1 Chicken (organic if possible) - if using a carcass from the Sunday roast skip the first section.
2 celery stalks
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
10 black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
A few sprigs dry thyme
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (helps to extract the nutrients from the bones)
Put all of the ingredients with skin still on (even the onions and garlic), giving the carrots and celery a wash before, into a large casserole and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 2 hours. Remove the chicken and take the flesh off the bone.
Put the bones and carcass back into the liquid and continue to boil for at least two more hours. My mum often leaves her stock in the bottom oven of her Aga overnight to extract as much goodness out of the bones as possible. She always manages to create a wonderful, gelatinous, golden stock. A slow-cooker is also a good option and you can leave your stock for up to 12h hours or overnight.
Once your stock is ready, pour it through sieve capturing all of the vegetables and aromatics .Choose an appropriate container and store your stock in the fridge for up to 3 days or stock it in the fridge.
* Keep the cooked chicken meat for use in salads, risotto, sandwiches etc.
* A waste-saving tip is I often keep peelings from onions and carrots and celery tops and use these for even more ingredients to really pack a punch.
* I often add the stock-soaked carrots to my dog's bowl, mashed up with her biscuits. She loves them and they are so good for her.
*A friend of mine stores hers in her freezer in jam jars - a perfect alternative to plastic containers!