10 pounds chicken parts and/or bones, necks, wings, reserved trimmings
4 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 celery stalks with tops
4 leek tops, or 2 whole leeks, well washed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 garlic cloves (optional)
1 bunch dill (optional)
Remove excess fat from chicken parts.
Place chicken in a large pot. Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and, using a skimmer, remove surface scum as it forms.
Simmer for 1 hour. Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, parsley, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and dill. Simmer uncovered until the stock is richly flavored, about 1 hour or more. (For an even richer stock, boil it gently until it’s reduced by half.)
Allow the stock to cool. Strain the stock and discard the solids. For a very clear stock, first line the strainer with cheesecloth. Chill the stock and, using a large spoon, remove the solidified fat. If using stock immediately, skim off the fat with a spoon or blot it with paper towels. Use the stock within 2 days or freeze.
Note: This stock freezes well. Consider using different size containers so you can defrost the amount you will need for a recipe (1 cup, 2 cups, etc.). You can add herbs such as chives or rosemary for flavor variations, but you’ll notice we don’t add salt. This increases its versatility.