This recipe makes seven quarts, but don’t be put off by that. If you are going to make stock, make a lot; do this once every six months and you are ready to eat fast and ready to make almost anything. The most economical way of making stock is to mix fresh poultry with bones and scraps you’ve saved in the freezer. The pan juices from cooked meats, bits of bone and scraps of meat are all treasure for the stockpot.
Refrigerate this stock for four days; freeze it for six months. Freeze some in ice-cube trays (turning out cubes into plastic bags once they are solid). Each cube equals about 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons. Two of these swirled into a pan after you’ve sauteed some meat or vegetables will give you a fine pan sauce.
This stock, merely seasoned to taste, is delicious on its own, but if you add a little pasta, some diced vegetables and a splash of sherry or wine, you have a supper soup.
5 pounds turkey wings, or 5 pounds whole chicken (preferably organic), or 2 1/2 pounds fresh chicken, and about 3 pounds of any collection of meat/poultry bones and scraps you’ve saved in the freezer
About 6 quarts cold water
2 large onions (1 1/2 pounds) coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large stalk celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
4 large whole heads garlic, trimmed of root ends and halved horizontally
3 whole cloves
6 drained canned tomatoes
2 cups dry white wine
Cut up turkey wings or chicken, cracking their bones with a cleaver in 2 or 3 places. Place (with any saved bones and scraps) in a tall, 8- to 10-quart pot. Add enough cold water to come to within 3 inches of the lip of the pot. Bring the water slowly to a simmer. Skim off all foam. Add remaining ingredients, partially cover, and bring to a slow bubble.
Simmer 12 to 14 hours, stirring and skimming off fat occasionally. (Do not leave unattended.) Do not boil broth. Keep the liquid bubbling very slowly. Add boiling water if the broth reduces below the level of the solid ingredients. Always keep them covered with about 3 inches of liquid. Strain the broth through a fine sieve. For a clearer broth, strain it by ladling rather than pouring, leaving behind any sediment at the bottom of the pot.
Before refrigerating, cool the broth as quickly as possible. Set it outside in cold weather or chill it down in several small containers set in bowls of ice. Then refrigerate the broth about 8 hours, or until its fat has hardened.
Skim off hardened fat, and freeze in various-sized containers.
Makes 7 quarts.