Chicken Stock: the way I do it.

Courtesy of Ed Hoffmann

1 chicken of 4 to 5 lb cut up plus any miscellaneous chicken parts (backs, necks etc) you might have saved back for making stock. (If you have access to “barnyard fowl” by all means use that – cook it longer though.)
1 large onion coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery (with leaves) coarsely chopped
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 or 2 HEADS of garlic cut in half horizontally
1 tsp whole peppercorns
3 or 4 whole cloves
3 or 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
1 large bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 large can or 4 -14 oz cans chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)
About 1 quart of water.

Place all ingredients in a 6 to 8 quart stockpot, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for around 1 hour. Remove meaty chicken parts and allow to cool while continuing to simmer stockpot. When chicken is cool enough to handle, debone, and return bones and skin to stockpot. Chop chicken meat into bite sized pieces and refrigerate.

Continue to simmer stock mixture another hour or so then skim fat and strain stock. Discard bones and vegetables (unless you have a pet that loves shreds of chicken and vegetables mixed into their dinner).

Return stock to stockpot and reduce to about 2 1/2 quarts. Set aside and begin gumbo or cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.

Note: If you are fortunate enough to have access to wild goose or duck, guinea hen, doves or other tasty wild fowl, you can use the same basic mode of building a stock, (or if you have your own favorite method, use it). They all make wonderful rich gumbos. Be sure to use a dark brown roux.