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Homemade chicken stock

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Homemade stock is cheaper, healthier and tastier than ready-made cubes. After chilling and removing the fat, you can boil the stock until it is reduced, then cool and freeze it in ice-trays.
The frozen cube stocks can then be packed in the freezer bag and used individually. Add them frozen in hot liquids in soups, stews and casseroles.

Makes about 1.5 litres
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 chicken or the bones from 4 chicken pieces (or fresh chicken wings, browned first)
1 large onion (roughly chopped)
1 large carrot (roughly chopped)
1 celery stick (roughly chopped)
1 large bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
2 litres water

Method:

1. Break up the chicken carcass or bones and put into a large saucepan. Add the vegetables, bay leaf and peppercorns. Pour over the water.

2. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down so the liquid is simmering gently. Cover the pan and leave to bubble for 1 hour.

3. Strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl, discarding the bones and vegetables. Skim any fat from the surface with a spoon (if using the stock straightaway. Alternatively, chill the stock first, which will make it easier to remove the fat.