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Put the chicken pieces, vegetables, garlic, herbs, peppercorns, and water in a deep 8 quart pot or a stockpot. Bring to a boil. After 5 minutes, skim off the scum that forms on the surface with a wire skimmer or a large spoon. Continue to boil rapidly for 15 minutes, skimming, then reduce the heat; cover the pot and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Season with salt to taste -- about 1 tablespoon. Strain the broth through a sieve lined with several thicknesses of cheesecloth into a large bowl and cool thoroughly in the refrigerator. Save the gizzards (they are good eating) and discard the other chicken parts and the vegetables. When the stock is cold, remove the layer of fat that has formed on the surface. You will have about 2-1/2 quarts of stock. It is a great aid and comfort to always have on hand good home-made beef, chicken or veal stock, but you have to be realistic. You must gauge your stock-making by the space you have to keep it in. Two or three days is about as long as you should keep stock in the refrigerator; if you keep it longer you should remove it and boil it up again before using. If you want to keep it for much longer periods of time, freeze it. You can safely keep stock frozen for up to three months. * Double Chicken Broth * Put the cold, fat-free, 2-1/2 quarts of previously make chicken stock into an 8 quart pan. Add a whole stewing fowl or roasting chicken weighing 4 to 5 pounds. Bring slowly to a boil. Again, skim off any scum that forms on the surface; reduce the heat; cover and simmer gently until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour for a young chicken, or 2 to 2-1/2 hours for a fowl. Remove the chicken and either serve it as poached chicken or remove the skin, take the meat from the bones and use it for chicken dishes ~- a chicken salad, hash, chicken pie, or creamed chicken. Strain the broth through several thicknesses of cheesecloth into a bowl; let cool, then skim off the fat. You now have two quarts of beautifully rich, strong broth to use for cooking. Should you want to reduce it even more and clarify it for consomme, ... see the recipe: Chicken Consomme by James Beard. Note: Chicken consomme must be absolutely fat-free and clear so its very important that in the above directions you skim off all the scum that forms on the surface in the chicken stock broth and double chicken broth and strain it through several thicknesses of cheesecloth, and remove all the fat after the broth has cooled.
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