A rich, flavorful stock that tastes like roasted chicken in less than an hour? Thank you, The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated! This recipe uses small pieces of chicken and a method that causes them to release the flavor in minimal time.
60 Minute Chicken Stock (adapted from The Best Recipe and my momma)
1 large onion, chopped
4 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, hacked into 2 inch pieces (use a cleaver, sharp chef's knife, or kitchen shears)
2 quarts boiling water
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven
Saute the onion for about 3 minutes, remove from pan
Saute the chicken pieces (in 2 batches) until no longer pink, about 6 minutes
Return all chicken and onion to pot
Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 20 minutes (this will cause the chicken to "sweat" out its juices)
Add water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on very low for 20 minutes
Remove the chicken pieces and pull off meat for soup or other use*
Strain stock to remove solids
Important: chill stock overnight in the fridge. This will cause the fat to rise to the top and solidify. In the morning. you can skim the fat for a less greasy, healthier stock.
* The chicken will lose a lot of its flavor due to the sweating process, and The Best Recipe recommends discarding the meat. However, I cannot bring myself to throw out that much chicken meat, and I have found that the meat is just fine for use in a chicken noodle soup, a chicken chili, or in other highly seasoned dishes calling for shredded chicken. I wouldn't eat it plain on a salad, but as long as the dish has some flavor, it's totally fine. If I ate enchiladas, I would probably put it in an enchilada dish.
To make into soup, sinply heat with sliced carrots and diced celery. Add some of the shredded chicken. Cook some egg noodles and voila! I do not recommend storing the noodles in the soup, as they will absorb most of the liquid. Cook and store separately!
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