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Chicken Stock - Dark Recipe

An excellent 'catch-all' stock for beef dishes as well as the more obvious chicken uses.

Much has been lost, now that giblets aren't supplied with chickens supplied by supermarkets, as they offer so much flavour when making stock. For a special occasion, it's worth using a whole chicken to make this stock and to nullify the loss of this flavour - the cooked chicken can always be eaten cold afterwards with some mayonnaise. Failing that, use the carcasses from trimmings from 2 roast chickens. You can save these in the freeze as a normal course of events.

Ingredients

For 2 litres (3½ pints):

1 medium Corn Fed Chicken, if you do manage to obtain the giblets, use them all except the liver, as it will make the stock bitter - cut the chicken roughly into pieces. Or, the saved carcasses from 2 chickens (these can be boned out if you wish to use the breasts and legs for another meal, or leftover from a roast - as mentioned above)

8 ripe Tomatoes
1 medium Onion, cut in half, but with the skin left on, each half pierced with a whole Clove
1 Leek, split and carefully washed
2 medium Carrots, washed then cut into two, lengthways
2 cloves of Garlic
30gr/1 oz Butter
1 tablespoon (15ml) Tomato Purée
35ml (½ bottle) Dry White Wine
About 3 litres/5 pints Water
1 Bouquet Garni - the best come from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk) - they list a 'Bouquet Garni for Poultry'
1 Large Sprig of Fresh Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
2 teaspoons/ 30ml Black Peppercorns

Equipment needed: A heatproof casserole, or saucepan, big enough to hold all the ingredients. A roasting tray.

Method

1. Set the oven for 200C/400F.

2. Quarter the tomatoes and put them in a roasting tray with all the vegetables and put them in the oven. Cook them until they start to caramelise - about 30 minutes.

3. Remove the tray from the oven (leaving it on). Put it over a medium gas jet, add the wine and deglaze the roasting tray, by scraping the bottom of the tray with a spatula - this should release brown 'colouring'.

4. Add the chicken pieces or carcasses and return the tray to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through.

5. Remove the tray from the oven, and put the contents into a heavy pan, adding the water and remaining ingredients.

6. Slowly bring this to simmering point.

7. If there is any brown caramel on the bottom of the roasting tray, add a little more white or water any deglaze this - adding the brown liquid to your stockpot.

8. Cook the mixture, at a bare simmer for 2 hours, then, sieve or put it through a colander - squeezing as much goodness as you can from the solid ingredients.

Allow to cool, then refrigerate until needed - depending on your needs, maybe you could freeze half the stock for another occasion.

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ready to roastdarkenedsimmering
ready to roastdarkenedsimmering