This might sound like the kind of heavy-duty kitchen faffing that only Nigella gets round to, but it’s actually incredibly simple. Next time you make a roast chicken of a Sunday, you can simply pop the carcass on to make stock afterwards, using any leftover vegetables from the meal such as carrots or parsnips. Alternatively, you could buy and strip a supermarket rotisserie chicken, and use the bones from that to make stock. You’ll end up with something that’s vastly superior to the kind of stock you can make out of stock cubes, which will seriously punch up your soups, stews or curries. Or you can serve it as is – try this recipe for Tortellini in Brodo, or filled pasta in chicken broth, an amazing dish I first discovered in Florence.
- One roast chicken carcass with the meat stripped off
- One large carrot, roughly chopped (or any other veg you have left from the roast, apart from potatoes)
- One onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- A handful of fresh thyme, or 1 tbsp dried thyme
- Enough water to cover the chicken bones
Once you’ve stripped off most of the meat, simply place the carcass in a large casserole dish on the hob, and add enough water to cover, plus the carrot, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme.
Bring to the boil, then cover and turn the temperature right down. Allow it to bubble away gently for about two hours. Every now and then, use a teaspoon to remove the small puddles of fat which will collect on the surface.
Once the two hours are up, strain the mixture and allow to cool completely. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days, or freeze to use later.