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Good soup starts with homemade stock — and it’s not as hard as you may think.

View the WEB ONLY recipe!

Ingredients:  2
pounds peeled & quartered onions, 1 pound peeled & quartered carrots, 4 stalks quartered celery, 1 half head of garlic  peeled, 12 parsley stems, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns and 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Storage:  Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months. For cooking, reconstitute by adding
water to taste or use as is.

Adaptation:  Use your newfound skills to create a classic French onion soup.z

Step 1:  Arrange 12 pounds of chicken necks and backs on sheet pans, leaving space between pieces. Roast in a preheated, 425-degree oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Step 2:  Place chicken in a stockpot with the rest of the ingredients. Add cold water to cover. Cook over medium-low heat about 1 hour. Skim off the whitish-brown foam on the surface and discard. 
Step 3:  Adjust heat so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cook at least 4 hours,
and up to 8 hours. Strain the stock.
Step 4:  With a large spoon, remove the fat that rises to the top and discard. Boil the stock until reduced by about 75 percent for storage. Transfer to containers, cool and store.

Chicken stock is one of the most important yet easy to make ingredients in our culinary arsenal. When the bones are browned first in a hot oven, the homemade version reigns supreme, producing a broth that overshadows pale, bland, store-bought varieties typically containing little chicken flavor and loads of salt. The combination of roasted chicken, onions, carrots, celery and seasonings makes a rich, golden brew that raises soups, stews, braises and sauces to masterpiece status. |!|

Carla Snyder is the co-author of “The Mixer Bible,” “The Big Book of Appetizers” and “The Take-Out Menu Cookbook: How to cook IN the food you love to order OUT” (October ’07) and co-owner of Kitchen Counter Points, a cooking school and corporate teambuilding company.


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