I cannot express to you how easy this is and how much you can do with it. For myself, chicken stock, rice noodles and whatever I have left over in my fridge with a poached egg is my go-to end of the week meal. You only have a little goat cheese left over and some veggies for a quick pasta use chicken stock to stretch it! The difference it makes in homemade soups, even the really quick ones is night and day. Quite frankly I feel naked without chicken stock in my fridge. Enough praises, and on with the recipe.
1 bulb fennel
4 stalks celery
1 large onion
5 garlic cloves
1 chicken carcass
small handful of whole peppercorns
2 large pinches of salt
Bouquet Garni- Otherwise known as a herb bundle. Use what ever you have, I used oregano, rosemary and thyme this time since those were the fresh herbs I had at home.
Very roughly cut up fennel, celery, onion and carrots. Put in pot. Smash your garlic with a knife to get it out of its skin, drop in pot. Add the chicken carcass, peppercorns, Bouquet Garni and salt.
Top off with water and bring to a boil. This will take some time.
Once at a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 hours. If you want a lighter tasting chicken stock cook for 3 hours, if you want a darker more heavily flavored chicken stock cook for as long as 5 hours. I use the 3 hour version for my cooking and the 5 hour version for broth based soups. As your water level drops during the cooking process just add more. Strain and store. I just use a colander to strain, since the chunks of vegetables are so large.
Cooks Note: If you are not using chicken bones from a roast chicken then I do recommend putting the bones in the oven and roasting them for an hour. It will greatly enhance the flavor of your stock. Also, if you are using dried herbs instead of fresh ones I highly recommend putting them in a piece of cheese cloth tying them up and dropping them in the stock that way.