4-5 lb. stewing chicken – quartered
3 ribs celery with leaves – coarsely chopped
2 lrg. onions – un-peeled, quartered
2 med. carrots – un-peeled, quartered
1/4 lightly packed cup whole fresh parsley OR 2 Tbls. dried parsley
1/4 lightly packed cup whole fresh thyme OR 2 Tbls. dried thyme
1 Tbls. salt
5 whole peppercorns OR 1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 – 3 clove garlic – un-peeled, halved
2 bay leaves
Place ingredients in a large pot and fill pot with enough water to cover all.
Bring contents of pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 6-8 hours.
Remove chicken from pot, cut off meat and reserve for later use.
Strain remaining contents of pot through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; discard solid matter; return stock to pot.
(This step optional) For a stronger, more concentrated stock, simmer over medium heat until stock has reduced and taste is to your liking.
(This step optional) Refrigerate stock until fat has solidified; peel fat off the top.
* Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. I pour into sealable plastic bags in 1/2 or 1 cup sizes and freeze for use in recipes later.