hour, add salt to taste; partially cover and cook for 1 hour. At the end of the second hour, the chicken will be falling off the bone.
Pour the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, preferably lined with a few layers of cheesecloth, into a heatproof glass bowl. Discard the skin and bones; reserve the meat, and the carrots if desired, for another use. Cool the stock, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Adapted from Spanish cook Janet Amateau, who blogs at SephardicFood.com.
Tested by Nicole Schofer.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.