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This time-honored example of kitchen thrift is ready when you are: Have it simmering away while you tend to another meal or are puttering around on a Saturday morning. Just looking at it in the refrigerator or freezer will make you happy, secure in the knowledge that you can put a terrific meal on the table in no time at all.


Makes 6 cups

2 chicken carcasses left over from roast chicken, any herbs in cavities discarded

1 onion, quartered

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

Scant 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 thyme sprigs

8 parsley sprigs including long stems

4 quarts water


  1. Step 1

    Bring all ingredients to a boil in an 8-qt stockpot. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming foam occasionally, 2 hours.

    Step 2

    Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. If you have more than 6 cups, boil to reduce; if less, add water. If using stock right away, skim off and discard fat. If not, chill stock (covered once cool) and discard fat after it solidifies.

Cooks’ notes:

•In place of roast-chicken carcasses, you can use 31/2 to 4 lb wings, necks, and backs from uncooked chickens.

•Stock can be chilled up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.

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