Makes 4 quarts
1 - 4 lb whole chicken, rinsed and giblets removed
2 large white or yellow onions
3 medium carrots
4 celery ribs
6 cloves of garlic
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme (1/2 bunch)
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
4 quarts cold water
This broth can be adjusted to make more - it is a 1:2 ratio. For every pound of chicken, use two pounds of water (there are two pounds in one quart). To make chicken stock, use chicken bones instead of a whole chicken. A general rule of thumb for the amount of vegetables is 20% of the weight of the bones.
Begin by trimming any excess skin around the cavity of the chicken. It shouldn't be necessary to skim the broth while it simmers if you do this. Place the chicken, breast side up into a large stock pot. Make sure the vegetables are clean - it is not necessary to peel them. Cut the vegetables into small, even chunks and add them to the stockpot. You can throw the aromatics in loose or wrap them in cheesecloth. Cover everything with 4 quarts of cold water.
Bring the liquid to a boil and then simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and let it cool. If you are going to store the broth for later use, place a clean pot in an ice bath in the sink. Strain the solids out of the broth and the broth into the clean pot. Let the broth cool and then store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 1 month.
When the chicken is cool, shred the meat from the bones and make
chicken noodle soup or use as you please.