This stock uses pretty much only the chicken's bones, except for the meaty backbone. You can add the skin if you don't plan to eat it. The color of the stock will tend more toward amber than toward the lighter yellow of an unsmoked broth made primarily from chicken meat, or the brown of a stock made from roasted bones and vegetables. The flavor of smoke will range from subtle to dominating, depending on how deeply smoked your chicken is.
If you can smoke your own chicken, by all means do it. If you like convenience, buy a smoked chicken from your favorite barbecue restaurant; restaurants generally use a mild smoke, so the resulting stock will probably also be mild.
Make Ahead: The chicken can be smoked or purchased a day or two before making the stock. Reserve the meat for another use. The smoked stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 7 - 8
Yield: (makes 7 to 8 cups)
- 1 carcass from a 4-to-5-pound smoked chicken, including the back with the meat on it
- 1 medium skin-on onion, cut into quarters
- 6 cloves unpeeled garlic, smashed
- 4 carrots (narrow ends trimmed), scrubbed well and cut into thirds
- 3 ribs celery, cut into thirds
- 1 leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise and rinsed well
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 sprigs fresh parsley, with stems
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 cups cool water, plus hot water as needed
Combine the chicken parts, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leek, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and water in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Skim off as much foam as possible; cook, uncovered, for 4 hours, adding hot water so the chicken and vegetables remain covered.
Line a fine-mesh strainer or colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Place it over a large bowl.
Strain the stock; discard the solids. Cool for 1 hour before serving or storing; discard any fat that forms at the top.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Jeff Donald.
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