Making stock isn't difficult, but it's a long process. Luckily, it was my day off. You'll need a large stock pot for this, since you use a whole chicken. Place your chicken in the bottom of the pot and throw in all of your aromatics. I used a quartered onion, celery, garlic cloves, parsley, dried thyme, and a cinnamon stick. Fill the pot with cold water until the bird is covered and then set over medium-low heat.
For the first 20 or 30 minutes the water will heat up and begin to simmer, and foam will start to rise to the top of the water. Skim off all the foam and discard. Once the foam stops forming, cover the pot and set it to a low simmer for at least an hour and a half.
The stock is done when the meat is falling off the bones of the bird. Then the stock needs to be separated from the meat and aromatics, which is by far the hardest part of the process. I'd recommend having a second person on hand for this, which I didn't have. First, I poured the contents of the pot through my colander, just to separate out the large pieces from the liquid. Next, the stock needed to pass through cheese cloth to separate out any other smaller pieces.
I created this contraption to be able to strain the liquid without a helper:
Basically, it's a cheese cloth sleeve with two bamboo grilling sticks poked through it to hold it up. This left me able to pour the strained stock through and then just lift out the cheese cloth. Which was disgusting, by the way:
Anyway, at that point the stock was pretty much done, so I just poured it into mason jars and put it in the fridge. When the fat rises to the top of the jars I'll skim it off, but otherwise, it's ready to use!
I'll let you all know once I get to use it in a recipe!
chicken -- $6.13
Total Cost of Chicken Stock : $6.13