Here is a basic chicken stock that I sometimes use. It comes from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Beans & Rice Time Life Books 1994 Weldon Owen Productions

5 lb (2.5 kg) chicken parts such as backs, necks and wings

1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 carrot, coarsely chopped

12 parsley stems

pinch of dried or fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

Trim away any excess fat from the chicken parts. Place the parts in a stockpot or large saucepan along with the onion and carrot. Use the remaining ingredients to make a bouquet garni: Combine the parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf on a small piece of cheesecloth (muslim), bring the corners together and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to the pot along with water to cover the chicken parts by 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm)

Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so the liquid simmers gently. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Simmer, uncovered, until the stock has a good flavor and the meat has fallen from the bones, 3-4 hours. Continue to skim as necessary. Add water to maintain the original level as necessary.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Please in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Remove the congealed fat from the surface and discard. To store, transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Makes 2-3 qt (2-3 l)

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