Yes, they can be time consuming, but there are so many variations and things you can do when you make it yourself.
You will need a large heavy grade stock pot for this to work properly. If you don’t have one, then it’s a good time to invest.
You will notice that I do add a little bit of salt to my stock. I have found that if I don’t do this, I tend to under salt, as I have a natural inclination to be light handed with salt. By adding a little bit to the stock I avoid this problem. It is your choice.
I find that you can adjust the herbs depending on whether you want a Chinese stock, French or generic. I will give some variations at the end of the basic recipe.
1 Whole Chicken, keep the neck, but remove the giblets
2 Carrots, roughly chopped
4 Celery stalks, leaves and all, roughly chopped
3 medium Onions cut in halves
2 Bay Leaves
10 Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Sea Salt
For a Chinese stock, you may add one whole Star Anise and omit the bay leaves.
For a Thai Stock, you may add some fresh coriander/cilantro and omit the bay leaves.
Put all ingredients into the stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and gently simmer uncovered for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Gently remove the chicken, and after cooling remove meat and use as desired. Add back the carcass and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes. Throughout the process, it helps to skim off the excess fat and froth that comes to the surface.
After allowing the stock to cool, strain it and then cool thoroughly before either freezing or refrigerating in a covered storage container.