5 pounds fryer chicken (or 5 LB of thighs, legs or wings)
4 quarts cold water
2 onions, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh parsley (or dried parsley)
12 whole peppercorns
3 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried basil
Combine ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and barely simmer 3-4 hours or until chicken falls off the bone. Adjust the heat so the liquid visibly swirls under the surface and bubbles break the surface leisurely, not rapidly.
As the broth simmers, occasionally impurities will float to the top in the form of fat or foam. Remove it with a spoon. Strain the stock through a fine meshed strainer. Let the stock cool and then transfer it to airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. You may find a thin layer of fat that has congealed on the surface of the stock after you have refrigerated it. Just scrape it off with a spoon. You can also freeze the chicken stock up to 6 months.
Everyone has a different method for making broth and there isn’t a way that is better than others but some will result in a richer flavor. I simply buy 2 fryer chickens (the biggest size available at the store that will fit in my stock pot) and place one in each stock pot, fill my pot with just enough water to cover the chicken, then add my vegetables and seasonings. Exact measurements are not necessary but a recipe like the one listed above is a great starting point.
See soups and main dish sections of this blog for ideas on using your chicken broth. Another easy recipe for using your chicken broth is Buttery Seasoned Rice.