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Double-Strength Chicken (or Beef) Stock

    4 pounds chicken necks or backs, skin removed, or 4 pounds meaty beef bones
    1 medium onion, unpeeled, halved
    2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
    2 medium celery ribs, coarsely chopped
    4 parsley sprigs
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
    2 quarts water

Position a broiler rack 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Broil the chicken or the beef bones, turning often, until well browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.

Add the onion (the peel adds color to the stock), carrots, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Pour in the water. Cover and slow-cook until the meat and vegetables are very tender, 10 to 12 hours on low. (Do not cook on high for a shorter period of time or the stock will boil and become cloudy.)

Ladle the stock through a strainer set over a large bowl. Discard the meat and vegetables. Let the stock cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. When cold, scrape the congealed fat from the surface of the stock. (The stock can be refrigerated, cov- ered, for up to 2 days or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.)

Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

All recipes from "The Slow Cooker Ready & Waiting Cookbook: 160 Sumptuous Meals That Cook Themselves" by Rick Rodgers

Sunday, March 02, 2003

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