Well to be honest, it's 10 minutes plus 3 hours. But the hard part takes 10 minutes and the rest of the time the stock is just cooking on the stove top. Homemade chicken stock makes the difference in just about every dish and it freezes well. I am a big soup lover and can eat soup just about every day, in the winter time, but that's just me. Plus, soup is a great way to hide in sneaky vegetables like kale, or peppers that Lily would never eat on her own.
I start every week (during the winter months) by making a big pot of chicken stock. I typically like to make two soups per week so this gives me a base plus extra for other recipes. Also, from the chicken and other ingredients that are used in the stock, you can make a rice pilaf, or a chicken curry rice stir fry, if you decide not to use them in a soup. This week I'm planning on making a chicken rice soup and a bacon potato leek soup. But let's start with the stock. One of my cooking mantra's is "if it doesn't make a difference, don't bother". Basically, don't spend your time on things that don't make a huge difference in the taste. I've read recipes that swear by turnips in chicken stock and a cooking time of 3 days but honestly, my palette isn't sensitive enough to taste those nuances. Some recipes call for a bouquet garni (bay leaf, tyme, parsley mixture) but I don't include this in my recipe. But you sure can. I know there are a lot of variations but this is the way that I make it and it works for me. There are a few important tips that I find do make a big difference in the quality and taste of your chicken stock. One is a lemon. Lemon will make your chicken stock nice and clear instead of murky and cloudy. The other is to cook it on a very low heat and not let it boil.
Chicken thighs - 4 pack
1 yellow onion
2 celery stalks
1 tbl salt
Bunch of parsley or leek stalk (if you don't have it on hand leave it out)
Directions: Wash the chicken. Don't peel the carrots. Just cut off the ends and cut in halves and put in the pot. Add the celery, parsley or leek, peppercorns, salt. Peel the skin off the onion. Cut the onion into quarters. Wash the onion skin and put the skin into the pot seperately. This will give the stock a nice yellow color. Fill the pot 2/3 full. Cover. Simmer for 2.5 - 3 hours. After an hour or so squeeze in some lemon juice. After 2nd hour, add some more lemon juice. Remove onion skin if it appears that the stock is getting too dark. Stock is done when the chicken is falling off the bone and carrots are done. Add more salt if needed. Pour through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Cool. Refridgerate. Stock will last in the refridgerator for one week. Freeze unused stock after one week.
After 2 hours it should look like this.