Douglas fir boughs in my backyard are swaying graciously to catch snowflakes. Snow is floating through the sky for the first time this winter. I love to watch how nature softens during a snow storm. Inside my warm home I will spend this beautiful winter day comforted by the aroma of chicken stock simmering on the stove.
My refrigerator has two vintage canning jars filled with stock. I make my chicken stock from scratch.
The Barefoot Contessa recipe is my all time favorite. Try Ina's recipe:
3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half, optional
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
Stock made with this recipe is rich and gelatinous. Just the right base for delicious chicken and dumplings stew on a snowy day.