Well ladies fall has finally arrived, and that means its soup season! Now the first step to making a delicious soup is to have a delicious medium to high quality stock to start from. The first thing you will need to have on hand is a chicken carcass. Yes, a carcass, preferably as many bones as possible with as little meat as possible. The addition of meat turns it from a stock into a broth, and this is not what we are after.
Here is the cleaned carcass with very little protein in a stock pot covered with 2 quarts of water.
Here you can see the lovely quart measure I have…I also took a pic of the metric side for those of you ladies not on US standard measure.
You want to start with cold water over the chicken carcass, this is because it will allow everything to come up to an even temperature throughout. You do not want to bring this to a boil, just a simmer. For a white chicken stock (the bones have not been browned and the mirepoix has not been caramelized) you will want to simmer the stock for 2-3 hours before the addition of the mirepoix, making sure that you keep the bones covered with water. You will also want to skim off the protein and fat that accumulate at the top of the stock.
You can see in the third photo that yes there is going to be some water/stock that gets skimmed as well, this is nothing to worry about, as you are keeping the bones covered throughout the cooking process.
Now after 2-3 hours, preferably 3, you will add the mirepoix, a white mirepoix consists of Onions, Carrots, and Celery. (For a true white mirepoix you may substitute parsnips for carrots.)
For a quart of stock you will need 4 oz of mirepoix, which is 50% onion 25% carrot and 25% celery. (2oz, 1oz, 1oz) You also will add your sachet ingredients to this (you don’t need to make a true sachet since you are going to strain the stock.) which is a few whole peppercorns, 1 bay leaf (laurel leaf), and a sprig of thyme. I also took a photo of the mirepoix in grams.
You will simmer this for 1 more hour, to fully extract the flavors. (You may also choose to do a slightly smaller cut for the mirepoix ingredients to extract more flavors from them).
Once you have simmered for the last hour, it is time to strain. This is done with a fine mesh strainer, since I don’t have a china cap and chinois in my home.
A nice clear stock is the final product that you are after. You want to make sure that you get it cooled within an hour if not using right away. Also you NEVER add salt to a stock, however you may add it to the soup or product you are making from the stock.
I hope you enjoy this little tutorial on making stock. This is going to be made into my elixir soup in a few days.