So on Tuesday when I first boiled my chicken, I attempted to kill two birds with one stone and reserve the liquid from the pot to make chicken stock out of. So after the chicken was cooked, I cooled the pot and placed it in the fridge overnight—with the understanding that the next morning, the fat would have risen to the top and the stock would be underneath–ready for me to use.

Not so much. I’m not sure if it’s because I left the veggies and chicken in the pot, or because there was just a lot of skin and fat in the chicken–but the next morning the entire pot had turned to this gelatin-like goo. I have since discovered the gelatin comes from the bones, and had I strained the stock the night before, it would have been easier to manage. Either way—down the sink it went, and on to my second attempt.

I still had all the bones–now cooked–but my coworker Heather and I were discussing my gelatin problem, and she offered to scan a Joy of Cooking Recipe for me. Using roasted chicken bones actually makes for a richer stock–and because I’m feeling sick and wanted to make a hearty chicken soup with it, I didn’t see why I couldn’t try again. My recipe last night was pretty easy on the labor— I’ll let you know how my soup goes!

Chicken Stock
from Joy of Cooking 

  • 2 lbs chicken parts 

I removed the meat from the chicken first, but left large pieces on the bones for flavor, however, leaving the meat on apparently makes for a more flavorful stock.

  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 1 carrot-chopped
  • 1 celery stock-chopped

I roasted the bones and vegetables for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, then added them to a dutch oven. Using one cup of water, scrap the roasting pan and add the brown bits to the pan. Add around 8 cups water (cover the bones plus two inches) and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat so there aren’t any bubbles rising, but heat is still coming off the pan (around 180 degrees). Cook for three hours.

  • Bouquet garni (garlic, peppercorn, parsley, thyme, bay leaf wrapped in cheese cloth)

In the last hour, add in the bouquet garni. Remove from heat and strain the stock twice–once with a strainer, once with a cheese cloth to get all the bits and pieces out. Cool, then refrigerate and then skim the fat off in the morning.